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The Beautiful Ones

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Author: Prince

Published: October 29th 2019 by Spiegel & Grau/Random House, Inc.

Format: Hardcover , First Edition (U.S.) , 280 pages

Isbn: 9780399589652

Language: English


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From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death. Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musician From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death. Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musicians in history. He was also a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of “Uptown” to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of “Paisley Park.” But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, the greatest pop star of his era. The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince—a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is composed of the memoir he was writing before his tragic death, pages that brings us into Prince’s childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us into Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album released, through a scrapbook of Prince’s writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince’s evolution through candid images that take us up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book’s fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain—the final stage in Prince’s self-creation, as he retells the autobiography we’ve seen in the first three parts as a heroic journey. The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his short but profound collaboration with Prince in his final months—a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated—and annotations that provide context to each of the book’s images. This work is not just a tribute to Prince, but an original and energizing literary work, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image, his undying gift to the world.

30 review for The Beautiful Ones

  1. 4 out of 5

    Casey Rain

    Prince's unfinished memoir is captured here, in The Beautiful Ones, out now on Penguin Random House. It’s a stunning package, but a difficult proposition. It’s not his memoir. It’s partly that. It’s not a photo book, but it’s partly that. And it’s not a no-hold-barred insight into the man himself, although again — it’s partly that. What we have here is a package created with struggles, but with love. What he wrote of his memoir, combined with unseen photos, lyric sheets, notes, and the original Prince's unfinished memoir is captured here, in The Beautiful Ones, out now on Penguin Random House. It’s a stunning package, but a difficult proposition. It’s not his memoir. It’s partly that. It’s not a photo book, but it’s partly that. And it’s not a no-hold-barred insight into the man himself, although again — it’s partly that. What we have here is a package created with struggles, but with love. What he wrote of his memoir, combined with unseen photos, lyric sheets, notes, and the original handwritten treatment for the movie Purple Rain. Prince’s memoir, and the story of how it came about, told by editor Dan Piepenbring, are heartfelt, real words that should be read with care and understanding, and thus it almost doesn’t matter that this book is unconventional. Prince was unconventional. Prince defied normal concepts of time and music. And in this book, we get just enough of a peek behind the purple curtain to leave his mystery intact. Perhaps, in a way, that’s what he would have wanted from this book. Prince’s insights into power, ownership, blackness, music industry conglomerates, and his own troubled childhood are enough for us to understand some of the key tenets of who he really was. And as for the rest? Well — it already exists, in the seemingly endless, iconic, and diverse catalog of music that he released in his 57 years on this planet. And with all the unreleased music in his legendary vault, we’ll still be hearing his story play out for many years to come.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jay Gabler

    It's impossible to know what Prince would have made of the book just published under his byline, and it's probably best not to speculate...but you have to imagine he'd be happy to feel the weight of it. Both literally and figuratively, it's a heavy book, its 280 pages printed on substantial stock and bound between purple covers with a gold dust jacket. The Beautiful Ones is one of the signal publishing events of 2019, and it's also one of the most poignant. In the last months, indeed the very las It's impossible to know what Prince would have made of the book just published under his byline, and it's probably best not to speculate...but you have to imagine he'd be happy to feel the weight of it. Both literally and figuratively, it's a heavy book, its 280 pages printed on substantial stock and bound between purple covers with a gold dust jacket. The Beautiful Ones is one of the signal publishing events of 2019, and it's also one of the most poignant. In the last months, indeed the very last days, of his too-short life Prince was actively working on a book project that was, even by the iconic musician's own high standards, ambitious. "Can we write a book that solves racism?" he asked his collaborator Dan Piepenbring. Of course Prince didn't actually think he was about to solve racism with a single book — he didn't even wait for Piepenbring to venture an answer before peppering him with another question — but he was certainly thinking about his memoir as an opportunity to advance high-level conversations around race, music, and creativity. For all its author's vast vision, the book is most crucial in the way it brings Prince down to earth. I reviewed The Beautiful Ones for The Current.

