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Customer Review

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story, Terribly Written Book, August 23, 2008
This review is from: Great Balls of Fire: The Uncensored Story of Jerry Lee Lewis (Paperback)
Jerry Lee Lewis is a fascinating man, given the many dramatic events of his life: a backwoods Louisiana boy catapulted to rock 'n roll fame, who deep down always believed that rock 'n roll was evil and that he was leading himself and his fans to the devil; a restless man who went through multiple marraiges starting in his teens, then fell from public grace and success by marrying the love of his life, his 13-year old cousin Myra; later their son drowned and their rocky marraige fell apart. A tell-all biography from Myra's perspective could have made a great book, but this writer, Murray Silver, mangles her story.

At times it is unclear who's perspective the story is being told from: Myra doesn't even show up until well into the book, as it tries to tell Jerry Lee's early story, but the book ends at their divorce. Like a bad children's biography, the book is filled with made-up assumptions and thoughts that the writer could not have been privvy to. Silver makes Jerry Lee and Myra, who were uneducated yet passionate and conflicted people, sound imbecilic at times. He also glosses over important personal events (such as Myra's rape by another man before she got involved with Jerry, Jerry and Myra's summer romance before they got married, and the drowning death of their son), while devoting page after plodding page to such boring events as Jerry getting unfairly treated by unscrupulous agents who took advantage of his naivite.

So judge for yourself. If you really want to know the details of Myra and Jerry's story, you'll find a lot of them here, but the terrible writing keeps it from touching you, and distorts the story because, again, the writer's constant and inappropriate use of dialect makes everyone involved sound fairly stupid. There is one exception: when Myra describes Jerry Lee's reaction to the birth of his first daughter (born after his son drowned). Jerry Lee at first wouldn't hold or interact with her, but after two weeks his heart melted, he held and cared for her all the time he was home, even let the baby sleep in their bed and called his daughter not by her name but "my heart". It is a pity more of the events in the book weren't rendered with this kind of simplicity and compassion. Then we might have been brought closer to the fascinating story of the Killer and the only woman he really loved.
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Initial post: Dec 31, 2012, 7:29:29 PM PST
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