Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reader's Diary #1698- Reinhard Kleist: Nick Cave Mercy On Me

Earlier this year I read and quite enjoyed Reinhard Kleist's Johnny Cash graphic biography I See A Darkness. I won't lie and pretend that I liked his treatment of Nick Cave Mercy on Me to the same degree, but largely that's simply because I was less familiar with Nick Cave's music before going in.

You could enjoy this book without any prior knowledge of Cave or his songs, simply as a portrait of a driven (sometimes obsessive) artist who, more than anything, shuns normalcy. However, as proven when Kleist worked in the few songs I did know (Mercy Seat, Where the Wild Roses Go), it helps one's enjoyment. Reinhard likes to intertwine fact and fiction, often incorporating song lyrics as elements of the singer's life, and so to really make sense of it and appreciate his point, familiarity can only work in the reader's favour. All that aside, as a music junky, whenever there were references to songs I didn't know, I immediately downloaded them and even if just for that, I'd be glad to have read this book.

Once again, Reinhard's style (inky, black, and scratchy) fits his subject. I'm curious though how he'd do with a biography of say Aqua or Barry Manilow.

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