“Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor – Review

By: Angie Haddock


In her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family’s concerns, Binti’s talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey.

Goodreads


The above description is for the first story of Binti, which was a novella. Several more stories followed, and I actually read the anthology of all of them.

The first novella starts in the middle of some action – specifically, the action of Binti leaving home to go to a university on a faraway planet. She belongs to the Himba tribe (a real people, by the way), and most of them never leave their home turf. So she is going against the will of her family.

We are immediately introduced to the interesting dichotomy present in all of the Binti stories: the juxtaposition of a technologically advanced future world where humans interact with beings from other worlds, with that of a traditional tribe who mostly stay to themselves.

Because the stories are individually short, I loved that the action started right away. Even though we’re in a fictional/future world, Okorafor doesn’t have time for elaborate world building to take place up front – you just learn as you go through the story.

The trip to university does not go smoothly, and we meet the main adversary of the first story: the Meduse. These are large jellyfish-like creatures who are connected through a hive mind. They attack the ship taking Binti to the university, but of course, our heroine survives. She even learns to communicate with the creatures, and learns why they attacked: the university has something of theirs that they want back, and they plan on using the ship to sneak into their territory.

Binti offers to be a liaison of sorts, to negotiate with the university and get the item back for The Meduse. Binti is known in her tribe as a “master harmonizer,” but up to now she has mostly used this skill in the context of math and technology. This interaction sets her on a new path, where she will harmonize between different beings and cultures.

This theme continues throughout the series. In later events, Binti tries to bring peace between her tribe and another tribe on Earth who live in the desert, between the Meduse and their enemy the Khoush, and more.

Another ongoing theme is Binti struggling to find peace between what her family and tribe expect of her, and what she feels she is being called to do. A life in space, interacting with other species, was not exactly on her family’s radar for her. And when she brings a Meduse home to Earth, it causes problems with the neighboring Khoush, for which Binti is blamed.

Overall, these stories were fun and engaging. I felt like the second and third novella were really one continuous story, and the division between them seemed arbitrary. There were a few minor issues like that – things that bugged me, but didn’t necessarily ruin what was good about Binti’s story.

I read this story with friends, as part of my deep dive into diverse sci-fi. See more here.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“Prepped” by Bethany Mangle – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Always be ready for the worst day of your life.

This is the mantra that Becca Aldaine has grown up with. Her family is part of a community of doomsday preppers, a neighborhood that prioritizes survivalist training over class trips or senior prom. They’re even arranging Becca’s marriage with Roy Kang, the only eligible boy in their community. Roy is a nice guy, but he’s so enthusiastic about prepping that Becca doesn’t have the heart to tell him she’s planning to leave as soon as she can earn a full ride to a college far, far away.

Goodreads


This was described as a YA romance, so I went into it thinking it would be a little on the fluffy side. I was intrigued by the setting – it takes place within a community of doomsday preppers – but thought that was going to be kind of a quirky hook to make it different than other YA novels.

I was not prepared for how poignant, tense, and frustrating this novel was going to be! The kids in this community literally exist to keep the species going, and calling the parents “detached” would be an understatement. In many ways, those aspects reminded me of Tara Westover’s “Educated.” The parents are often using the kids for free labor, putting them in harm’s way, and acting like any harm (physical or emotional) that they inflict is good for the kids.

Thankfully, this story is fictional. But, like any good piece of fiction, the emotions it brings up are very real.

The heroine here is Becca Adlaine, whose parents run the aforementioned prepper community. She is a high school senior, and has every intention of leaving as soon as she can… but, she also has a younger sister. A lot of the story focuses on this relationship, and Becca worrying about whether she can leave her sister behind or try to save her.

Becca’s relationships with her parents are also fraught with difficulties. She both hates them for the way they are, and still kind of loves them because… well, because they’re her parents? I have known people like this, who are still fiercely dedicated to abusive parents because they feel the pull of family ties. So, while I struggle with understanding this dynamic myself, I do acknowledge that it is real for some people.

There are also logistical issues with running away – like how to get away, how to make money to live on, etc.