  3. 4 out of 5

    LeeTravelGoddess

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo, this book has THEEEE longest introduction EVER, in the whole world... how selfish Dan, this story isn’t about you! I got the audiobook cause I thought it was going down but NOPE. Esperanza Spalding read the book and while I THOROUGHLY enjoy her music, she can’t read a damn thing to me. Sorry E 😬. This book is pieced together as if held together by gorilla glue, WHEW LORD! Three people read the 3 hour audiobook. THREE PEOPLE, THREE HOURS, SAME MAN, ONE BOOK... chiiiii Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo, this book has THEEEE longest introduction EVER, in the whole world... how selfish Dan, this story isn’t about you! I got the audiobook cause I thought it was going down but NOPE. Esperanza Spalding read the book and while I THOROUGHLY enjoy her music, she can’t read a damn thing to me. Sorry E 😬. This book is pieced together as if held together by gorilla glue, WHEW LORD! Three people read the 3 hour audiobook. THREE PEOPLE, THREE HOURS, SAME MAN, ONE BOOK... chiiiiiiiiiilllllleee BYE! And Dan takes up 1:46:00 of it, HA! Prince would not have wanted this fractured work to be put out in his name. If you want a complete, whole, finished, wonderfully thought through memoir... go read Morris Day’s “On Time” or even Mayte’s “The Most Beautiful” she loved Prince, she put her heart and soul into that book. Overall, MEH... it’s just a struggle for me, a fan of Prince, to believe that this or even a fraction of this to be a reflection of Prince— maybe I don’t understand it 🤷🏽‍♀️. Maybe cut out Dan’s recount... it’s unnecessary because Prince is no longer here to combat or edit?? Or maybe he should have put it at the end of the book & don’t call it an introduction cause two hours, my guy, is NOT an intro but an endless epitaph... but I’m no writer— also, there are TONS of Prince celebrity fans, have them say something about him between each chapter, COMPLETE THE BOOK BEFORE YOU DROP IT TO GET PAID. The back and forth of voices REALLY sucked; I know Prince was a Gemini but DAMN! Y’all really DID TEW MUCH 😡. I’m returning it. YIKES!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)

    ”Those considered “different” R the ones most interesting 2 us.” 5 stars. Such a bittersweet read. I’ve been anticipating this book since it’s announcement years ago when Prince was still alive. Reading it now, with him no longer here and this being unfinished made it so somber. I can’t even imagine what all he would’ve done with this book but for what we got it was still a really beautiful (no pun intended) read. I loved that there were a lot of notes and letters in his handwriting and all o ”Those considered “different” R the ones most interesting 2 us.” 5 stars. Such a bittersweet read. I’ve been anticipating this book since it’s announcement years ago when Prince was still alive. Reading it now, with him no longer here and this being unfinished made it so somber. I can’t even imagine what all he would’ve done with this book but for what we got it was still a really beautiful (no pun intended) read. I loved that there were a lot of notes and letters in his handwriting and all of the personal family photos were a great addition. I already look forward to reading it again and picking up a little things I might’ve missed the first time around. If you are a fan of Prince, of course I recommend this book 1000%, just don’t listen to his first album For You while doing so like I did because you will shed tears. Trust me I know. There will never be another Prince so seeing just a little bit of a more personal side to him and hear his story in his own words was a gift. This was well worth the wait.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    2.5 stars This is a mish-mash of material that could have been an excellent book if Prince had lived to complete it. The first 57 percent of the book is an introduction by Dan Piepenbring, the writer Prince chose to collaborate with him on the autobiography. Dan tells of his very brief association with Prince lasting only a few months. He explains how he got the job, the time he spent getting to know Prince as they began work on the book, and what happened after Prince died. The intro is followed 2.5 stars This is a mish-mash of material that could have been an excellent book if Prince had lived to complete it. The first 57 percent of the book is an introduction by Dan Piepenbring, the writer Prince chose to collaborate with him on the autobiography. Dan tells of his very brief association with Prince lasting only a few months. He explains how he got the job, the time he spent getting to know Prince as they began work on the book, and what happened after Prince died. The intro is followed by a very brief section in Prince's words that he wrote in longhand about his early life. It's interesting and lyrical, and gives you a glimpse of what the book might have been. The rest of the book is just a bunch of long quotes from magazine and television interviews Prince had done over the years, and a story treatment he wrote for a film. It's worth a look if you loved Prince. Just start with low expectations. I think Prince would have been least best pleased with this publication. It does have a lot of fun photos from his early life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ka’leneReads

