Friday 13 June 2008

Reviews: Complicated Shadows

“A vital read ... Thomson here returns one of rock’s most elusive figures to flesh and blood ... Definitive.” – Uncut

“[A] cracker … meticulously researched and fluently told.” - Observer Music Monthly

“Thomson has produced ... as believable and fair a picture of the man himself as I suspect is actually possible.” - Herald

“Brilliantly written . . . in the absence of Elvis Costello putting pen to paper himself, this is far and away the next best thing.” – Record Collector

“A sensitive, impeccably researched account of Declan MacManus’s journey” – Time Out

“Thomson’s pop scholarship is strong; he has gone deep into the archives and immersed himself in the music” – Guardian

“A substantive record of the man’s energy and brilliance after nearly 30 years of standing up when we might have expected him to be falling down” – Observer

“That rarest of rock & roll studies: expertly researched, restrained yet stylish, and in perfect tune with its subject's work” – Austin Chronicle

“Those with even a remote interest in rock music of the past 30 years will find his book utterly mesmerizing” – Library Journal

“A knowledgeable critic, Thomson skillfully interweaves articulate criticism of Costello's musical evolution into his biographical narrative, and unsentimentally details the thrice-married lyricist's dips into infidelity, drug use and egomania…. In all, this is an engrossing and lively account of an equally animated personality” – Publishers Weekly

“If the early years, when Costello and bandmates indulged in drugs and sex on the road, are more interesting than his relatively staid later career, Costello's restless exploration and experimentation help keep the narrative compelling throughout.” – Booklist

“Thomson has compiled the type of volume that’s valuable to both admirers and detractors, and is extensive in its praise, but also accurate and fair in its criticism” – Nashville City Paper

“Thomson's research is superb; using the interviews and sources available (including Costello's own brutally honest, voluminous liner notes for the most recent reissues of his catalog and myriad bootlegs), he weaves Costello's personal, professional, musical and business lives together with a clarity that no one has ever approached” – Rocky Mountain News

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