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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He defends Linda McCartney
This is just a review written by a gearhead scientist with no background in art and literature, so be forewarned that I am not an expert on literature. I thought I would write this just in case anyone out there is looking for a change of pace, no matter your musical tastes or political views.
Hey -- give this book a shot. It's worth it. I read this book a little at a...
Published on July 28, 2002 by Ken

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brian Eno has brains, talent, and all God's blessings.
This is a fascinating account of the day to day life of one of music's truest free-thinkers. I was absorbed and at the same time felt sick. I wonder if anyone realizes how life's continued good fortune allows the space for this free-thinking? Or how opportunity begets opportunity? If the reader thinks beyond the surface of Eno's daily account, he'll see that the real...
Published on April 1, 1999 by Sally D. Mericle


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92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He defends Linda McCartney, July 28, 2002
By 
Ken (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
This is just a review written by a gearhead scientist with no background in art and literature, so be forewarned that I am not an expert on literature. I thought I would write this just in case anyone out there is looking for a change of pace, no matter your musical tastes or political views.
Hey -- give this book a shot. It's worth it. I read this book a little at a time over a few months. I still have it sitting around as a kind of jump-starter . . . it inspires me and makes me feel more positive.
I bought this book because it sounded intriguing and because some Amazon reviewers gave it a thumbs up. Plus, I was a fan of Brian Eno's 70's music in the 80's. If he was really popular back then, I would not have known it from the teenagers around me. So here I was, 17 years old and hearing "No One Receiving" and "Baby's On Fire" for the first time and my little teeny brain was turned inside-out. And then, like the guy who finally figures out how to view a Magic Eye picture, I started seeing Eno everywhere I looked: Talking Heads, U2, even the background music for a Nike commercial.
This guy does a little of everything. No, make that "a little of everything that I don't understand." Oblique strategies, Music for Airports, you name it. It's so ironic that this guy has done everything from Roxy Music to ambient to producing pop bands -- he's always changing, at the cutting edge, exploring -- and yet I was struck by just one phase of his career. ( I bought several of those Laraaji-type records in college -- it didn't swing for me.) So, I guess that's the big reason I liked this book . . . I admire this man of many talents, tastes, and wide-ranging interests.
Brian Eno may just be everything that I am not. I guess I have to admit that I am a political conservative on a lot of issues, including ones that were important when Eno wrote this diary (1995?). But I love to hear what he has to say. His takes on so many issues are so much more tilted towards big, activist government than mine are. But he establishes his credibility by having reasoned arguments, and just writes really lucidly and intelligently. I REALLY WISH THERE EXISTED IN AMERICA A LIBERAL PUNDIT OR TALK-SHOW HOST LIKE BRIAN ENO. Most of his pointed criticism of Bosnia policy, military build-up, state vs. free enterprise, etc. is aimed DIRECTLY at people just like me. But I didn't throw the book across the room when what he had to say made me look like an idiot or ...cold-hearted... It actually intrigued me, because for some reason it made me think. I respect the author, so I respect his arguments. I wish there were more pop culture figures who could be so funny, concise, and devoid of polemics. Julia Roberts and Alec Baldwin, take note.
Well, would this book have any interest for someone who doesn't have "Here Come The Warm Jets" in his or her CD player right now? Well, I think it might. The tone and demeanor of the book are refreshing. Take notice of the fact that he does not write about his life as though he were "The Man." This is an accomplishment, because the book has him jetting here and there, talking with Bono and chatting with Dolores O'Riordan. He admits to working so that he can make money to keep his family going, he recounts his long hours of work that sometimes frustrate him and yield no results, admits to being occasionally nervous, grumpy, misanthropic, biased, unfair, and other things. He's faithful to his wife and loves his little girl but admits his occasional frustration with both. He's frank about some "female butt" issues and computer distortions -- 'nuff said here. His bit about Linda McCartney and her Lindaburger donations really put me in my place -- I was one of those who got half the story and ran with it, making fun of a serious problem and one person's effort to help out a little bit (which is more that I did).
But the book isn't all serious and heavy. I won't spoil it (any more?) here, but you will find lots of interesting tidbits. I'll bet the footnotes and appendices thing bugged the heck out of some people, but I loved it!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing, timeless book, packed with ideas, May 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
"I have a wonderful life", Brian Eno remarks at the beginning of this stocky little book. It is not an admission that you will get from many artists, and by the end, I could not help feeling more than a little envious of the sheer diversity of activities that fill Eno's life. This very readable diary is also an insight into how one so influential can get bogged down by the sheer volume of work and commissions that regularly come his way.
This book is both a diary of Eno's life in 1995 - at once remarkably candid and playful (he has an obsession with the female bottom which he draws to our attention), and a series of essays and short stories. The former Roxy Music member is not afraid to name-drop (saunas with Bjork, albums with David Bowie and U2, works in progress with Paul McCartney...), but this is a pleasant contrast to the sometimes earnest but always interesting extended pieces which make up the "appendices" of the title, and are laid out at the end of the book.
A very worthwhile and enjoyable read, particularly for those of us who were unaware of who Brian Eno was - it is a book which I regularly dip into and will continue to do so.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the most inspirational coffee table reading you'll ever do, May 14, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
This is a published version of Brian Eno's diary that he kept throughout 1995, starting on January 1 and ending on December 31. He has an entry for almost every day, and nearly all of them are inspired, funny, and observant. He is also interminably crabby in a sort of humorous way.