    So unfortunate for us Prince did not get to C this thru....Memories R Good

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nandi Crawford

    I loved Prince from the get go, but facts being facts, it's an interesting yet unfinished work.I'm not discounting the book, but it speaks of his life from birth to him writing the first draft of Purple Rain. Mostly pictures, some writing and his draft which was so good, it make you wish he either started sooner or live long enough to finish. Still, many thanks to those who brought it to this. Thank you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    La Vida Rose

    I NEED MORE! This book contains 26-pages that Prince wrote intended for his memoir. It's just not enough. The rest of the book features handwritten song lyrics from some of his early songs in the 70s and 80s and quotes from magazine interviews he did and lots of photos; many of them never-before-seen from the 70s and early 80s. How badly I wish he was able to finish this as it started off so beautifully. It was a tribute to his parents. I absolutely loved the anecdotal stories he told of his you I NEED MORE! This book contains 26-pages that Prince wrote intended for his memoir. It's just not enough. The rest of the book features handwritten song lyrics from some of his early songs in the 70s and 80s and quotes from magazine interviews he did and lots of photos; many of them never-before-seen from the 70s and early 80s. How badly I wish he was able to finish this as it started off so beautifully. It was a tribute to his parents. I absolutely loved the anecdotal stories he told of his youth. He was everything you'd expect someone like Prince to be as a boy and young man: the smartest person in the room. He seemingly remained so for the duration of his life. Had he lived to complete it, this book would have been quite a labor of love for him. I truly believe that. Towards the end of his life, he began to be very introspective and this was very apparent during his last tour, Piano & A Microphone. He reflected a lot on his life and the people that came in and out of it over the years. But mostly, I think the purpose of this memoir was to set the record straight about who he was and everything that influenced this, beginning with his parents. I think this is especially true of his father. Both of his parents played a profoundly important role in his life and in a positive way. I think people might be surprised by that because what many fans think is that his family life was similar to the one depicted in the movie "Purple Rain". Anyway, as a lifelong fan of Prince (starting at age 7), I appreciate even getting a little bit of his story from his own words. This was an emotional read for me because it signaled a sort of final goodbye. It's been over 3 years now since his death and I'm honestly still not over it. I don't think I'll ever be, but in a way, I feel like this memoir sort of helped with a bit of closure, although it wasn't finished. No matter what though, the music and spirit of Prince will be around forever. I'm confident about that. He was indeed an enigma and I'm so grateful I got to live in his lifetime and got to see him perform live a few times. I can still remember thinking during the last time I saw him perform in 2015 that I couldn't believe we were in the same room, breathing the same air, at the same time haha I'm such a Prince stan and I'll forever remain one. I experienced the funk and it will live within me until I take my last breath. Love you, P! Read this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Book Reviews By Tara

    This book is not a memoir written by Prince! This is a biography written by Dan Piepenbring. I am highly disappointed with this book. The information within these pages were not approved by, nor provided by Prince for the purpose of producing this book. A memoir is a book written by an individual who has chosen to share the details of his or her life. Prince did not write these details to be published in this way. The pictures and paraphernalia in the book was acquired after his death. So withou This book is not a memoir written by Prince! This is a biography written by Dan Piepenbring. I am highly disappointed with this book. The information within these pages were not approved by, nor provided by Prince for the purpose of producing this book. A memoir is a book written by an individual who has chosen to share the details of his or her life. Prince did not write these details to be published in this way. The pictures and paraphernalia in the book was acquired after his death. So without his permission how could this be his memoir? Inquiring minds want to know🧐! There is so much in this book that I am bothered by. Beginning with the cover picture. As a true Prince fan I am 100% sure Prince would not have chosen that picture for his book cover. Next, there are way too many blank pages. Also, the photos and photo details are in two separate places. A description of each photo can be found in the back of the book, instead of being placed on the same page as the picture🤦🏽‍♀️. Furthermore, the first 47 pages of the book is written by someone other than Prince. And the list goes on & on. When I first heard Prince’s memoir would be released I was beyond happy. But then, within the first 80 pages I knew this was not what Prince had intended for his book. This is not Prince’s vision. Clearly Prince did not leave behind enough content to adequately write this book. Therefore, the publisher did whatever they could to stretch this book out. As a Prince fan I am very unhappy with what I have read. My displeasure is mainly because Prince is named author of the book. But that is not true. I believe the publisher should call this book what it is...a biography! Then maybe I will be able to appreciate it’s content.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Gibbons

