… and no good book is ever entirely forgotten. Yr humble servant was recently notified that, in the supremely unlikely context of a review in The Gramophone of John Eliot Gardner’s new biography of Johann Sebastian Bach. Philip Clark had writ the following:
“When I say that in the pantheon of great music books, Music in the Castle of Heaven deserves a place next to Boogie Man, Charles Shaar Murray’s 2000 study of pioneering bluesman John Lee Hooker, this is praise of the highest order. Murray’s book represents a paradigm of investigative biography: musical nuts and bolts threaded through vividly recounted social history and philosophical muscle, written by a thinking writer who knows exactly how to operate and manipulate language. Sprawling over 500 pages, Murray is word – and comma – perfect.”
What can I say? Well, thanks to the wonderful people at Canongate Books, Boogie Man is still available from most good bookshops (though, to sell serious amounts of product units, you need to be stocked by the bad ones as well) and — if you absolutely must — from Amazon. Why not invest a few quid in finding out whether it’s really as good as Mr Clark says it is?
One more thing: ‘sprawling’????? Cheeky sod. How DARE he. I mean, like, HOW????