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Reclusive, difficult and enigmatic, Van Morrison is a gifted singer-songwriter and an endlessly complicated man. In Van Morrison: No Surrender, Johnny Rogan has produced a provocative and revelatory biography of the musician, analysing the sense of place in his work and the tortuous journey that took him from local fame in Belfast to international success. Set against the cultural and political backdrop of Belfast, before, during and after the Troubles, No Surrender offers a unique and penetrating perspective on Morrison's long career and the times that made him. This paperback edition includes a new epilogue.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099431831
ISBN-10: 0099431831
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 130mm x 29mm)
Pages: 672
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 4-May-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Nearly breath-by-breath biography of the influential Irish musician who has made a dent in rock, blues, folk, country and jazz. This comprehensiveness is particularly impressive considering that, in the more than 600 pages from music biographer Rogan (Neil Young, not reviewed), there is nary a word directly from the reclusive Morrison's lips. Rogan's analyses of Morrison's musical palette, critical standing and public image are exhaustive yet never exhausting. Juggling social, political, musical, psychological and personal elements, he creates a shape-shifting portrait of the artist, whom he notes is, at his core, obdurate, independent, passionate, adventurous, blunt and spiritually uneasy. Among the book's many riveting topics: Morrison's embryonic intensity and raw, bluesy sexuality; his interlude in Woodstock while the Bogside burned; his gypsy apotheosis; and his Janus-like qualities. Most fascinating, however, is the author's exploration of Morrison's hometown, Belfast, which informed the musician's "no surrender" attitude. This child of the '60s, who has displayed "poor communication skills, aggressive impatience, and absence of empathy," hoped for peace between his Catholic and Protestant neighbors and is not, in any case, a political animal. It was all about the music, singing with the ache of gospel and the joy of love, sharing the deep-running sentiment of his youth. Sprightly despite its amplitude, a narrative of propulsive drive that is also a reflective, associative piece of social history. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Johnny Rogan

Johnny Rogan has been called 'pop's most eccentric biographer, a fanatical searcher after truth'. He is the author of sixteen books, including books on the Byrds, Roxy Music, the Kinks, the Smiths, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and John Lennon. His work has been acclaimed endlessly in print and on radio and television.

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