    You can't knock stars off it for being incomplete. What I, for one, would give for it to possibly have been completed. It means he would still be here for us.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bon Tom

    It's enjoyable for how much (or little) there is. Too bad it never got to completion the way it deserved. I could listen to Prince's musings about music day and night.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is not a memoir. It should have been a feature story in Rolling Stone or any number of literary journals. The sketches that are actually written by Prince are fleeting, still mostly unformed, but engaging and worth reading because of the singularity of the talent. Dan Piepenbring's introduction (half the book, really) is illuminating, but again, probably only worthy of a podcast, article or interview and not a book sold as "by Prince." Prince talks about being an alpha creatively, knowing w This is not a memoir. It should have been a feature story in Rolling Stone or any number of literary journals. The sketches that are actually written by Prince are fleeting, still mostly unformed, but engaging and worth reading because of the singularity of the talent. Dan Piepenbring's introduction (half the book, really) is illuminating, but again, probably only worthy of a podcast, article or interview and not a book sold as "by Prince." Prince talks about being an alpha creatively, knowing what he wanted, and I'm guessing this book would make the Purple One puke. Fortunately, there's no way to please or displease the dead.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Obviously, I was going to give this book five stars from the second Prince announced it. But these five stars are deserved. Prince’s autobiographical section is quite slight. But in so few pages, he brings his charm, wit and astuteness. His words provide insight about his formative years. And Dan Piepenbring's introduction is a delight. We will never know what could have been. But I am thankful for the small amount that was shared.

  14. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    This is less a memoir by Prince, more an article written by Dan Piepenbring. The audio is only 3 hours long, so I checked out a physical copy from the library afterward. It’s loaded with photos and notes and such. If this had been completed prior to Prince’s untimely death, it could’ve been brilliant. This is just a bunch of stuff thrown together. Not enough material nor substance.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    First off, Prince is one of my all-time favorite artists! But I'm a little disappointed by this book. Because Prince died in the early stages of writing the book we only get to read roughly 28 pages that he actually wrote. The majority of the book is made up of personal photos and handwritten song lyrics that were found in Prince's home after he died. Throughout the book, there are a series of excerpts from magazine and newspaper articles with quotes from Prince. Although I enjoyed the personal First off, Prince is one of my all-time favorite artists! But I'm a little disappointed by this book. Because Prince died in the early stages of writing the book we only get to read roughly 28 pages that he actually wrote. The majority of the book is made up of personal photos and handwritten song lyrics that were found in Prince's home after he died. Throughout the book, there are a series of excerpts from magazine and newspaper articles with quotes from Prince. Although I enjoyed the personal photos, I had hoped this book would delve a little deeper into him personally. Even if Prince were alive to write the entirety of the book I'm not sure he would have even dug too deep into his personal life as he always maintained an air of mystery. Overall, I'm left feeling a bit unsatisfied.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Gillig

    uhh this is mostly the story of one young white man's tragic big-break-that-could-have-been then about 30 handwritten pages that prince almost certainly would have wanted to edit. what's good is one of prince's scrapbooks from when he was 19 & of course loads of other pictures of prince who would honestly look hot in a burlap sack rapidly rolling down the side of a mountain. it's a big marketing scam but a great way to hide that is of course to show somebody so many pictures of prince they're fo uhh this is mostly the story of one young white man's tragic big-break-that-could-have-been then about 30 handwritten pages that prince almost certainly would have wanted to edit. what's good is one of prince's scrapbooks from when he was 19 & of course loads of other pictures of prince who would honestly look hot in a burlap sack rapidly rolling down the side of a mountain. it's a big marketing scam but a great way to hide that is of course to show somebody so many pictures of prince they're foaming at the mouth & smashin that Life Alert button w/ abandon. maybe don't give these people any more money since they're doin some spiritual organ harvesting w/ this one...

  17. 4 out of 5

    R.

