Yeah, on second reading --

by Laura Demilio

I'm now wondering if this is Brendan's book or the Opinion of Brendan's Friends' book. I chortlingly breezed through it at first reading getting a kick out of the style of writing -- and yeah, I still like that -- which admittedly included parts of (less hurtful) humor and a smatter of peevish insight, but on more careful scrutiny, there seems to be a lot of quoting the decided adamant viewpoints mostly from one particular pal of the author's, once I dug into the end notes and saw the sources. I mean, is it supposed to be the friend's book or Brendan's?

Not to mention I got mighty sick of Ralph Berton being quoted as if that novel of his was considered an actual biography. Apparently mentioning the guy (and mentioning him, and mentioning him) to readers was supposed to represent the always-stirred-up controversy concerning the "Bixophiles" -- or just people listening to Bix's music and discussing him -- who find Berton's book loathsome, even if entertainingly so, or at least can't buy into his fantasy (which despite all revisionist or researchers' attempts at countering its malevolent influence still manages to ooze its lurid content into the biographical canon some 40 years later, running the risk of people actually believing Ralph's self-aggrandizing crap).

There should have been something a little fresher and more along the lines of what this author himself wanted to say, not just agreeing with the acerbic comments of his friends. I discovered on second reading he relied rather too heavily on that.

Posted on Nov 18, 2017, 3:30 PM

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