I Am Brian Wilson

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What to expect

They say there are no second acts in American lives, and third acts are almost unheard of. That’s part of what makes Brian Wilson’s story so astonishing.

As co-founder member of the Beach Boys in the 1960s, Wilson created some of the most groundbreaking and timeless popular music ever recorded. With intricate harmonies, symphonic structures, and wide-eyed lyrics that explored life’s most transcendent joys and deepest sorrows, songs like ‘In My Room’, ‘God Only Knows’ and ‘Good Vibrations’ forever expanded the possibilities of pop songwriting. Derailed in the 1970s by mental illness, drug use, and the shifting fortunes of the band, Wilson came back again and again over the next few decades, surviving and – finally – thriving. Now, for the first time, he weighs in on the sources of his creative inspiration and on his struggles, the exhilarating highs and the debilitating lows.

I Am Brian Wilson reveals as never before the man who fought his way back to stability and creative relevance, who became a mesmerizing live artist, who forced himself to reckon with his own complex legacy and completed Smile, the legendary unfinished Beach Boys record that had become synonymous with both his genius and its destabilization. Today Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective and forgiveness. Whether he’s talking about his childhood, his bandmates, or his own inner demons, Wilson’s story, told in his own voice and in his own way, unforgettably illuminates the man behind the music, working through the turbulence and discord to achieve, at last, a new harmony.

(P) 2016 Audible, Inc.

Critics Review

  • All of it in Wilson’s idiosyncratic voice…what a story!

    Esquire
  • Surprisingly revealing and insightful memoir from the Beach Boys mastermind…Nearly every page opens up new windows into the mind of Brian Wilson. 4*

    Mojo
  • Wilson and The Beach Boys’ story has been told many times before and is one we may think we know, but it has never before been voiced with the clarity, honesty and insight on offer here. Surf’s up.

    Loud and Quiet Magazine
  • Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s unflinching new autobiography … it’s quite a ride.

    Daily Record
  • An accurate insight into the way his mind works

    London Evening Standard
  • I Am Brian Wilson is a strange kind of surfing through the Beach Boy’s interior life. Wilson dwells on the damage his violent dad did to his childhood without revealing the psychological consequence, except in the voice of a book that, though ghosted, sounds like his own. His genius, like all genius, he suggests is accidental. He was hit around the head by a lead pipe as a kid in a playground fight, and lost his hearing in one ear. After that, he always felt he had to tune in to experience as if trying to find a radio frequency. The Beach Boys’ otherworldly sound, and the faltering attempts to locate its source in the deceptively simple sentences of this memoir, appear to be results of that distancing.

    The Observer

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