    Glorified coffeetable book for die hard fans masochistically driven to destroy the mystique. The much too long intro written by the co-author is, in my opinion, literate but tone deaf fanzine blogslop: visiting Prince for dinner at Paisley Park takes on the sinister shades of Jonathan Harker trapped and mesmerized at Dracula's castle.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stinky Girl

    Great book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cam

    Prince unfinished memoir..... I loved and still love prince! Such a talent🥰

  20. 5 out of 5

    chantel nouseforaname

    #1) this book is physically GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS. Like absolutely stunning and beautiful. Much like the man, the legend, Prince. #2) Dan Piepenbring - the introductory essay was fantastic. It was so extremely well written without being exploitative. I felt like I really got a look into the man without it being biased out of anything but love. You could feel his love for Prince. His artistry. His work. You could feel how personal Prince can be for people. We all interpret Prince so differently, eve #1) this book is physically GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS. Like absolutely stunning and beautiful. Much like the man, the legend, Prince. #2) Dan Piepenbring - the introductory essay was fantastic. It was so extremely well written without being exploitative. I felt like I really got a look into the man without it being biased out of anything but love. You could feel his love for Prince. His artistry. His work. You could feel how personal Prince can be for people. We all interpret Prince so differently, even from how Prince interprets and explains himself, his life, his upbringing. There's so much more that I wish I knew. However, I did find the most compelling aspect of this book, outside of the pictures, was the descriptions of love his parents wanted to have for each other, and how they could and couldn't achieve that love and how that affected him as a child, a teen and an adult. I respected how deep he got into the ethos that is his mother. I love that Prince was committed to fully combating the ideas of whiteness around him; and that he got mad James Baldwin in so many segments of the book. I loved his championing of women, creative, strong, beautiful women with wild imaginations. I loved that he saw a powerful imagination as a beautiful thing. I love that he talked about how much work his music took to make. His descriptions of going to live with his father and what that meant to him and what that looked like and how hard his father worked. The photos, the journal entries, the letters, the cards, the passport photo where he looks like a GOD, the look into Purple Rain and his relationships - honestly, it's all more than we ever deserved. This is the kind of book you have to get a copy of. It's beautiful and it belongs in your home. I loved reading it and I will cherish mine forever.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jak Krumholtz

    "Rhythm came from Africa. We need to stop frontin' about that. Rhythm and heartbeats." Despite a few close calls I never got to see Prince. My last chance I skipped because it was five hours away and my daughter was less than a week old. It was more tempting when it was rescheduled a week later but I still didn't go, relatively unperturbed because he'd begun doing more frequent tours. It ended up being his last show when he passed a week later. A book was conceived during that same time period and "Rhythm came from Africa. We need to stop frontin' about that. Rhythm and heartbeats." Despite a few close calls I never got to see Prince. My last chance I skipped because it was five hours away and my daughter was less than a week old. It was more tempting when it was rescheduled a week later but I still didn't go, relatively unperturbed because he'd begun doing more frequent tours. It ended up being his last show when he passed a week later. A book was conceived during that same time period and it would have been exciting to see what he would have created. This book does a good job of picking up the pieces left and creating something beautiful and human. I'm thankful to share with my daughter a bootleg of that last show in Atlanta.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Homa

    A beautiful book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    This book is beautiful!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    How does one rate an incomplete book? I listened to the audio version (as I always do), and it was only three hours long. Literally half of that was spent on the introduction. There are a few chapters written by Prince, as well as a collection of various magazine and TV quotes (which were, oddly, read by two different female narrators, despite being in the first person POV of a man). I grew up listening to Prince so, as a fan, I did enjoy hearing more about his life, especially in his own words. How does one rate an incomplete book? I listened to the audio version (as I always do), and it was only three hours long. Literally half of that was spent on the introduction. There are a few chapters written by Prince, as well as a collection of various magazine and TV quotes (which were, oddly, read by two different female narrators, despite being in the first person POV of a man). I grew up listening to Prince so, as a fan, I did enjoy hearing more about his life, especially in his own words. I just couldn't shake the feeling that Prince, who was such a perfectionist, would not have been happy with this being released unfinished. I so wish he was still here, and we had been given the opportunity to see what this book - and the rest of his life - might have been.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Lewis

