Hi Debbie! I certainly agree -- what a compelling book. It's written with compassion and humor, and I'm on my second go-round; it was a book I could not put down. I wrote Brendan an email to compliment him and got such a kind reply -- do let him know how much you like it. I want to review it on Amazon after mulling it over a bit.
Honestly, there was such a fairness to it -- nobody was portrayed to look anything but as feeling people expressing their opinions. Nothing caustic or insulting (perhaps a tiny bit of lighthearted gentle batting, but not at all in a malevolent spirit), nothing sleazy or cheap in delving into the enigma about Bix -- or rather, about interpreting Bix, because it's not so much that Bix himself seemed such a mysterious guy as it was the perceptions so many people had/have of him - personalities are complex and sometimes people themselves either don't iron out their inner complications (if they are indeed fraught with them) or just don't want to display their every thought and motive out in the open for everyone to scrutinize, and to me, that's Bix. But to someone else, surely Bix meant to them something else entirely!
Brendan was so good about not stating any definitive "this is how it must have happened." We are free to read between the lines ourselves and come to our own conclusions. I can still maintain my same opinion -- and yes, defense of Bix, faults 'n' all, while understanding why others may have a different take on him; still love and appreciate the music; still have admiration and respect for the Bixography Forum and enjoy participating on it.
We're not given a picture of a perfect guy, or a messed-up guy, or a cartoon figure, and somehow it's okay to not be able to zero in on him and "get" what he was all about; we don't need to. This book was so heartfelt and original and I will enjoy re-reading as often as I do the Evans & Evans and Davenport Album.