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STEVE PERRY - A singer's journey Paperback – September 4, 2006
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Ms. Cucu...this is a mega star you wrote about. Seriously...May I offer some suggestions and please take all of the reviews presented here to HEART and REDO this book. I am sure that your next effort will be FAR BETTER than this one.
Here's one to start: get a real publisher. You used an online publisher for what should have been a major piece of work. Not good at all. I am not familiar with their packages (you have to download the free e-guide in order to learn more--red flag), but whatever they offered wasn't good enough. Their proof reading wasn't up to snuff and they gave you no direction at all.
Let's start with the superficial: The cover art and the title. A blurry photo and unimaginative title. I understand that your focus was Steve Perry and his journey of being a singer, but it is lackluster. It doesn't sell any sizzle at all. The only justification to buy this book was the subject. That's it. Then the quality of the paper that was used and the pictures (abstract paintings I assume) that someone used to divide the chapters was both uninspiring and horrible. Oh, sorry for such as harsh word...but it's true. Then the flow of the book was choppy and inconsistent. This book should have been written with much thicker and meatier prose. Not flowery, but richer and more meaningful. I know that Steve, for the most part, is at times quite direct and uses his music to be direct, but a lot of his music has underlying meaning because the group effort (Journey) had many different voices and experiences in it and his solo pieces had many experiences in it from different periods of his life and the lives of others he was directly (or indirectly) involved with. But that is not a reason for your writing to be so simple and at the same time unclear. There were times in your paragraphs that I felt that there could have been more (and I will edit this review in the near future so that others can see what I am talking about), but it was a sentence here, a phrase here, a word or two there. Not enough to go on.
I was pleased that you had fans' thoughts in your book and while that was a nice touch (he loves his fan), it doesn't make me want to take the book seriously. But what would have been better if you would have went out and done some more leg work and got actual industry people to comment and interview. Or some of his family. His grandmother, grandfather (on both sides), mother and father are no longer with us, but what about his aunts, cousins and other relatives (both mother and father's side). What about some insight into Portuguese culture and the island of Pico? Did you ever go there and talk to any of his remaining family there? Or are they all in CA? Are they anywhere else in the states? Did you seek out his daughter or grandchildren? What about his former elementary, High School or College professors? What about the former members of bands he was with? What about his ex-flames? Where were the anecdotes of life on the road? You have an earnest desire to want to pay homage, but it just ends up sounding corny. There is no real investigative reporting here...no real journalism.
Putting pictures in the back of the book: the choice of them was uninspiring again and they were in black and white?!? And in the back??? Huh? We fans have seen these already. What about some that we haven't seen? Why weren't they in color? Even the quality of the paper was a bad choice. (Didn't I say that already?) And there was no back story on them. They were just there to be there. In other words, the book had no style. All we readers heard was you gushing. Sorry, Ms. Cucu, not a serious endeavor, but a cute report.
There are many other things that can or need to be said, but I don't have all day. I will have to come back to it later. But, I can say that this book was NOT given the time to mature and develop. Sometimes the need to move is right then and there, but with this, it needed time and space to grow. It felt and read "HURRY!" It was rushed and therefore underdeveloped. There were times when you didn't rush, which was good, but then it sped up again so fast that it jumped all over the place chronologically. Sigh.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do this over. This gentleman and by extension, Journey, deserves better. I look forward to your updated version.
A lot that's included are well known facts but, in addition, I felt the book gave you a rare glimpse inside of the man himself. What motivated him to push himself into becoming the artist he is. His compassion, sensitivity, love of family, work ethic, drive and determination and the yearning to express himself through his music all combined to create the success and legend known as Steve Perry.
His talents as a singer, songwriter and producer are undeniable, however, I'm left with the feeling that he would be a success at whatever he set out to do.
A very enjoyable read.