    This book by definition couldn't be 5 stars, because it was necessarily, heartbreakingly incomplete. But Dan Piepenbring could have done more justice to the material he did have. Piepenbring's propensity to toss in a 50 cent word where a simpler word would do is distracting. For example, he uses the word "plangent" to describe the quiet and reflective song "Sometimes it Snows in April". I have a relatively large vocabulary, and I was a musician in my youth, but I had never encountered this word. This book by definition couldn't be 5 stars, because it was necessarily, heartbreakingly incomplete. But Dan Piepenbring could have done more justice to the material he did have. Piepenbring's propensity to toss in a 50 cent word where a simpler word would do is distracting. For example, he uses the word "plangent" to describe the quiet and reflective song "Sometimes it Snows in April". I have a relatively large vocabulary, and I was a musician in my youth, but I had never encountered this word. It's jarring to have to stop reading in order to look something up. And in this case when I did so, the definition ("(of a sound) loud, reverberating, and often melancholy") didn't even fit the song. This unnecessary use of Big Words (TM) may be due to Piepenbring's past as a literary journal editor. This style doesn't work for a popular book. Unsurprisingly, the best parts of the book are the sections that Prince wrote himself. He comes off as funny, warm, and insightful, if sometimes hard to grasp. I am a Prince fam of decades, and I've been exposed to a bunch of unauthorized material, yet I still learned some new things about him. I was surprised at how open he was about the difficulties he had growing up, especially romantically and with his appearance (not only his short stature but his teenage acne). And I got a fuller sense of the way he thought; his trains of thought are more like jazz than funk. He says funk is about rules, but his thinking is not constrained by rules; it's playful, experimental, and loosely associated, making connections that others can't aways anticipate or even follow. Some of the additional materials in the last section of the book (such as photos, song lyrics, a storyboard for a video, and an early script of Purple Rain) were interesting to see, but having to flip to the end notes for any context was annoying. I'm unsure why Piepenbring organized it like this. I don't mean to dump on him. I did appreciate that he is a bona fide Prince fam. It would have been a shame to give this job to a writer who was only passingly familiar with Prince. It was evident throughout that he was respectful and appreciative. After closing this book, I was left with an aching and hollow feeling that is all too familiar to Prince fams. This work does add to our knowedge of Prince, but even more, it serves as yet another reminder of how much we lost when he died. It tantalizes us without really fulfilling its promise.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sue K H

    I'm rating this as a coffee table book, not a biography or autobiography.  The book is very thin and disjointed on the biographical details.  I'm sure it would have been much different if Prince had lived.  The first 47 pages were about the author's process of getting the job from Prince and his initial meetings with him. They were boring and wouldn't have been there had the author had more material on Prince to include.  I can't imagine Prince giving his okay on those pages.   I do think it's c I'm rating this as a coffee table book, not a biography or autobiography.  The book is very thin and disjointed on the biographical details.  I'm sure it would have been much different if Prince had lived.  The first 47 pages were about the author's process of getting the job from Prince and his initial meetings with him. They were boring and wouldn't have been there had the author had more material on Prince to include.  I can't imagine Prince giving his okay on those pages.   I do think it's cool that Prince chose to pick someone unproven, but that didn't work out too well without Prince there to guide the process.   As a coffee table book, it's beautiful.  The pages are all thick and glossy and it's filled with lots of full-color pictures including pictures of handwritten lyrics.   I especially love seeing handwritten lyrics with parts crossed out showing some of the creative processes.  Something about the fly on the wall aspect of that gives me chills.    I did learn some things I didn't know about Prince, but not a lot.  The layout of the book is pretty awkward with some (not all) paragraphs starting with HUGE lettering.  At first, I thought this was a stylistic choice but later realized it was likely done to increase the page length of the sparse story.  Maybe it had something to do with how jazz and funk have an uneven beat or something but it just wasn't effective if that was its purpose.    Another annoying aspect were the side notes.  They often didn't apply to the material on the page and should have had their own pages.  They were just more parts of his story.  Giving them their own pages would have been a better way to increase the page length than the huge lettering.  That was a lot of complaining for a 4-star rating, isn't it?  Despite its many flaws in the style and story, I still loved it and love owning this because I love Prince.  To be able to glean any more details about him and his creative process was a joy.  I will leave this on my family room coffee table for friends who admire him to look at when they come over.  I'm sure they'll love flipping through the pictures and reading the lyrics and I'm sure I'll be flipping through it again. 