His writings detail, among other things, his many musical projects, traveling (to Egypt and New York City and Mostar, to name a few places), hanging out with famous (and not-so-famous) people as varied as U2 and Pavarotti, faxing David Bowie, playing with his two little girls Darla and Irial, conversing with his wife (also his manager), avoiding Alan Yentob, e-mailing Stewart Brand, and involving himself in a huge number of other things that are too numerous to mention in one sentence. It is all inspirational, sometimes trashy, always fascinating.

This isn't the sort of book most people would read from start to finish (even though I have done so several times). I would guess most jump around. If you suffer from symptoms of the so-called Attention Deficit Disorder, this book can become your operation manual.

I have personally given "A Year With Swollen Appendices" to two different friends as a gift. As a writer myself, I have used the book as something to clear my pipes when I'm suffering from writer's block. The man is really that creative.

This best use of this brilliant little book is to put it somewhere in your home where people can pick it up and flip through it for a few minutes...
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for all musicians, artists & producers, November 4, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
An fascinating insight into the mind of one of pop music's most creatively influential movers and shakers - follow the inner workings of Eno's mind as he wrestles with producing Bowie and James, criticising the Turner Art Prize, collaborating with U2, clowning with his infant daughters, lusting after pssing women, making bread at 3am, and pondering humanitarian catastrophies in the Balkans as he pours time, tears and creative energies into his War Child charity work... if you work in the music business and find this book dull , email me and I'll buy it off you for the same price you paid - it's that good. It should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in contemporary music and the arts - candid, sad, funny, revealing, opinionated, flawed... in short, human. Brian Eno's perceived public image is a million miles removed from the private and creative reality and this book goes some way towards redressing the balance for anyone interested in his work. The one-liners are priceless and acute ("An arrangement is when somebody stops playing"). The swollen appendages are a bit overblown and dull, but the diary is so densely written and full of insights that it repays frequent re-reading.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars think, October 27, 2004
By 
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
my well-worn copy was purchased when the book came out. a fan of eno from his roxy music days, he lead the pack in being ahead of the pack when it came to ambient music, among other things. that's why they call it 'avant guarde' folks - the advance guard, going where it's dangerous, well ahead of the rest of the followers.

for those that only gave the book a one or two star review, put it down early, etc., in short, they just don't get it, and most likely never will. that's ok. you can lead a horse to water...

forget eno as musician, producer, artist, educator, etc. , first and foremost he is a thinker, a man of ideas. his article in "wired" a decade ago said, in short , "there is not enough africa in computers". what do culture and technology have in common? what do art and life - heck, forget about life - what do art and death have in common? read the book. find out.

my copy is dog-earred, with a good number passeges underlined. why does one do that? because it reinfornces ideas one already posseses, often by putting them in a new light. and if you already have a penchant for thinking, eno may help sharpen some of those fuzzy thoughts. or even make them fuzzier, if warranted.

