Cynique Posted January 5, 2015 Report Share Posted January 5, 2015 I just finished reading, RESPECT, the newly released unauthorized biography of Aretha Franklin, - all 482 pages of it. It's by David Ritz who has written the bios of several other music legends such as Marvin Gaye, and Ray Charles. Ritz is a skilled writer and treats his subject not only with the objective eye of a journalist but with the subjective love of a devoted fan. His narrative is seamless, reader-friendly and, best of all, juicy with gossip. The reason why over the years my preferences for biographies and documententaries has usurped my interest in fiction, is because these works are about real people and, in the hands of the right author, are also about the times in which they lived. The zeitgeist of an era captured in print engrosses me because in many cases I am not learning about it, I am re-living it. Such is the case with the period when 72-year-old Aretha first burst upon the musical scene back in 1962, a historical time I remember well. Ms, Franklin's extraordinary life story reads like a Greek tragedy fraught with parental dysfunction, sibling rivilary, and spousal abuse. And at the center of it all is a headstrong, extremely complicated women, both the beneficiary and victim of her genius. A diva in the truest sense of the world she is vain, paranoid, jealous, and in an ongoing state of denial about her neurotic flaws. She is also generous and loving and forgiving and, of course, talented. Above all she is a survivor, still here when so many of her loved ones and contemporaries have passed on. Well past her prime, she is, nonetheless, Aretha, the Queen of Soul, a voice for the ages. This is a long book full of interviews and anecdotes, often redundant, but for fans of Aretha Franklin, it is well-worth the read because when it comes to chronicling the career of this music icon, the author has really done his homework. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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