  27. 4 out of 5

    Asha

    Let me start by saying that I love Prince. I was excited to hear this book was coming out. But unfortunately it is a huge disappointment and like a slap in Prince’s face as well as a slap to all his fans who were really expecting a memoir. This is NOT a memoir. This is someone’s very poor attempt to capitalize on Prince’s name by throwing together this half assed piece of trash and putting his name on it. Shame on yall for this. I’m sure Prince would not have approved of this and he’s most likel Let me start by saying that I love Prince. I was excited to hear this book was coming out. But unfortunately it is a huge disappointment and like a slap in Prince’s face as well as a slap to all his fans who were really expecting a memoir. This is NOT a memoir. This is someone’s very poor attempt to capitalize on Prince’s name by throwing together this half assed piece of trash and putting his name on it. Shame on yall for this. I’m sure Prince would not have approved of this and he’s most likely looking down throwing eternal shade on all responsible. In the extremely long 47 page intro, Dan recounts Prince’s wishes for the book. Then you turn the pages and none of this shit even remotely is what Prince would’ve wanted. Yall just gathered scraps from various parts of his life and pasted them in a book. Random pieces of old interviews from the 70s and 80s that take up a small corner of the page and the rest is just blank. Old lyrics, some where the ink has bled so you can’t even make out what was written. A bunch of random photos, some of which a quick google search or pinterest dive will turn up. It’s hard to even use the word book because none of the pages are completely filled with writing. And those that are have huge lettering in the first sentence that takes up nearly half the page. Not one page is written completely to the margin. Part 2 is a bunch of notes Prince wrote in very hard to read handwriting. After I struggled through those pages, the very next section is all of that typed out legibly. So basically you printed the same shit twice to take up more space. I’m glad I borrowed this from the library instead of buying it. I love Prince but this so called memoir is a disgrace to his name. The one constant thought that kept going through my head as I read this was ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matt Fitz

    Prince was a unique figure in both music and pop culture. One of a kind. Inimitable and multi-talented. Reverent. Irreverent. Calm. Frenetic. Above all, he was enigmatic. Truly traveling the road less traveled. Marching to the sound of his own drum beat (and bass line, and guitar riff, and tambourine slap). This book is Prince. Sadly, we won't get that much sought after peek into his brain of how he conjured musical angels and slayed personal demons because of his untimely death in the early stag Prince was a unique figure in both music and pop culture. One of a kind. Inimitable and multi-talented. Reverent. Irreverent. Calm. Frenetic. Above all, he was enigmatic. Truly traveling the road less traveled. Marching to the sound of his own drum beat (and bass line, and guitar riff, and tambourine slap). This book is Prince. Sadly, we won't get that much sought after peek into his brain of how he conjured musical angels and slayed personal demons because of his untimely death in the early stages of writing it, but maybe...just maybe...that's all we deserve and that's all we truly need. Let his memory be the mystery he was when he walked among us. The book has a long (and needed) introduction by the person Prince chose to co-write it. The intro sets the stage for the rest of the project. He also explains how Prince chose him, a blog writer who had never published a book, to be his literary messenger. You'll hear about their first encounter and subsequent phone calls and visits. And you really see through all of it...it's just Prince being Prince. This book does help to contextualize a young Prince. Beautiful pictures and writings that showed a bit of his creative process. While we may have immortalized him, this book re-mortalizes him. A good reminder that he was just a young kid trying to put together a funky beat on his own terms. I read this digitally, but look forwarding to add it on my book shelf to page through from time to time. It only took a few hours to read it, but will require much more time to absorb the art, words, and photos. The book is heavy (figuratively and literally) as it is printed on nice heavy coffee-table like glossy pages. It deserved to be heavy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Bowen

    I thought this book was going to be different. I really don’t know what kind of man prince was. The book gave a little information about his young life. In the book their are a lot of pictures of him. It was a quick read. I do like his music . I was in college when purple rain came out.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Loved this. The highlights are obviously the bits Prince had written himself before he died. Every story told about him in the intro, or every story he told himself, eye symbols and all, makes you adore him all the more. Archive stuff is cool too.

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