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X-Ray: The Unauthorized Autobiography Paperback – 1995
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In writing his autobiography through roughly the end of the 70s, Davies could have simply told the story. But, you have to know that this is way too easy and conventional. Instead, X-Ray is a story within a story. An unnamed minor clerk in a more-or-less unnamed department of the British government that maintains records about entertainment and entertainers is charged with "updating the file" on a certain Raymond Douglas Davies. In his effort to fulfill this objective, he meets with a reclusive, eccentric, almost Faginesque character who weaves a rambling story about himself, the band and the English music scene in general. Amidst the mass of narrative, the story of The Kinks unfolds with some remarkable clarity and candor about the band and its interaction with its management and record companies.
It is in these stretches of story-telling that the book nears conventionality.Read more ›
THE BOOK ENHANCES THE MUSIC
I only started listening to The Kinks within the past two years. With that being said, if you are or were a Kinks fan, then this book is definitely worth reading. The best part about it is the way it enhances the music. If you listen to the songs while you're reading and after you've finished the book, then you'll be in for a really enjoyable experience.
While we're used to having movies with accompanying soundtracks, this is almost like having a book with a soundtrack. In that respect, the book is similar to the rock opera format that Ray Davies explored throughout the 1970's. All of the themes that are commonly found in Davies' songwriting are present in the text.Read more ›
The focus here is on the 1960s and The Kinks's rise to stardom. The story flows pretty much chronologically. Davies grew up in a large, working class family in Muswell Hill, North London. One of the many interesting ironies about R.D. is the fact that he, one of the more cosmopolitan and cynical songwriters of his time, was very closely tied to his old neighborhood and his clan for much of his life. As a kid, he was both a competitive athlete and a creative type. At first The Kinks were mostly unknown, but things began to change for them when Davies began to discover his songwriting talent.
The book is full of marvelous anecdotes of life on the road and encounters with other pop musicians, but it did take a toll on the author. He frankly describes having some sort of depressive breakdown in the middle of their most popular and musically successful period. R.D. is a remarkably complex guy. He married young and fathered a child, but the marriage did not last. He probably was/is bisexual, yet he dances around the issue.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
one of rock's finest minds, and best songwriters. his 3rd person writing works well in songs, but gets tiresome in this book.Published 3 days ago by buzzardbreadth
Usually entertaining, sometimes exasperating, this is very much Ray Davies ... even though he spends a chunk of the book hiding behind a biographer from "the Corporation. Read morePublished 7 months ago by T. Leopold
A little weird, to be perfectly honest. Written more like a series of fake interviews than an actual autobiography and it's obvious that a lot of the material is, frankly,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Marty Byerley
Some folks have objected to Davies' concept of third person perspective. I thought it worked reasonably well. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Gino
Told in a very unique way, Ray Davies' story is entertaining, mysterious, and leaves you hungry for more. The story is more complimentary to rather than a complete history. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Christopher T. Richey
I'm a ne plus ultra Kinks fan, but the structure of this as a "fictionalized" autobio makes it hard to read. Americana is much better.Published 21 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is in excellent shape and have looked for it awhile. Came quickly but not as fast as the other orders. But came as advertised.Published 23 months ago by Ernest Allen Tarzwell