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Pretty Good Years: A Biography of Tori Amos

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How did the shy and conflicted daughter of a minister become one of today's most important artists? Tori Amos is a unique voice in rock. She is an artist, a poet, an emotional chanteuse, a wordsmith, a pianist, and most of all, an entertainer who has opened herself up to her audience in a way most musicians would never dare. Tori Amos was a musical prodigy, so talented tha How did the shy and conflicted daughter of a minister become one of today's most important artists? Tori Amos is a unique voice in rock. She is an artist, a poet, an emotional chanteuse, a wordsmith, a pianist, and most of all, an entertainer who has opened herself up to her audience in a way most musicians would never dare. Tori Amos was a musical prodigy, so talented that she was the youngest child ever to be admitted to one of the world's most prestigious musical academies - and so rebellious that she was eventually thrown out. She is a feminist who questions the core values of feminism. She was a little girl who played piano in gay bars. She is a pioneering businesswoman. She is a rape victim who has transcended tragedy, and has drawn inspiration from the darkest incidents of her life. Tori Amos is a complex artist in a complex world. "I'm an acquired taste " she once told Rolling Stone magazine, but her fans are obsessive in their love. Jay S. Jacobs has written a detailed and passionate portrait of this controversial, kooky, and multifaceted singer. Pretty Good Years is an honest and comprehensive look at this bracingly original performer.


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How did the shy and conflicted daughter of a minister become one of today's most important artists? Tori Amos is a unique voice in rock. She is an artist, a poet, an emotional chanteuse, a wordsmith, a pianist, and most of all, an entertainer who has opened herself up to her audience in a way most musicians would never dare. Tori Amos was a musical prodigy, so talented tha How did the shy and conflicted daughter of a minister become one of today's most important artists? Tori Amos is a unique voice in rock. She is an artist, a poet, an emotional chanteuse, a wordsmith, a pianist, and most of all, an entertainer who has opened herself up to her audience in a way most musicians would never dare. Tori Amos was a musical prodigy, so talented that she was the youngest child ever to be admitted to one of the world's most prestigious musical academies - and so rebellious that she was eventually thrown out. She is a feminist who questions the core values of feminism. She was a little girl who played piano in gay bars. She is a pioneering businesswoman. She is a rape victim who has transcended tragedy, and has drawn inspiration from the darkest incidents of her life. Tori Amos is a complex artist in a complex world. "I'm an acquired taste " she once told Rolling Stone magazine, but her fans are obsessive in their love. Jay S. Jacobs has written a detailed and passionate portrait of this controversial, kooky, and multifaceted singer. Pretty Good Years is an honest and comprehensive look at this bracingly original performer.

30 review for Pretty Good Years: A Biography of Tori Amos

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    To begin with, I felt bad reading a book that was not an authorized biography of Tori Amos, but it was bought for me as a gift, and so I read it. I of course wondered what made the author qualified to write a book on Tori and discovered it was because he interviewed her in the early days. That is it. He interviewed her in about 1992. Other than that the entire book is based on a compilation of magazine articles and his own opinion. I did appreciate having much of the information for the numerous To begin with, I felt bad reading a book that was not an authorized biography of Tori Amos, but it was bought for me as a gift, and so I read it. I of course wondered what made the author qualified to write a book on Tori and discovered it was because he interviewed her in the early days. That is it. He interviewed her in about 1992. Other than that the entire book is based on a compilation of magazine articles and his own opinion. I did appreciate having much of the information for the numerous articles that I have ready condensed and organized in a chronological fashion, and for that reason, and that reason only, I liked the book. Other than that, the author was extremely tangential with long paragraphs about anything slightly related to Tori, e.g. a paragraph about Sarah Jessica Parker because Tori and her competed for the same commercial. I also do no find it fitting in a biography which is supposed to be a factual book to have so much opinion and subjective material. The author gave his opinion on every Tori song. Thanks, but I can form my own, as well as my opinion for this book. Liked it, but unless you are a hardcore Tori fan who stumbles upon the book, don’t bother, and please don’t give this author your money.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt Fox

