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Broken Music [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

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25. Januar 2005
Having been a songwriter most of my life, condensing my ideas and emotions into short rhyming couplets and setting them to music, I had never really considered writing a book. But upon arriving at the reflective age of fifty, I found myself drawn, for the first time, to write long passages that were as stimulating and intriguing to me as any songwriting I had ever done.

And so Broken Music began to take shape. It is a book about the early part of my life, from childhood through adolescence, right up to the eve of my success with the Police. It is a story very few people know.

I had no interest in writing a traditional autobiographical recitation of everything that’s ever happened to me. Instead I found myself drawn to exploring specific moments, certain people and relationships, and particular events which still resonate powerfully for me as I try to understand the child I was, and the man I became.

From the Hardcover edition.

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  • Taschenbuch: 348 Seiten
  • Verlag: Dial Press Trade Paperback; Auflage: Reprint (25. Januar 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0385338651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385338653
  • Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: 14 - 18 Jahre
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,9 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 170.740 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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“Sting’s gift for prose and reverence for language, nearly the equal of his musical gifts, shine on every page. Even when Broken Music addresses the quixotic life of an aspiring rock & roller, it reads like literature from a more rarified time when adults didn’t condescend to the vulgarities of pop culture.” —Rolling Stone

“You can’t fault his scrupulous candor.…A natural storyteller.” —London Sunday Times

“Sting mixes tenderness, sadness and humor in his narration, indulging readers with the same style of descriptive, pensive words that characterize his songs….Even readers unfamiliar with Sting’s music will find the book compelling.” —Associated Press “A beautifully styled, elegantly crafted and intelligent portrayal of Sting’s own life…[it] ranks on the highest shelf of literary debuts.” —Toronto Globe and Mail

“A first-rate memoir…Engrossing…With writing that is both witty and refreshingly self-deprecating, this book has pleasures that extend well beyond interest in the man’s music alone.” —People

“An engaging, lucidly written reminiscence…intellectually vigorous…elegant and thoughtful.” —Entertainment Weekly

From the Paperback edition.


"I pore over Beatles albums with the same obsessive and forensic scrutiny that I'd applied to Rodgers and Hammerstein, only now I have a guitar. I have an instrument that can reproduce the practical magic of the chord structures and the network of riffs that their songs are built on. And what songs, one after the other, album after album. I learn to play them all, confident that if I persevere, what I can't play immediately will yield its secret eventually. I will reapply the needle of the record player again and again to the bars of music that seem beyond my analysis, like a safecracker picking a lock, until the prize is mine. No school subject ever occupies as much of my time or energy. I'm not claiming that any kind of prescience about the future was at work here, but there was something in the driven and compulsive nature of this obsession that was unusual, something in the unconscious saying, 'This is how you escape.' 'This is how you escape.'" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Well-written, personal, subtle humor. 21. Dezember 2004
If you're looking for a meticulous biography dealing with endless descriptions and enumerations of negligibilities, then this book is not for you.

Instead, Mr. Sumner describes without prejudice certain events and episodes which shaped him and the course of his life. In an uncomplicated manner he lets the reader be a witness of very personal experiences and get to know him, his family, close friends and fellow musicians in a rather unspectacular way.

