7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Certainly Not Trash,
This review is from: The Memory of All That: The Life of George Gershwin (Hardcover)
This is much more than trash. I found it an unholy but compelling stew. This biography seeks to unmask Gershwin legends while touching on Gershwin's family, 20th century music trends, Broadway, popular song, and the zeitgeist. Granted, it does not tie these things together with any sort of elegance!
Peyser is not afraid to shoot from the hip. Sometimes she overextends and misses...sometimes she is truly persuasive about the players' psychology and motivations.
It's a weird read, combining the recollections of a 101 year old Gershwin family member with observations on Stravinsky's development as a composer. But I'm glad I read it. And I respect this author for doing what she could to record the recollections of people decades after the events. That, in itself, is no mean scholarly contribution!
When someone of remarkable talent and an extraordinary personality dies young, memories become rosy and sometimes a saint enters the historic record. This author doggedly shows just how prickly and unpleasant George Gershwin and many of his family members could be.
Finally, I feel obliged to note that this author seems very indebted to Jablonski's *Gershwi*.
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Initial post: Sep 21, 2010 12:43:59 PM PDT
Shirley A. Frank says:
worse biography I ever read. I know as much about Gershwin going out, as I did coming in as I did going out. The author goes into mini bios every time she mentions a name. Dont waste your time.
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