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Boys in the Trees: A Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 24, 2015
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An Amazon Best Book of December 2015: In the trees is just about the only place in Carly Simon’s world that there aren’t boys, suggests this unputdownable memoir by the beloved singer and the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for the same song ("Let the River Run" from the movie Working Girl). Growing up the privileged but congenitally anxious daughter of a high-flying publishing executive, Simon learned early on – perhaps from her mother, who moved a much younger male “assistant” into the house when the Simon sisters were small – to crave love and attention. Some of this she got, of course, from performing, even though she famously suffers from crippling stage fright. The rest she sought from men – and her encounters with guys known mostly by their bold-faced first names – Mick, Warren, Jack – are well (and sometimes painfully honestly) documented here. (And yes, she finally reveals who her song “You’re So Vain” refers to – sort of.) But it is the story of her marriage to fellow musician and Martha’s Vineyard resident James Taylor – whom she met first as a young teenager – that is the most resonant. Although the union lasted two decades, and produced two children – and despite the fact that Simon and Taylor are now not in touch – it is clear that JT is Simon’s real-life torch song, the original man who got away. – Sara Nelson
"Intelligent and captivating...Don't miss it." - People Magazine
"One of the best celebrity memoirs of the year ... elegantly written and revealing." - The Hollywood Reporter
"Carly Simon could have gotten away with just the name-dropping. In her life, she's crossed paths with an astonishing range of famous people, from Cat Stevens and Jimi Hendrix to Benny Goodman and Albert Einstein. So it's a pleasant surprise that in her compelling new autobiography, Boys in the Trees, she lays out her naked emotions and insecurities, and that she proves to be a supple writer with a gift for descriptions."- Rolling Stone
"A lyrical look back at her childhood, her career, and oh, the men in her life...anecdote-filled...dishy without being salacious. There’s plenty here for fans to feast upon" - USA Today
“Boys in the Trees meets its lofty expectations. As one of pop music’s more literate songwriters ― she was the first solo woman to win a Best Song Oscar for Let the River Run from Working Girl ― Simon writes beautifully and affectingly. Her publisher father, for whom she clamored for attention and validation, would be proud.” – Miami Herald
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Top Customer Reviews
But back to the book - it is not what the headlines make you think it is. It is a serious, beautifully written account of the life of a popular but under appreciated artist, that was charmed in parts, deeply romantic in others and downright upsetting elsewhere. It is riveting too - I can't think of many other books that would have had me reading straight through for five hours until it started getting light out. Mostly it is an account of a difficult marriage, that is to say, between her and James Taylor. They were the king and the queen of the 1970s. A lot of people have wondered what it was really like between them and in this book we finally have the answer. But Carly Simon is always respectful and loving towards him, even though she is also very very frank about what went on. The book ends in the early 80s which makes me wonder if there will be a second book! All in all, this book puts you under a spell that will make you want to play all her music all over again and remember what it was like back then. Highly recommended!
I was hooked from the very first paragraph. "This day may have been THE day, the very day when my identity was born. Before the incident occurred, I didn't think about who I was. After, I would spend the rest of my life testing myself to see if I had been right."
Her writing style is elegant and eloquent.
Ms Simon gracefully leads the reader through her life piecing together her self identity all the while keeping the reader riveted with an astonishing storytelling talent.
Yes all the fun (and surprises!) of the famous relationships and names are here, framed with the songs and music they inspired, but most important, for me, is the story of a woman coming to terms with her own life long quest for love, understanding and forgiveness.
Far from being a “tell all” tabloid tryst, this is a story all too familiar to women in the workplace of (mostly) male misogynists (see below) and herein compounded by sexual abuses---in her case at age seven via a sixteen year old boy. If a reader (or reviewer) chooses to skip through to the individual male encounters in her adult life, they will be cheating themselves of a story far deeper, far more profound, and far more respectful---indeed self-effacing, to those encounters. In a world of many shades of gray, her pain staking prose yields truth and honesty to a very real story.
There will be the accusers, of course. But I was particularly disturbed by Ms Maslin’s comment in her (New York Times) review. In summarizing the descriptions by a six year old girl (Ms Simon) being repeatedly sexually abused by a sixteen year old boy, she comes to the conclusion that, …“Whatever went on… did not offend her (Carly)…”. Ugh: hopefully Ms Maslin isn’t assigned any books on childhood sexual assault.
“Boys in the trees” is deep, beautifully written, and profoundly personal— in the best of ways. A very amazing story, and told amazingly well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I never realized how her early life was so affected, both good and bad, by her...Read more