PRINCE by Ronin Ro

PRINCE

Inside the Music and the Masks

KIRKUS REVIEW

Did 10 years of researching the enigmatic Prince pay off? You bet.

For much of the 1980s, Prince was arguably the most important pop musician on the planet. He wasn't an originator, however, but a sponge who could take bits and pieces from different genres and manage to create something uniquely his own. The fact that he could sing well, play expertly on several instruments and wear the hell out of skin-tight leotards didn't hurt either. Considering his sales figures, influence and huge, albeit admittedly inconsistent discography, it's surprising that nobody has delivered a noteworthy Prince bio...until now. Veteran journalist Ro (Dr. Dre: The Biography, 2007, etc.) spent a decade researching this book—which shouldn't surprise Prince's fans, as the man is notoriously private—and it was worth it, as he was able to get vital information, opinions and anecdotes from Prince's close and not-so-close associates, everybody from sidemen to record-label execs. (Unsurprisingly, the man himself did not grant Ro access.) By utilizing verbatim dialogue, the book often reads like a novel; granted, some readers may doubt the veracity of every piece of dialogue, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. The author has an obvious affection for Prince's work, but he maintains enough objectivity to be credible.

An energetic, detailed balance of reportage and criticism about an icon of his era.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-38300-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2011




NEW AND NOTABLE NONFICTION: NOVEMBER 2011:

Nonfiction THE BEAUTY AND THE SORROW by Peter Englund
by Peter Englund
Nonfiction BENTO'S SKETCHBOOK by John Berger
by John Berger
Nonfiction BLUE NIGHTS by Joan Didion
by Joan Didion
Nonfiction THE ECSTASY OF INFLUENCE by Jonathan Lethem
by Jonathan Lethem

MORE BY RONIN RO

NonfictionDR. DRE by Ronin Ro
by Ronin Ro
NonfictionRAISING HELL by Ronin Ro
by Ronin Ro
NonfictionTALES TO ASTONISH by Ronin Ro
by Ronin Ro

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTHE GREAT FUNK by Thomas Hine
by Thomas Hine
NonfictionSHINING STAR by Philip Bailey
by Philip Bailey
NonfictionTALKING TO GIRLS ABOUT DURAN DURAN by Rob Sheffield
by Rob Sheffield