    This would qualify as a more up-to-date tell-all of Tori Amos, my absolute favorite musician. While it gives a lot of insight into Tori's career and life it, at times, completely ignores and fails to address aspects that she emphasizes on in her autobiography Tori Amos: Piece by Piece, such as the awful battles with Atlantic Records she had in the late 90's. Also, the book lacks balance in its telling in that it provides a lot of detail on the early parts of her career, but as the book progresse This would qualify as a more up-to-date tell-all of Tori Amos, my absolute favorite musician. While it gives a lot of insight into Tori's career and life it, at times, completely ignores and fails to address aspects that she emphasizes on in her autobiography Tori Amos: Piece by Piece, such as the awful battles with Atlantic Records she had in the late 90's. Also, the book lacks balance in its telling in that it provides a lot of detail on the early parts of her career, but as the book progresses on her later work, it rushes through, almost as if the author loses interest in Tori's career. I would have liked to have seen the same amount of attention given to her more recent work as it was given to her earlier stuff.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Casey Kiser

    This is the best book on Tori's life that I have read so far, besides her own book of course. I have read it several times and I just can't part with it. Includes stunning photos from over the years. This one will not disappoint Tori fans. This is the best book on Tori's life that I have read so far, besides her own book of course. I have read it several times and I just can't part with it. Includes stunning photos from over the years. This one will not disappoint Tori fans.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Long have I waited to read a biography on my favorite musician, Tori Amos. This book offers good facts but has a distant feel to the writing, contrary to the intimacy Amos embodies in her art. I wish this telling of her story would be more creative instead of a list of dates and quotes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Not entirely accurate or well-written, but worth having and the obvious love the author has for Tori is endearing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Javier Avilés

    Buena biografía, aunque ocasionalmente peca de mansplaining. Buena disección track-by-track y su conexión biográfica. Pero todavía hace falta una bio más profunda de Tori, una que entre a los aspectos líricos y filosóficos de la extraordinaria producción de Amos.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tina Huba

    I enjoyed reading about her life and learned a lot about the meanings behind her songs.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    I rarely say that I could write a particular book better than its author, because I know how hard it is to write a book. However, I'm certain that I could edit this book better! There are numerous typos, run on sentences, and grammatical mistakes. You can tell that the author is a magazine writer. His prose is quite lengthy and he editorializes. The book is split into chapters loosely based on Tori's albums. They begin with the author explaining what was going on in Tori's life at the time. Then, I rarely say that I could write a particular book better than its author, because I know how hard it is to write a book. However, I'm certain that I could edit this book better! There are numerous typos, run on sentences, and grammatical mistakes. You can tell that the author is a magazine writer. His prose is quite lengthy and he editorializes. The book is split into chapters loosely based on Tori's albums. They begin with the author explaining what was going on in Tori's life at the time. Then, he analyzes each song on each album, explaining why she wrote it, what he thinks of it,how it was received, and why it was or was not a success. Brief information about tours and historical events are also given. This is not a great book. However, Tori's life is very interesting, and, despite being a huge fan, I learned tidbits that I did not know before. I just think there are better books to buy than Pretty Good Years.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rem

    Definitely should be read along with 'Piece by Piece' by Tori Amos and Ann powers. This is a more brief look at her life and career. Although I do appreciate the bibliography and all the sources and materials at the end of the book. Definitely should be read along with 'Piece by Piece' by Tori Amos and Ann powers. This is a more brief look at her life and career. Although I do appreciate the bibliography and all the sources and materials at the end of the book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lana

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brianne Lawler

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Sochocki

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  18. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Graeber

  19. 4 out of 5

    Keely

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Ryan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ian

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marco

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Roberts

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rosaria Battiloro

  28. 5 out of 5

    tarabumface

  29. 4 out of 5

    Britten

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michal

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