Apart from reading about a celebrity's life, you will read about good and bad times, about great experiences, great loss and most of all about a life that - up to a certain point at least (which occurs rather late in the book) - is not so much different from yours and mine.
And even if you're not exactly a fan of the music (very improbable, I know :) ), you will enjoy the subtle humor and very readable style of the writing.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Written with literary qualities ... 7. September 2005
"My live seems plaited by many ropes, like a musical improvisation, composed with the different voices of a J.S. Bach fugue. The "Basso Continuo" is my development as musician, the melody lines flying high above are my human relationships ... " Sting writes in the middle of his thick, idyllic autobiography. The development of his music levels: As a little child he sat under the piano of his mother. She introduced into the horizon of the British family Little Richard (Tutti Frutti) and Jerry Lee Lewis's with his "Great ball of fire". To identify the bass-lines, he slowed down the speeds of his Venyl-records. He lovingly describes the atmosphere in his hometown small music shop: "as Aladdin's magic cave". His first concert-impressions (Beatles, Jimi Hendrix etc.), his gigs in jazz and pop are mentioned and his work as a bass player in an orchestra-sink at Christmas musical performances. His relationships: At first we find the well comprehensible experiences in the dancing halls of the 60s (written with humour), then the adventures while seeking a woman for the whole life (written with blood), then we find the pondering over the complicated relation to his (divorced) parents (written with tears), but especially interesting for me, written with cynicism: the precision with which he represents the details of the subtle hostilities in that school staff, he was forced to work with as a young teacher, before he ventured the great jump in a pure musician career: "I felt like a fish in the aquarium, but one in the false cymbal. There is a intricately maintained truce, a hostility, only badly hidden by a false, polite tone. Did the headmistress smuggled me into the staff as a collaborator? I remained in guard, but one day the swindle would be exposed ... Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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4.0 von 5 Sternen schön! 24. Juni 2013
Von Cocosan
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
eine lesenswerte, "echte" biographie für sting fans! es hat mir viel spass gemacht, sie zu lesen und dazu die passende musik zu hören.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent 24. Februar 2009
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In my eyes, this book is unputdownable. I read it while listening to Stings' music - it was absolutely wonderful. For all those who are interested in the question: What is behind his texts and his person. He himself gives answers to everything.
Marvellous !
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  144 Rezensionen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Broken Music 27. Oktober 2003
Von D. Dunn - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
When Sting announced that he was writing a memoir, like most people we thought that the book would focus on the life of Sting the rock star and of Sting the celebrity. After all, he has sold close to 100 million albums around the world, fronted the most successful band of the early '80s, subsequently pursued a solo career that has outstripped the success of his Police days in album sales, has been a long-time supporter of good causes raising some $18 million for the Rainforest Foundation, and is generally recognised as one of the most famous people on the planet. It was a no-brainer.
Except that Sting is a self confessed risk taker.
So perhaps we should not be too surprised that his memoir, 'Broken Music', is a product of that risk taking. Instead of opting for the easy route and focusing on the years of fame and success that would have guaranteed wide publicity and huge sales, Sting decided to tell us a much more interesting story. 'Broken Music' is the story of a boy growing to adulthood in an industrial city in northern England; of his relationship with his parents; of first love, lost love, his love of music and where these experiences eventually took him.
As with most individuals, certain events from his childhood are not happy memories for Sting. The separation from his friends as a result of passing the "11-plus" exam that sent him to grammar school and the regular canings at school for trivial offences for example are still resented to this day. Like many families at that time, open displays of affection were uncommon in the Sumner household, and Sting is very open and honest in describing both the relationship between his parents and his relationships with each of them.
Sting had discovered music at an early age through the family's piano and his parent's record collection and later with a battered old guitar donated by an emigrating uncle. His mid-teens saw him learning guitar licks from records, playing music with his friends at the local YMCA and attending Newcastle's Club a Go-Go, where he witnessed influential appearances by the likes of the Graham Bond Organisation, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Jimi Hendrix.
'Broken Music' tells a fascinating tale about Sting's involvement with his early bands, Earthrise, The Phoenix Jazzmen, The Newcastle Big Band and Last Exit and of his time on a cruise ship with the Ronnie Pearson Trio. Relatively little has been known about this period, and to read it in Sting's own words is a real pleasure. The trials and tribulations of Last Exit - including their Spinal Tap propensity for losing guitar players in bizarre circumstances (to local pantomimes) - make fascinating reading, and fans of The Police will love the unique insight into the chance meetings that led to the formation of the band, and of the pivotal moments in the band's early days.
'Broken Music' (the title actually comes from a phrase his grandmother used to describe his early attempts at playing the piano) is a wonderful written memoir. In turns it is sad, wry, often very funny and always interesting. In retrospect it is no great surprise to find that someone with the ability to write lyrics as beautifully as Sting should be able to write so eloquently and descriptively in a longer form such as this. We found our attention gripped throughout its 300 plus pages and are firmly of the view that the risk of telling the story of Sting 'the man' rather than Sting 'the celebrity' was certainly one that paid off. It is a book that provides a genuinely insightful look at the events that shaped the person we hear on the radio and see performing for us on stage. If this is what Sting intended then 'Broken Music' is a complete success.
60 von 63 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This Singer Can WRITE.... 15. November 2003
Von Deborah A. Broeker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Having never been much of a fan of Sting's various bands(except for a few tunes from "Police"), I wasn't quite sure why I picked up this book to read, except that I had read a few reviews which made it clear it was NOT about his superstar exploits, which hold no interest for me. But if you want to learn about Sting, the boy, the man, the singer, AND the is an absolutely incredible piece of work. He takes you so intimately into his life growing up in a small town in Northern England and gives you an incredible portrait of someone who clearly remembers where he came from, and how that affected who he became...AWESOME reading! I'm going out today to buy one of his CD's too!
66 von 73 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Insight into the man and artist... 15. November 2003
Von C. Middleton - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
It seems to be human nature to bring down those we perceive as successful people. In Australia we have a term for this habit - The Tall Poppy Syndrome. If the plant is seen to be towering over the rest of the crop, our first inclination is to cut its head off, bringing it down to an acceptable level along with the rest of us. The subject and author of this excellent biography is one of the most successful artists in the last twenty years. And its no surprise that the man has experienced some heavy criticism over this time, and the fiercest attempted decapitations have come from Sting's home ground, the British tabloids. Sting is an accomplished and award winning musician, lyricist, songwriter, poet, actor and a sincere environmental activist. He has more money than he knows what to do with, (somewhere in the vicinity of $ 200 million) and now at the crest of a new album, (Sacred Love) he publishes an autobiography, a memoir, about his childhood and musical journey to international stardom. Considering this man's incredible success, I went into the reading with a hint of trepidation, my tall poppy scythe firm in hand - would this memoir be a gloating exercise, another `success story' with the usual tired anecdotes and prosaic self-deprecating questions - "Why me? I'm just a regular guy like the rest of you." Let me just say that this biography was an enormous surprise and one exceptional read.
The narrative begins with Sting's controversial experience in South America, where he ingested an ancient medicine, used predominately by a Christian syncretic group, known as Ayahuasca. He describes this experience in atmospheric detail and the various visions he witnessed during the religious ceremony. Sting's prose is quite accomplished throughout the book. For example, the actual scene from his religious experience:
"The entire room seems to be gripped in this visceral struggle. Some writhe in their seats, others have clearly capitulated, open-mouthed and corpselike, while others seem calm and transfixed as if by beatific visions. Then, as a bizarre counterpoint to the call of the thunder, the retching begins." (P.9)
This incredible experience irrevocably changed the man, and by his own account, he really hasn't viewed the world in the same way since. From this religious experience in the jungles of Brazil, he invites us to take part in a reflective journey about his childhood and his discovery of music. There is an irrefutable honesty in this book. His feelings about his friends, colleagues, lovers, parents and his response to the various deaths of loved ones, was at once moving and acutely sensitive without a hint of sentimentality.
This is a book that all Sting and Police fans should read, as it reveals insights into the man and the artist in an honest, elegant and entertaining manner. A first-rate memoir.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen WONDERFUL BOOK 2. November 2003
Von Carlos - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Incredible as it seems, maybe this could be a first in rock: A memoir that is closer to Paul Auster or Roddy Doyle than to a book about a celebrity.
The prose is exquisite (some may say that too high brow), like the lirics of his songs; the emotion genuine and touching; the cadence, well, it reads like a family saga; respectful to all the persons involved, seldom seen in the pop world, showing integrity above all, not cheap gossip or yellow pages here.
26 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent songwriter... who should keep his day job. 30. Juli 2004
Von Andrew Rothman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I hold Sting in the highest regard, having owned every Police album, every Sting solo effort (minus the most recent and most bland one). Therefore, it was with great anticipation that I dove into his memoirs, hoping to learn more about what makes him tick and where he draws inspiration from. All I learned was that he overcame both his difficult childhood, and apparently his editor.

