Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bowie's works over Bowie himself

Well, he's not there yet, but Bowie is just about on his way back to Europe in Bowie in Berlin.

As I read onward I'm still distracted by the book's physical form. The pages are just too chunky and stiff for their own good.

As per the book's content over the last 20 pages, Seabrook has varied it greatly. It's all centered around Bowie, of course, but it orbits him rather than focuses on him.

In the past when I've read books about musicians (most notably The Real Frank Zappa Book) there have been anecdotes and name drops galore. But what I'm finding to be unique to Seabrook is an approach that focuses less than on the musician himself and more on his creative endeavours.

Of course, the book is much less a biography than a book about such endeavours, but it's still bothersome how ephemeral Bowie seems to it all. Seabrook foregrounds his works, generally giving a paragraph or two of information about them, but has Bowie himself relegated to the background.

With the manifold biographies of the music icon out, Seabrook's understanding is undoubtedly that his readers will have already read at least a few of them. Having read none of them, however, I can't help but feel like his nods and winks to major moments in Bowie's career are just as substantial as said gestures.

But, things have left Station to Station and the book's nearly up to Bowie's return to Europe. And if Seabrook's tendencies to concentrate on Bowie's creative output rather than the man himself is any indication, the attention that Seabrook gives to the Berlin Trilogy will be riveting. Once that's finally reached.

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