Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I absently picked a novel from a second hand book stall thinking it was written by Sue Grafton, only to realize when I was a few pages into the book that it was a biography by Sue Crawford of a heavy metal rock star called Ozzy Osbourne. I clearly remember teasing my daughter and her friend for suggesting I listen to PinkFloyd by imitating the yelling and the distorted super fast guitar. On the blurb, Q magazine calls the book unputdownable and I actually found it to be so.
The tone of the biography is very unemotional and the language is deceptively simple and readable.Am sure that to achieve this level of simplicity, the writer must have written and rewritten till she used the minimum number of words to give us the picture of the bad boy in a supposedly objective manner.This she manages by keeping the tone matter of fact and the content a matter of facts too. (The books unputdownableness may also be due to the fact that goodie goodie first benchers like me are fascinated by people who let go of their lives in flamboyant depravity through substance abuse)
. The writer's sympathy for the star is obvious as she plays down some appalling parts of his life; like the time he returns to his farmhouse from a tour, feeling very tired and his wife calls him to feed the chickens and he comes down with a gun and shoots them down and is finally stopped by a neighbour in the process of chasing the last one around the house.Or his alcoholic excesses when he shoots 17 cats, which were his pets; The author mentions these incidents once and has no comments to follow up. Of course her tone shows some emotion when he almost strangles his second wife, the one who revives his career and helps him make a fortune, to death. But at the same time she spends half a page describing how he shed tears of joy at his baby daughter born to his second wife. Clearly the author is subtly humanizing the singer.She sounds like a female family member from Madurai, who portrays the husband or son with fondness; throwing a golden glow on their originally drab human skins. She also says repeatedly that most of the stunts by the singer were just for the public and he was not so crazy as he showed himself to be. Wonder why she is partial to him?
But I really like the book a lot, coz overall, it makes interesting reading. May be the fact that it was first book I read after I started wearing reading glasses and I realized how comfortable it was to read with them helped me appreciate the book. I also listened to this guy on you tube. He sings very well.