The Adlaines picked out Becca’s future husband for her already – a boy in her grade named Roy Kang. His family is newer to the community, and they are Korean American, so this will diversify the gene pool. Becca is less than enthused, for obvious reasons. It also irks her that Roy seems to go along with all the training drills and such with no complaints. While she may not like Roy romantically, she is comfortable with him – he’s one of the only people who understands her upbringing, and they have a long history of shared experiences.

Photograph by James Mangle

All that changes when Roy reveals that he doesn’t believe in this prepper stuff, either. He just goes along to get along with his parents. Now, with two of them, there’s a better chance that they can make a plan that will work.

Let me interject here that Bethany Mangle is a Korean American herself, and specifically wanted to write the love interest in the book to be Korean American. However, his ethnicity is not Roy’s defining trait by any means.

Becca (and Roy) have a few other allies: one is another student in their grade, Sydney, who is not a part of the prepper community. Another is one of Becca’s teachers, Mrs. Garcia. While these two characters do not know all of what Becca is going through, she confides bits and parts to them as needed, and they both protect her secrets and help when they can.

Hopefully, I’ve given you a lot about the emotional punch of this story without giving away too many of the plot details. I didn’t want this review to be so full of spoilers that you don’t go pick up this book!

The book is being released on February 23rd, 2021. I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy through the Books Forward program and NetGalley.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“Going Green” by Nick Spalding – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Meet Ellie Cooke. When it comes to all things environmental she’s, well, a bit ‘green’. But when the PR firm Ellie works for is taken over by keen environmentalist Nolan Reece, it’s clear that if she wants to save her job, she’s going to have to get serious about being green—or face being recycled.

Goodreads


I’m not much of a rom-com reader, but I was initially interested in this one because of the other topic addressed in it. I spent some time this year learning more about sustainability, and thought it was really cool that the idea was starting to leak into the fiction sphere. (I mean, one can only read so many scary, science-filled non-fiction pieces about the climate crisis, right?)

The formula here is pretty straightforward – each chapter presents the main character, Ellie, with a problem. She then tackles it, and things go awry and devolve into craziness. The level of craziness varies from one scenario to another, and some of them were kind of cringe-worthy (to me).

So, let me interject that I am the kind of person who feels embarrassment for characters when they do embarrassing things. I watched that scene in “Bridesmaids” through my fingers, because my hands had involuntarily flown up to cover my face. Not that many of the scenes here are quite that cringey, but… if you’re the kind of person who is not affected by that sort of thing, you’ll be totally fine here.

I actually liked the “not supposed to be funny” thread that ran throughout the book, despite it being fairly predictable: our heroine learns a lot, grows, and becomes a better person. One of the things I liked about this growth story is that it was not totally linear – it zigs and zags into other areas of her life a bit at times. After learning a lot about climate change, Ellie becomes kind of critical of other people who aren’t doing all the things she’s learned to do. One of the last lessons she learns is that it isn’t her job to be so judgemental. (Oof, I felt that one.)

Her final lesson is one she learns outside the “rom” part of this rom-com – or maybe in spite of it? She was fairly independent in the beginning anyway, but she was basically skating along to get by. She learns to be independent and in charge by the end, which is as happy an ending as I needed.

This book was released earlier in December, and I read an advanced copy from NetGalley.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“F. Scott Fitzgerald” by Ruth Prigozy – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Scott Fitzgerald’s life reads like one of his own stories: a young man of great promise marries into wealth, but beneath the golden surface lie alcoholism, debt, insecurity, and in Fitzgerald’s particular case, the mental instability of his beautiful, unconventional wife, Zelda. Fitzgerald scholar Ruth Prigozy provides fresh insight into the life of the novelist who, in both his work and life, captured the rise and fall of the Jazz Age.

Goodreads


I am one of those crazy kids who actually did like a few of the “classics” I had to read in school, and one of my faves was “The Great Gatsby.” So, when I came upon this slim, picture-filled bio of the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, at a library book sale – buying it was a no-brainer for me. (I was supporting the library!)

I feel like most avid readers have a few ideas about Fitzgerald – many of his books were at least semi-biographical, and he and his wife were famous symbols of the roaring twenties. This book dashes through all the eras of Fitzgerald’s life, though, without much romanticizing.

One of the things I found interesting was that his mother was a distant relative of Francis Scott Key (writer of “The Star Spangled Banner”), and that is actually who he is named after.

