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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

(Little, Brown) by Joe Nick Patoski

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   Joe Nick Patoski draws a portrait of Willie Nelson based on 35 years of covering his subject. He does an especially good job with Nelson’s early years, describing the difficulty of breaking into the music scene. Unfortunately, as the book continues, it often reads as if the journalist has stitched together his various feature articles, with repetitious information and a sometimes-unclear time frame. An Epic Life offers a more thorough portrait of the artist than Nelson’s autobiographical account from 1988. However, in spite of its 500 pages, Patoski is not consistently successful at recounting Nelson’s career with the depth it deserves.