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A Year With Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno's Diary Paperback – July 25, 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st edition (July 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571179959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571179954
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,154,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is just a review written by a gearhead scientist with no background in art and literature, so be forewarned that I am not an expert on literature. I thought I would write this just in case anyone out there is looking for a change of pace, no matter your musical tastes or political views.
Hey -- give this book a shot. It's worth it. I read this book a little at a time over a few months. I still have it sitting around as a kind of jump-starter . . . it inspires me and makes me feel more positive.
I bought this book because it sounded intriguing and because some Amazon reviewers gave it a thumbs up. Plus, I was a fan of Brian Eno's 70's music in the 80's. If he was really popular back then, I would not have known it from the teenagers around me. So here I was, 17 years old and hearing "No One Receiving" and "Baby's On Fire" for the first time and my little teeny brain was turned inside-out. And then, like the guy who finally figures out how to view a Magic Eye picture, I started seeing Eno everywhere I looked: Talking Heads, U2, even the background music for a Nike commercial.
This guy does a little of everything. No, make that "a little of everything that I don't understand." Oblique strategies, Music for Airports, you name it. It's so ironic that this guy has done everything from Roxy Music to ambient to producing pop bands -- he's always changing, at the cutting edge, exploring -- and yet I was struck by just one phase of his career. ( I bought several of those Laraaji-type records in college -- it didn't swing for me.) So, I guess that's the big reason I liked this book . . . I admire this man of many talents, tastes, and wide-ranging interests.
Brian Eno may just be everything that I am not.
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Format: Paperback
"I have a wonderful life", Brian Eno remarks at the beginning of this stocky little book. It is not an admission that you will get from many artists, and by the end, I could not help feeling more than a little envious of the sheer diversity of activities that fill Eno's life. This very readable diary is also an insight into how one so influential can get bogged down by the sheer volume of work and commissions that regularly come his way.
This book is both a diary of Eno's life in 1995 - at once remarkably candid and playful (he has an obsession with the female bottom which he draws to our attention), and a series of essays and short stories. The former Roxy Music member is not afraid to name-drop (saunas with Bjork, albums with David Bowie and U2, works in progress with Paul McCartney...), but this is a pleasant contrast to the sometimes earnest but always interesting extended pieces which make up the "appendices" of the title, and are laid out at the end of the book.
A very worthwhile and enjoyable read, particularly for those of us who were unaware of who Brian Eno was - it is a book which I regularly dip into and will continue to do so.
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Format: Paperback
This is a published version of Brian Eno's diary that he kept throughout 1995, starting on January 1 and ending on December 31. He has an entry for almost every day, and nearly all of them are inspired, funny, and observant. He is also interminably crabby in a sort of humorous way.

His writings detail, among other things, his many musical projects, traveling (to Egypt and New York City and Mostar, to name a few places), hanging out with famous (and not-so-famous) people as varied as U2 and Pavarotti, faxing David Bowie, playing with his two little girls Darla and Irial, conversing with his wife (also his manager), avoiding Alan Yentob, e-mailing Stewart Brand, and involving himself in a huge number of other things that are too numerous to mention in one sentence. It is all inspirational, sometimes trashy, always fascinating.

This isn't the sort of book most people would read from start to finish (even though I have done so several times). I would guess most jump around. If you suffer from symptoms of the so-called Attention Deficit Disorder, this book can become your operation manual.

I have personally given "A Year With Swollen Appendices" to two different friends as a gift. As a writer myself, I have used the book as something to clear my pipes when I'm suffering from writer's block. The man is really that creative.

This best use of this brilliant little book is to put it somewhere in your home where people can pick it up and flip through it for a few minutes...
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Format: Paperback
An fascinating insight into the mind of one of pop music's most creatively influential movers and shakers - follow the inner workings of Eno's mind as he wrestles with producing Bowie and James, criticising the Turner Art Prize, collaborating with U2, clowning with his infant daughters, lusting after pssing women, making bread at 3am, and pondering humanitarian catastrophies in the Balkans as he pours time, tears and creative energies into his War Child charity work... if you work in the music business and find this book dull , email me and I'll buy it off you for the same price you paid - it's that good. It should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in contemporary music and the arts - candid, sad, funny, revealing, opinionated, flawed... in short, human. Brian Eno's perceived public image is a million miles removed from the private and creative reality and this book goes some way towards redressing the balance for anyone interested in his work. The one-liners are priceless and acute ("An arrangement is when somebody stops playing"). The swollen appendages are a bit overblown and dull, but the diary is so densely written and full of insights that it repays frequent re-reading.
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