While most of us know Fitzgerald from his novels, he mostly paid his bills (or didn’t, often) by writing short stories. Many of these were published in magazines first, most notably in “The Saturday Evening Post.” Some were later compiled into anthologies, as well.

Fitzgerald drank a lot, and his wife Zelda spent her later years in a mental institution. These two issues soaked up most of his money, and he spent a lot of time worrying about money. To his credit, though, he always pushed himself to write more to make money. He also borrowed from family, but his drunkeness never led to a period when he wasn’t writing – and often profusely.

There are some interesting tidbits in this book about his friendships (and rivalries) with other writers (including Ernest Hemingway), editors, and even Hollywood personalities of the time. The Fitzgeralds were always trying to be fashionable, and several of Scott’s stories made it to the silver screen during his lifetime. While he did try his hand and screenwriting on several different occassions, he did not have much luck hanging around Hollywood himself.

F. Scott Fitzgerald did die in Hollywood, though, at the home of his girlfriend. He was only 44 years old at the time.

This was a quick read, and I loved all the pictures of the Fitzgeralds’ travels.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“Emma” Directed by Autumn de Wilde – Movie Review

BY: Angie Haddock


A few months back, I read (and reviewed) my first foray into Jane Austen – the classic “Emma.” One of the reasons I picked that one was that a new movie version had come out this spring, so I thought it would be fun to read the book before seeing the movie.

I watched the movie at home this fall, and saved the review for today – Happy Jane Austen day!

The first thing I noticed in watching this film adaptation is that the look of it is very light and airy: pastel colors, lots of sunlight streaming through windows, that sort of thing. I must admit I envisioned the 1800s in the UK a little more… rainy? But it was pretty to look at. Another stunning visual was the costumes, especially some of Emma’s. The women sometimes appear in all white dressing gowns, but when they do doll up – they doll up.

The lead in this one is played by Anya Taylor-Joy. I didn’t recognize her at first, with the blonde ringlets she sports in this movie, but I actually did see her – and like her – before in “Split” and “Glass.” (Recently, she’s been making waves in Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit.”) I was on the fence about her performance in this. On one hand, she spends most of the movie just looking annoyed. On the other, that could be fair for the character. She has some more emotional scenes toward the end, so we’ll say she did an admirable job but took a bit to warm up.

Some other familiar faces appear on screen here, too: it was lovely to see Gemma Watson out of her “Game of Thrones” warrior gear, and “Sherlock” fans will recognize Rupert Graves. But of course, the cherry on top of this sundae is definitely Bill Nighy as Emma’s dad. Nighy is always good, and often gets to be a little “bigger” than he is here. But he does give some light-heartedness to the otherwise tiring Mr. Woodhouse.

For the most part, the movie follows the story of the book pretty faithfully. I felt like there was more hinting at Jane and Frank being a couple, but that could also be because I knew ahead of time watching the movie. There were definitely more hints about Emma and Knightley ending up together, and that’s probably for the best! In fact, it starts becoming really apparent around 60% in – as opposed to 80% into the book. I felt like their ending up together was sort of abrupt in the book, so I liked that they set it up a little sooner here.

Isabella (Emma’s sister) and her family aren’t in the movie as much, but I do feel that her character was much more annoying in the movie than she seemed in the novel. In her brief appearance here, she is shrill and over the top. My only thought was that maybe the director was using her marriage to emphasize why Emma did not want to get married.

The most important change, though, comes near the end. In this version, Emma actually goes and sets things right with Robert Martin, which prompts him to ask Harriet again to marry him. I have mixed feelings about this part. It’s definitely a redeeming move, and helps to make Emma seem like she’s grown as a person. But in theory, isn’t she still meddling here? Setting up her friend’s marriage instead of letting things play out on their own? Since she’s the one who messed up their getting together in the first place, I think I’ll give Emma a pass on this move – it was her problem to fix, so to speak.

This was an enjoyable movie. Nothing revolutionary by any means, but cute.

PS: While I was digging around for pictures, I came across some beautiful ones from Vogue. If you’re interested in lush photo shoots, check it out.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“Future Furious” by W.K. Valentine – Review

By: Angie Haddock


As the hunters become the hunted, Hen and her crew must run. Run from the bloodthirsty mercenaries and corporate soldiers on their tails. Run from the pasts that rear up to confront them. And run straight into the high-stakes conflict against a ruthless world designed to suck them dry and grind them beneath its heel. 

