Hy-Notes: Paul Simon – A Life


Peter Ames Carlin’s Homeward Bound was my favorite book that I read last year and convinced me the most definitive word on the life of Paul Simon had been written. But unlike Carlin’s book, Simon cooperated with Robert Hilburn’s Paul Simon: A Life and that alone was enough to convince me reading a 2nd Simon biography in one year would be worthwhile. Not only did Simon’s approval have potential to shed light on lingering questions in his story, it opened up access to interviews with close allies like Lorne Michaels and Simon’s wife Edie Brickell. But for the most part Simon’s insight into his own life was limited and uninteresting. Hilburn’s openly admiration tone throughout feels like a sanitization of Simon’s story and leaves suspicion as to whom had ultimate editorial control.  Paul Simon: A Life is fine as an entry point into Simon as an artist and person but the most comprehensive look into his story is found in Homeward Bound.

Rating: 3/5

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