Buying Options

Kindle Price: $12.99

Save $7.00 (35%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

You've subscribed to ! We will preorder your items within 24 hours of when they become available. When new books are released, we'll charge your default payment method for the lowest price available during the pre-order period.
Update your device or payment method, cancel individual pre-orders or your subscription at
Your Memberships & Subscriptions

Buy for others

Give as a gift or purchase for a team or group.
Learn more

Buying and sending eBooks to others

Select quantity
Buy and send eBooks
Recipients can read on any device

Additional gift options are available when buying one eBook at a time.  Learn more

These ebooks can only be redeemed by recipients in the US. Redemption links and eBooks cannot be resold.

This item has a maximum order quantity limit.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Share <Embed>
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Lou Reed: A Life by [Anthony DeCurtis]

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

Lou Reed: A Life Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 276 ratings

New from Used from
Great on Kindle
Great Experience. Great Value.
iphone with kindle app
Putting our best book forward
Each Great on Kindle book offers a great reading experience, at a better value than print to keep your wallet happy.

Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.

View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.

Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.

Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.

Get the free Kindle app: Link to the kindle app page Link to the kindle app page
Enjoy a great reading experience when you buy the Kindle edition of this book. Learn more about Great on Kindle, available in select categories.
Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

Read the first 3 episodes of every story FREE pantry

Create your FREE Amazon Business account to save up to 10% with Business-only prices and free shipping. Register today

Editorial Reviews


"If the goal of a biography is to bring its subject back to life, Lou Reed, DeCurtis's sympathetic but never fawning book, succeeds...Carefully researched and thoughtfully written, Lou Reed is the best Reed biography to date."New York Times Book Review

"DeCurtis has given us a thorough and vivid portrait of an artist who, he shows us, was even darker than we knew."―
The New York Review of Books

"Anthony DeCurtis was one of the few music critics Lou Reed read and whose company he enjoyed. After reading this sublime and subtle book, the mystery of Lou's respect for Anthony is revealed.
Anthony is a great story teller, a writer's writer, turning pain into beauty the way Lou did in his songs."― Bono

"I am personally familiar with the depth, seriousness and sensitivity of Anthony DeCurtis's writing, and, of course, knew Lou Reed and felt the impact of his coruscating work.
A brilliant artist has found a biographer with the insight to, as Lou said, "pass through fire" and be a definitive interpreter of both his music and his life."―Sting

"Lou Reed is Lou Reed!" Iggy Pop

An eloquent account of a harrowing life transformed by love in the end. Anthony DeCurtis does a brilliant job of synthesizing the disparate parts of Lou Reed's life into an insightful, moving narrative. I highly recommend it."―Suzanne Vega

"When most people think of Lou Reed, they picture the black, rotting heart of rock and roll, full of dissonance, decadence and decay. But
as Anthony DeCurtis makes clear in his new book, behind the image and the rumors, Lou was one thing: a writer, a man who spent his life telling the absolute, painful truth in his songs - the truth about himself, the scenes he observed, and the world at large. His words were so powerful that the Velvet Underground had to invent a new musical language to match them. I'm not the first musician to pledge allegiance to Lou and the Velvets, and I won't be the last. Read this book, and explore the f*cking genius that was Lou Reed."―Peter Buck, co-founder and lead guitarist of R.E.M.

Anthony DeCurtis captures the soul and the essence of Lou Reed in his terrific new biography of the brilliant, culture-shaping musician. DeCurtis' great gift of storytelling gives fascinating insight and perspective to Reed's complex personality and cutting-edge musical talent. This is a must read."― Clive Davis

"The Reed of DeCurtis' exhaustively reported book is a brilliant artist who helped define hipness and the outer limits of rock for generations."―
Rolling Stone

"How did a middle-class suburban boy grow up to be king of Manhattan's wild side? Thanks to this
groundbreaking biography, now we know. Anthony DeCurtis handles Reed's often-misunderstood bisexuality and curiosity about transsexualism with particular sensitivity, candor, and sophistication. A must-read for fans of rock and roll, New York City, or sex."―Ada Calhoun, author of St.Marks Is Dead

"DeCurtis' biography makes a case for Reed's influence that's as durable as black leather."―
San Francisco Chronicle

"Lou Reed was one of music's most brilliant and complicated figures-an explorer, a provocateur, and always a true artist.
With grace and grit, Anthony DeCurtis has delivered a revelatory and insightful chronicle of this most challenging rock & roll icon, and Lou Reed gets the biographer he deserves."― Alan Light, author of The Holy or the Broken

"A fascinating portrait. The unsurpassed voice of New York has found a worthy biographer."―
Philip Norman, New York TimesBestselling author of Paul McCartney andJohn Lennon

"Focusing on the music as much as the singer's often dissolute lifestyle and controversial opinions, the author makes a good case for Reed's lasting significance. ... A well-written, valuable document of a major figure in the American rock scene, putting a human face on a man who often seemed impossibly remote.
Essential reading for Reed fans and strongly recommended for anyone interested in rock as art."―Kirkus (Starred Review)

"Even though he counted Reed among his friends in the music business, DeCurtis pulls no punches; for example, he talks about Reed's early sexual promiscuity in highly critical terms and is equally frank in discussing Reed's drug and alcohol abuse. This is
a rough-edged, straight-talking biography of a man who became a legend as much for his offstage life as for his musical skills."―Booklist

Among the first ambitious posthumous biographies of the sexually fluid queer icon, who died in 2013 at the age of 71. DeCurtis strives to take Reed's deep flaws into account along with his transgressive genius."―W Magazine

"An absorbing read, full of new insights delivered masterfully by DeCurtis."―

A Life is comprehensive and sympathetic... For Mr. DeCurtis, Reed's biographical Rosebud was homosexual shame deriving from his upbringing. In the end, he didn't want to be the first gay rock star."―Wall Street Journal --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, where his work has appeared for more than thirty-five years, and a distinguished lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of In Other Words and Rocking My Life Away and co-wrote Clive Davis's autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life, a New York Times bestseller.

DeCurtis is a Grammy Award winner and has served as a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee for twenty-five years.He holds a PhD in American literature and lives in New York City.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N193CYU
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown and Company; Large Print edition (October 10, 2017)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 10, 2017
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 70158 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 508 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 276 ratings

About the author

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

I grew up in New York City, where I currently live, though for two separate five-year periods I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, and Atlanta, Georgia. I attended Hunter College and then Indiana University, where I earned a PhD in American literature. I am a Distinguished Lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania. I won a Grammy in the "Best Album Notes" category for my essay accompanying the Eric Clapton bos set, Crossroads. I live in New York City with my daughter Francesca.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
276 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2021
5 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2017
38 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on December 5, 2017
16 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2021
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2021
Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2018
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Glen Trew
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this Biography over many of the others available
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2019
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Scott Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars Reed it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 24, 2018
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Mark K
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Reed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2020
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
kevin bridger
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 6, 2021
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Dave & Gwen Grinnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyale book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2019
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Report an issue

Does this item contain inappropriate content?
Do you believe that this item violates a copyright?
Does this item contain quality or formatting issues?