Goodreads


I seem to be on a sci-fi action/adventure kick lately (see last week’s review of Persephone Station), and this is the second one I’ve read lately with a female-led group of mercenaries! Interesting trend to watch out for? I could get on board with it.

The similarities end there, though, as the plot and tone of this one is completely different.

“Future Furious” takes place in a time when humans have colonized many of the planets and moons within our own (currently known) solar system, but haven’t gone further than that yet. This particular story takes place on Ganymede, but our characters are in contact with others on Mars, Io, etc.

Government has been replaced by the top five corporations operating across the colonies. The entire culture is dictated by commercialism, advertising, and capitalism run rampant. It’s an exaggerated version of our current culture, especially if you consider the way our present-day online overlords (think, social media) utilize our personal data to tailor their sites to our personalities.

Hen is our crew’s leader, a forty-ish “Mother Hen” to the various down-on-their-luck troublemakers she’s rehabilitated over the years. In between the current action, we see glimpses into all of their tragic pasts.

(There’s also a character who – while we don’t learn much about him – would definitely be played by Sam Elliott if this was a movie.)

The action starts to pick up when the crew takes a gig looking for Knickers, who turns out to be an overly-enthusiastic lead singer of a glam-punk band called Space Trash. He’s also a bit of a kleptomaniac, and he snagged a souvenir that the leading corporation on Ganymede wants back. Knickers and his sister, Layla, are now on the run… along with Hen’s crew, who stumbled into this mess unwittingly.

This book has a lot of humor in it. It’s not for anyone who’s easily offended by cussing, though. One line that illustrates both of these points:

“You look like shit,” Lin said as Hen neared the glass. “Actually, you look like some shit that shit ate and then shit out.”

The writing style can be a little choppy, which took me a minute to get used to. There are quite a few shorter sentence fragments that could easily be combined into a longer sentence. An example:

They sloshed their way through the dank, dingy sewers. Bacchus and Dionysus following closely.

It’s not a deal breaker for me, necessarily, but I did feel like it broke up the flow sometimes. So, that’s just a head’s up for the grammar junkies out there who can get caught up in that sort of thing.

Overall, I thought this was a good read. It was fun, and fast-paced. More impressive was that it’s by a first-time author, who recently gave up teaching English to try his hand at writing! He’s hoping to create more stories with these characters, and the world he created in this book is definitely rich enough to sustain some more great adventures.

You can find/read “Future Furious” on Amazon, and follow the author on Tumblr.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“Persephone Station” by Stina Leicht – Review

BY: Angie Haddock


Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.

Goodreads

This is described as a space opera, and it is getting some buzz. Most of the anticipation seems to stem from the characters – if you’re looking for diverse Sci-Fi, this will probably be your jam. There are a lot of characters, and almost none of them are male. There is a mercenary crew of all bad-ass women, and there are a few non-binary characters. At least a few of the main characters are non-white, and some aren’t specified. (Some are also non-human, because this is a futuristic space story!)

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I’m not sure if this is the author’s fault or my own. Let’s dish.

This is the kind of story that has a lot of world-building behind it. So, it took me a while to start getting into it. I feel like all the build time was probably necessary, to be honest, but it’s still sort of a drag to get through. This is where I say it may just be me – patience isn’t my strongest virtue.

(I felt the same way reading N.K. Jemisin’s “The Fifth Season,” if that gives anyone a point of reference. It was difficult going at the beginning, but ultimately worth the time.)

Persephone is a planet that the Catholic Church originally tried to colonize, but they abandoned that effort. Now, the top contender is the Serrao-Orlov corporation. Currently, all non-native species are settled into one colony, Brynner. Reports of bad weather and deadly native species outside the walls of Brynner keep everyone inside. Only a few people really know what’s outside the walls.

One of those people is Rosie, a long-living bar owner whose bar is mostly used by the local crime families and others looking to do (illegal) business. Rosie hires our mercenary crew to go out into the wild to protect some sentient natives they didn’t know existed. The new head of Serrao-Orlav, though, did know about them – and wants their technological and biological knowledge. Hence, the need to protect them.