'oblique strategies' was a thought process eno developed with a collaborator to find new, creative ways of dealing with the issues that arise in any creative endeavor. 'oblique' and 'strategy' say much about eno's analytical mind, but if one listens to his contributions and colaborations with jon hassell or talking heads, you'llknw he brings more to the table than analysis.

here are some of his thoughts: "culture is not different from this: it is an ivitation to you to engage with a different world, a world of your and someone else's imagination. without your active engagement in that invitation, nothing happens. you are never actually a passive consumer of culture, because the only sense in which the verb 'to consume' has any meaning inthis context is when it means 'to agree to engage with'".

so, engage. consume. read this book. and fight the good fight.

marc english

austin, texas

shaman@marcenglishdesign.com
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everybody - great book for producers, November 5, 2003
By 
Mauricio Bussab (Sao Paulo, SP Brazil) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
If you are a record producer or a musician interested in production you are certainly familiar with Eno's work. Have you ever wondered what his routine is like? Well, I did. The book gave me an idea of how he works on a project, how ideas are created in his studio and how he works with musicians.
The book is his diary of 1995 and it is focused on his work, not so much his personal life. There are no juicy gossips and no confessions. It is mostly cold and impersonal. Steps were clearly taken to preserve his personal life. And you have to ignore some of the obvious embelishing (c'mon, Brian, if you are such a good cook, shouldn't you own a restaurant instead?).
But if you are involved in music you will get a glimpse into the tools and processes that make this man one of the great creative minds in contemporary music. And also understand where some of his shortcomings come from.
It is the closest thing to being a guest in his studio for a week.
Apart from the diary there are some texts at the end packed with original ideas.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest, funny, imaginative and different kind of diary, August 29, 1997
By 
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
Although I can't recommend this book for everybody then I must say I loved it. Let's not forget it's a diary with it's busy and slow days. But it's not what Eno does from hour to hour that's interesting, but the way you get to see the world through this artist's eyes. For me it was highly enlightning and Eno's answers to difficult questions have been cause for many arguments and discussions in my family at least. So if your looking for a book that's bound to give you a fresh way of looking at things you should try this one
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight into a great mind..., February 28, 2006
By 
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This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
Fun, fast read. Eno is a pioneer and true rennaisance man. Recommended for anyone acutely interested in the music and art worlds, particularly those places where they intersect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Good Food, August 11, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book. It reminds me of some of my favorite foods. . . I wouldn't mind snacking on them for a moment or two, having a normal meal of them-- or maybe even a large, feast-like meal-- what's my point? Eno's diary is easy to read, and fun, and is perfect for browsing for a moment or two, or for more involved reading sessions. If you are interested, there are "story-lines" that develop-- relationships, projects, points of view-- so there is a sense of coherence in spite of the brevity of some entries. An added dimension is the kind of people mentioned and described-- from David Bowie to the members of James. It is very interesting to hear people like these described and discussed in intimate detail.

After reading a few pages of this diary, you will feel famous, too!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much like his music, it is pleasant and goes nowhere, March 11, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary (Paperback)
Excellent, a book which applies Eno's principles of ambient music. The book goes nowhere, establishes texture and tone, has no drive, is holographic and can be read in any order, and offers consistently good and occasionally brilliant insights.
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A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary
A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary by Brian Eno (Paperback - July 25, 1996)
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