- Taschenbuch: 512 Seiten
- Verlag: Delta; Auflage: Reprint (9. Februar 1999)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0385333854
- ISBN-13: 978-0385333856
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,5 x 2,8 x 23,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 185.046 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Woody Guthrie: A Life (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 9. Februar 1999
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Woody Guthrie: a Life Perhaps now best known as an acclaimed (and bestselling) author of fiction, Joe Klein has for nearly three decades been one of contemporary journalism's premiere reporters. In "Woody Guthrie: A Life", Klein's signature style of insightful narrative nonfiction brings to life a vivid chapter in the history of American culture.In 1998, the Woody Guthrie Foundation made public for the first time more ... Full description
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I was getting my car fixed one day, waiting for the mechanics to finish, while reading this book in their lobby. Then I got to the part near the end where Klein describes Woody's stay in the hospital as he got sicker and sicker from Huntington's disease. The lobby was littered with folks waiting just like me and I read those passages, then my eyes started to swell and tear up. "Oh lord," I thought. "I'm gonna lose it."
I set the book down and quickly ran into the bathroom where I had a good private sob. I haven't cried like that in years. The last book that did it to me was Cormac McCarthy's "The Road."
Woody was such a blast to read about. Every time I picked up the book it was like hanging out with a friend. It was like, "hey I wonder what Woody's up to?" Then you pick up the book and find out. Quite a guy. Quite a life! A life full of high highs, and low lows. Highly recommended. There is a lot of humanity in this book. I'll probably pick it up again in the future when I want to visit my friend Woody once again.
As an adult he moved to Calif. and was horrified by
how the migrant Okies were treated in the fields. He
became a communist originally because of this.
Later he really started to believe in what they stood
for. I always thought Woody was a hobo and never
worked but that is not true.
He had a band, he drew cartoons, he had a radio
show and he wrote news paper articles. He was in
the merchant marines(2x) and the army. Woody
was such a simple person that some thought him
mentally slow at times.
He would marry 3 times and had 8 children but he
was never good at family life.
In his later years he knew that he was starting to
get the same disease that his mother had. It would
eventually kill him.
Was Woody a good man ?...Iam not sure....he
never took care of his loved ones and would
disappear from their lives for long periods of time.
Was he a musical genius...YES.
He became a folk hero at a time when he was to
sick to be able to enjoy it.
I must make a comment on the author--JOE KLEIN
....what a great job he did. This is a fine piece of
work. He can be proud.
Woody died 10/3/1967. I was 18yrs old then--I knew
who he was because of Bob Dylan & he was a proud
Okie.....Iam also a proud Okie.
I loved reading this book, especially the first half. The only comment I'd make would be in the lackluster editing of the third hundred pages, in which author Klein included many letters between Guthrie and his wife. It would have better served the book to NOT include so much of that material. A lot of the letters were private correspondance between husband and wife. I don't need to know that much about Guthrie's love for his own penis. Later in the book Klein fairly skips over Guthrie being sent to jail on pornography charges. THOSE letters should have been included in "A Life"'s text. Just a small reservation.
Well worth the time. The first 200 pages are about as good as bios get.
Woody Guthrie hit the road as a teenager, and hardly ever settled down, anywhere, thereafter. He was the genuine article, a wandering minstrel chronicling his living experience of the Dust Bowl, the Depression and World War, and all the travails of that time in our nation's history. We see Guthrie's political awakening; and once awakened, he never looked back, never compromised his grass-roots principles, never sold out. How does a person stay that pure when there's money to be made from his talent and popularity, and his children are living in poverty? By being completely uninterested in money--Woody Guthrie seemed to view it as something evil--and by being unconcerned with the way other people see him.
The book is filled with sad and funny anecdotes about Guthrie's uncouth behavior and unwashed presence, causing dear friends and admirers (or their wives) to turn him out of their homes. He was clearly more at home *without* a home, riding the rails with hoboes, sleeping on people's couches, even enjoying the times (several) he spent in jail, where he felt right at home and made friends with inmates and guards alike. In one incident, when he was released just before Christmas, he was irate because he had promised to give a performance there and insisted on returning to sing for the inmates. Another telling anecdote: he was invited to dinner at a friend's home and insisted on eating his dinner standing at the kitchen sink. He just didn't conform to the norms of civilization, yet he seems to have had the most generous heart in the world.
Even when his catastrophic illness forced him to live most of the time in mental hospitals, his overriding interest was the plight of his fellow patients, whose disturbances he observed with compassion.
We read the story knowing all through what the outcome will be; and as the Huntington's chorea takes over more and more of his faculties, we grieve along with those who lived through it with him. A profound question, nicely articulated by the author, is how much of Woody Guthrie's art and lifestyle was shaped by the disease: "It was impossible to say where the disease left off and Woody began." Many of the symptoms coincide with Woody's own quirky rhyming and verbal cadences, his razor-sharp cleverness and silly excesses and uninhibited social behavior, his inability to stay in one place.
So as I was finishing the book, I looked up the music of Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Leadbelly, and the other folk and blues artists whose stories are told here, and listening to them, I now recognize the difference between "authentic" and "commercial" folk music. It may be that the Kingston Trio and other groups popularized Guthrie's songs, but we wouldn't even know their names had they not had this material to work with. The original balladeers' music is funky, flawed (which adds to its charm), recorded with primitive equipment and often hard to make out, but it's exquisite. It's right there right then. Try listening to "Hobo's Lullaby" without being moved to tears. Or, listen to the music, then read the book, and then listen to the music again right afterward. You'll never hear it the same way again.
Woody Guthrie was complex but simple: kindly and compassionate, childlike and innocent, crude and crazy and bawdy, brilliant, uncivilized, pure, and completely fearless.