Meeting the natives, The Emissaries, and the ensuing battle are where the action really picks up. I won’t go into too much detail there, so as not to spoil the fun for those of you who intend to pick this one up.

Another thread that runs throughout this story contends with the ideas of AI and AGI. There are several instances of computer intelligence existing within various networks and eventually growing sentience. (You meet three such characters within this book.) One of them is even put into a body. This struck me as so familiar… when I asked my husband where that had been done before, he immediately said “JARVIS.” So there’s that.

I read an ARC of this one through NetGalley – it comes out January 5, 2021.

PS: If you’re interested in pre-ordering this one, or just doing some early holiday shopping, consider supporting local bookstores through their own sites or bookshop.org

PPS: Someone on Goodreads asked the author for her “playlist” to go with this book, and she tweeted it out song by song. The compiled list can be found here, if you’re interested.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“Old Christmas” by Washington Irving – Review

BY: Angie Haddock


Old Christmas is a tale of the quaint and old English traditions of celebrating Christmas. Irving travels to the English countryside and meets an old schoolmate, who invites him home to spend Christmas at the family estate.

Goodreads


I’m a big fan of Christmas, but admittedly I’d never read much Christmas-related material. There’s no time like the present, though?

If the name Washington Irving sounds familiar, it’s because he wrote “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” He was American, but this story takes place in England.

The first part is the author/narrator philosophizing on how great old Christmas traditions were, many of which were falling out of fashion. (One has to wonder what he’d think of Christmas today!) The story is told in first person, and the narrator is traveling. He comments on the scenery and other travelers, and then is invited by one Frank Bracebridge to join him at his father’s estate to celebrate Christmas the “old-fashioned” way.

The rest of the story goes through the festivities of the night of their arrival, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. There are many foods and drinks described – did you ever want to know what goes in wassail? – as well as clothes, songs, and church outings.

Some charming passages:

“…they bring with them the flavour of those honest days of yore, in which, perhaps with equal fallacy, I am apt to think the world was more home-bred, social, and joyous than at present.”

“I do not know a grander effect of music on the moral feelings than to hear the full choir and pealing organ performing a Christmas anthem in a cathedral, and filling every part of the vast pile with triumphant harmony.”

“If, however, I can by any lucky chance, in these days of evil, rub out one wrinkle from the brow of care, or beguile the heavy heart of one moment of sorrow; if I can now and then penetrate through the gathering film of misanthropy, prompt a benevolent view of human nature, and make my reader more in good humour with his fellow-beings and himself, surely, surely, I shall not have written in vain.”

As is always the case when reading an older text, there were various words I had to look up. But something else I found interesting was that, once upon a time in England, Christmas had been banned! (Read more about that here and here, if you’re so inclined.) I find this whole thing funny, since so many overly-enthusiastic evangelicals think there’s a “war on Christmas” in our times.

This is a short read and, as long as you’re ok with some old language, a sweet and warm little story.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“A Little Bit Wicked” by Kristin Chenoweth with Joni Rodgers – Review

BY: Angie Haddock


In this lively, laugh-out-loud book, Kristin shares her journey from Oklahoma beauty queen to Broadway leading lady, reflecting on how faith and family have kept her grounded in the dysfunctional rodeo of show biz.

Goodreads


I am admittedly one of those people who’s seen Wicked on tour… oh, 3 or 4 times? That’s not too bad, right?

Kristin Chenoweth writes a pretty straight-forward memoir here, which talks about her childhood, theatre and TV experiences, love life, etc. It’s roughly in chronological order, with sidesteps here and there.

I thought the story of her adoption – and a possible sighting of her birth mother later on – were riveting. She grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with one older brother and tons of first cousins. Like many girls, she started dance lessons from a young age. She later started singing, often in church.

Chenoweth briefly competed in some local pageants as a way to win money for college. She was often one of the shortest competitors, but she knew her talent – singing – was stronger than some of her competitors’ talents. She never took first place, but earned some money to help her out in her school days.

One story I found funny was about her needing a tonsillectomy in college. She was training under a demanding vocal coach, and was worried that her soprano voice might change. In the end, it did – it got higher.

After her undergrad years in Oklahoma, Chenoweth moved north to study opera in Philadelphia. But she had other friends moving to New York, and it was so close… that she often found herself tagging along on musical theatre auditions in the big city. And, she was cast almost immediately!

