Bowie Odyssey 70

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Omnibus Press, 2020)

Karakter: 4.5/6

bowieodissey_1.jpgAs much as I love and cherish David Bowie's musical works, I will be the first to admit that I have consulted plenty of literature on the sadly missed pioneer that is either below par or simply not as interesting or illuminating as one could have hoped for. I am pleased to say that Simon Goddard (author of the inspired ”The Comeback: Elvis and the Story of the 68 Special”) has written a rather unique piece on Bowie's life in the year 1970 that now holds a rather special place in my heart.

What makes “Bowie Odyssey 70” so inspiring? It is not so much the fact that the book has a somewhat narrow and clear-cut focus on one specific year in the great man's life but rather the way in which this classy and strangely sophisticated narrative is composed and constructed; rarely have I come across a book that is as eloquently and evocatively written as ”Bowie Odyssey 70”. If you want mere facts and something akin to a day-by-day chronicle of Bowie's hugely important year of 1970, you should probably look elsewhere. Goddard's gem is neither encyclopedic nor annoyingly academic in nature. Things are reflected upon in meaningful depth all the while the tone of the book ranges from sarcastic and ironic and further on to charming and enthusiastic. It is sharp and witty at times and yet warmth emanates from its 161 pages. There is something utterly appealing about the poetic way in which its chapters take you back to an era in British music history that is long gone.

A subtle albeit haunting presence of melancholy also slivers and slides between the words and paragraphs, which conjures up images of British life in the late 60s and early 70s that are occasionally bleak. David's highs and lows of 1970 as well as various circumstances and decisions ranging from brilliant to catastrophic are covered and touched on, but the way in which it does so is quite different to anything that I have previously come across on Bowie. Some passages are arguably slightly less accessible than others and there are a few instances where it feels as if the story takes a detour through unnecessary terrain without offering any real answers or clues as to why, which entails that it loses a bit of its flow and momentum now and again. Still, its voice and style are original and something out of the ordinary, and the beauty of “Bowie Odyssey 70” is that it manages to transport you to a different and slightly surreal place altogether.

”Bowie Odyssey 70” is an essential read for all of you out there with more than a passing interest in David's life in and around 1970 and the cultural impact of ”Space Oddity” and ”The Man Who $old the World”.


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