"Broken Music" focuses largely on Sting's relationship with his parents and first wife, and how they were shaped and overshadowed by his ambition and ego. Unfortunately, the entire style of the book is overshadowed by his ambition and ego as well. The grand poetic metaphors, literary namedropping, and oddball adjectives (who uses the word 'obsidian'?) that make Sting's songs so unique are, frankly, out of place in a heartfelt autobiography. They lend an amatuerish tinge to the book - a feeling that the author has something to prove about his knowledge of history, English, and the world in general. His continual repetition of his favorite words, and his seasick-like wobbling from past to present tense, gets in the way of what might have otherwise been a decent story. Furthermore, the level of astonishing detail he provides about events that happened to him several decades ago leads the reader to wonder how much has been embellished beyond reality.

The story itself, when you can dig it out from under the overbearing wordiness of the author, has as many merits as it has gaping holes. Sting seems to be a fan of foreshadowing, telling us that Stewart Copeland is going to be a major force in his life, or that his marriage with Frances is doomed, or that his highschool sweetheart Deborah is going to die. But then he never connects with the punch. Stewart is introduced as a side character in the last few chapters (Andy Summers is practically a non-entity), the marriage to Frances is just fine at the end of one chapter and then it has magically dissolved and he's suddenly married to Trudie at the start of the next chapter, and Deborah's death is neither explained nor expounded on for any importance.

Overall, I'd have to say that, while not so bad that I couldn't finish it, this book is not likely to be of interest to anyone but Sting's fans. It simply doesn't stand on its own as a work of literature or a good piece of storytelling, and leaves the reader alternately wanting more, or totally confused. Sting, you're a philanthropist, an actor, a songwriter, a musician, a cultural icon... but you are no writer.
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