(She did eventually finish her Master’s degree, to please her dad.)

Getting cast in a show is only one step, though, and the rest of Chenoweth’s story will remind readers what the “struggling actor” life is all about: crappy apartments, long hours, physical accidents and injuries, etc.

Obviously, she gets gigs that are better and better. She starts getting work on the West Coast, as well – first on TV, then in a few movies. She does a lot of charity concerts, performs on the Oscars, and dishes on her boyfriends (most notably, Aaron Sorkin). She also has a dog named after Madeline Kahn.

This memoir will mostly appeal to people who already find Chenoweth charming, or people who love hearing the backstage gossip on their favorite Broadway shows.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

“On Time – A Princely Life In Funk” by Morris Day with David Ritz – Review

BY: ANGIE HADDOCK


“Brilliant composer, smooth soul singer, killer drummer, and charismatic band leader, Morris Day, has been a force in American music for the past four decades. In On Time, the renowned funkster looks back on a life of turbulence and triumph.”

Goodreads


A few weeks ago, I tackled Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones.” So it seemed only logical to follow that with Morris Day’s memoir, which was published the same month (October 2019). If you don’t know Morris, please take a break and go watch Purple Rain. (Or even Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, for that matter!)

This is another memoir that is written in a unique style. In this one, the story is (thankfully) told in chronological order. There are three “voices” in the book, though – Morris, Prince, and MD (who is Morris’ onstage persona). Obviously, they were all written by Morris, but he uses these voices to kind of argue with himself on certain points where there are conflicts or confusion.

Morris was born in Springfield, Illinois, but moved to Minneapolis when he was still young. His parents were divorced, and he had several step-dads and half-siblings. His older sister was the rock to him, and continued to help him out of trouble well into their adulthoods.

Morris started out as a drummer. He met Prince in high school, and became the drummer for the Purple One’s band. There were several other funk outfits going at the time, and he admired certain players and singers in some of them. He was constantly in search of a good groove.

When Prince created his first signed band, The Revolution, he did not invite Morris to be the drummer. But, he did offer Morris a completely different gig, if Morris wanted to go on tour with them – videographer. Of course, Morris said yes, despite not having any experience. In the early eighties, this meant lugging around a heavy camera. He stuck with this gig for three years, just to be close to Prince’s creative genius.

Eventually his loyalty paid off, and Prince wanted to make a Morris album. Morris had never been a lead singer, but Prince convinced him he could do it. They produced the whole album themselves, and then Prince revealed that he envisioned Morris with a band, not as a solo artist. So Morris dipped into his Minneapolis funk favorites to come up with band members for The Time (even though none of them actually played on that first album).

This story sets an important precedent for many of the stories that follow, and I’ll quote Morris directly:

“Naturally, that made me crazy, but being driven crazy is the price you paid for being around Prince.”

Most people know Morris Day from his performance in the movie Purple Rain. His character has the same name, Morris Day, but was a little more bombastic than the real Morris at that time. This came out of figuring out how to make Morris the foil for Prince in the movie, and the idea that – since Prince would obviously be the sexy one – Morris could be the funny one.

This is where we see the birth of MD, the more exaggerated version of Morris. The character from the movie became his onstage persona, and often blended into his real life. Over decades, Morris fought with drugs, alcohol, and women. He did get married, and had a family. He did have some successful albums, both with the band and as a solo artist. He feels he had an ongoing struggle between MD, who wanted all the fabulousness of being a celebrity, and Morris, who wanted a family and to just play good music.

But his other lifelong struggle was with Prince. He wanted to get out of Prince’s shadow at some points, but also knew that Prince was a genius. Prince would invite him to play at some shows, then change his mind at the last minute (when the band had already traveled to the city of the show). A later incarnation of The Time actually had to record under a different name, because Prince claimed he owned the name – even though they were still touring as The Time at the time.

Morris eventually gets clean. He also gets divorced, and remarried. He sees Prince one last time – for the first time in a decade – a few months before his death. He still considers him a brother, albeit a hard one to deal with sometimes.

This is a fun and easy read, especially if you like music. The hardcover edition comes in at just over 200 pages, and the conversational tone is easy to digest.


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.