From Library Journal
In this unique "unauthorized autobiography," Kinks singer and songwriter Davies casts himself as an eccentric old man some 20 years hence who is asked to tell his life story to a young interviewer working for a world-ruling conglomerate called "The Corporation." Eventually, the Orwellian subplot is overshadowed by Davies's very personal account of his band's many rises and falls. Like his songs, Davies's book is alternately poignant, funny, and bawdy?and his penchant for shocking his "interviewer" with tales of rock star excess leaves the reader never quite sure what to take as fact. Though the band is still active, some will be disappointed that Davies only takes the Kinks's story through 1973. The novel aspect is too thin to interest speculative fiction readers, but X-Ray is indispensable for Kinks fans and recommended for anyone interested in 1960s pop music. Recommended for subject collections.?Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Known for the satire and social commentary in their songs, 1960s British rockers the Kinks remain favorites of fans of literate pop. Their lead songwriter-singer Ray Davies' idiosyncratic autobiography reflects the band's caustic style. He adopts the persona of an employee of some authoritarian institution, as if he were a faceless chronicler assigned to report on one Raymond Douglas Davies; he refers to himself as Raymond Douglas or R. D. throughout and seemingly unearths the history of R.D.'s band. Veteran Kinks fans will take to this mannerism readily, while the less familiar may find it pretentious. But Davies' detailed illumination of underreported facets of pop-music history more than makes up for the occasional stylistic heavy sledding. The book's version of the much-reported rivalry between R. D. and younger brother Dave, the Kinks' lead guitarist, sheds light on a legendary rock feud, and its reminiscences of the Kinks' rowdy early days and their battle with relentlessly commercial Pye Records add significantly to previous reports. A major addition to pop-culture literature. Mike Tribby