- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone (May 9, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781501132551
- ISBN-13: 978-1501132551
- ASIN: 1501132555
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 165 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way Hardcover – May 9, 2017
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“A buoyant new Jimmy Buffett biography sings. . . . [White interviewed] dozens of Buffett’s fellow Key West, Florida, barflies, record producers, bandmates, friends, and business associates, and the portrait that emerges is affectionate and admiring but devoid of Parrot Head fawning—the proper key for such a bio. It helps that White’s prose bears a music of its own, vividly evoking Buffett’s formative journey from Mobile, Alabama, to New Orleans, to Nashville, and then to Key West.” —GARDEN & GUN
"A gifted storyteller with a beat reporter's nose for hidden details, Ryan White has crafted a definitive portrait of one of America's most potent cultural icons. And yet this is so much more than an account of sandy-footed slacker king Jimmy Buffett. It's also a peek into the yearning heart of overworked Americans searching for their own shaker of salt and helping drive the fantasy that turned Buffett's tequila-stunned 1977 smash ‘Margaritaville’ into the keystone of a multi-billion dollar leisure industry." –Peter Ames Carlin, New York Times bestselling author of Bruce
“Finally—a full-length Jimmy Buffett bio that’s accurate and entertaining. Ryan White captures a life of creativity, of strumming songs, taking care of business, and of owning the stage while dancing to the bank. Great writing makes for great reading, and this book outshines all earlier looks at Buffett’s career and lifestyle. White has interviewed dozens of the man’s colleagues, influences and guides, and asked all the right questions. Now we get to enjoy new insights and correct info right down to the sunburn. Thank goodness for Ryan White. He delivers a fine tale and, like Buffett, super entertainment."
- Tom Corcoran, author of Crime Almost Pays and The Quick Adios (Times Six).
“White unravels the tale of America’s favorite pirate with journalistic vigor and an ear for the poetic detail. It turns out that Jimmy Buffett’s real story is an interesting and wild as the countless myths and legends that have grown around him.” -Hayes Carll, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter
“Ryan White has written a highly entertaining and very informative book about Jimmy Buffett; one that manages to go well beyond the mythology and legends while still giving them their just place in the grand design. An excellent read.”
- Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers
About the Author
Ryan White, the author of Springsteen: Album by Album and Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way, has twice been named one of the top feature writers in the country by the Society for Features Journalism. He spent sixteen years at The Oregonian covering sports, music, and culture. He’s written for The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, The Sacramento Bee, The Dallas Morning News, and Portland Monthly. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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From a non-fan perspective, this book is DEEP. Not deep in the philosophical sense, but deep in the shear amount of details and research that must have gone into the collection of stories and history within its pages. The book starts out with a lovely short chapter on the formation of the band. It reads more like a novel and is beautifully and vividly described. Even though I didn't know all the characters per say, I was able to follow the action. Hard core fans will have no issues following the story of Jimmy's arrival in Key West. The second chapter then jumps back into time to some family history, specifically Grandfather Buffett, the sea captain. While this chapter was a bit more academic and read more like history than novel, it does set the subtle ebb and flow of the book, like waves on the beach, skillfully moving from story telling to history lessons in the Encyclopedia Buffett. The book mostly follows this pattern, jumping from scene to scene, and through various places and times.
As a fan of history, and a good biography, I found the tales and history surrounding Mr. Buffett fascinating and well told. There is so much lore surrounding the legend of Jimmy Buffett, it was really fun to see the origins of the folklore (like any good hero, there is typically some truth to the surrounding myths). Additionally, after reading through all the history I feel quite lazy in comparison. The Buffetts and the extended family of personalities that have come and gone from the Coral Reefer band have (wildly in some cases) accomplished way more than I could ever hope to in my lifetime. The productivity of the collective is amazing, and Jimmy is STILL going, not so much the legend of years past... but still traveling, touring, and transforming into the ultimate master of brand and marketing he is today.
Even though I had to web search for some of the references in the book (note: Parrotheads will likely not have this issue), I still found every chapter well worth the read. This was obviously a labor of love for the author, and I suspect it was a blast to research, collect these tales, and spin the yarns. Peering over at Mr. White's other offering Springsteen: Album by Album , which seems to be quite a different type of book, he does like his musical icons.
Overall, was good , ( Read it in three days ), but I thought the author just skimmed the surface, nothing very revealing. He tending to "bob and weave" with no clear focus, which at times was confusing. Also, the author's mention of each album and each song on the respective album, I found a bit insulting, I could of wrote the same and better, note that us JB fans of 40+ years know each song backwards and forwards, and we have derived OUR meaning of each.
I am waiting for JB's definitive Biography, written by JB, and only JB...knowing full well he has given us glimpses over the years in his songs.
Mark Woodward, Newnan GA
I highly recommend it.