The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet Underground by Howard Sounes

The Life of Lou Reed was very thoroughly researched and it was evident throughout that the author really immersed himself in his work. I’ve listened to Lou Reed’s music in the past but didn’t know much about him at all prior to reading this biography. I had always wondered about his connection with Andy Warhol and now I know!

Lou Reed was…a terrible person at heart. He was clearly a misogynist and an all-around not nice guy. It was interesting to read about his flippant remarks and sometimes violent reactions to those around him.

Overall this was an informative biography. However, I did find myself skimming a bit towards the midway point. Also, I feel that a strong biography really gives the reader a true feel for the individual, but this one didn’t do that for me. It’s like the old adage, “Show me, don’t tell me” needs to be applied here. At times I felt this was more of a chronicling of his career with quotes from friends/family in Lou’s life saying he was a jerk. I wish this biography opened the door into Lou’s life a bit more because for someone who was so colourful, this biography came across more as a textbook when it could’ve easily been a thrilling read given the subject matter.

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