What Is It All But Luminous: Notes From an Underground Man by Art Garfunkel

What Is It All But Luminous: Notes From an Underground Man

From the golden-haired, curly-headed half of Simon & Garfunkel--a memoir (of sorts): artful, moving, lyrical; the making of a musician; the evolution of a man, a portrait of a life-long friendship and collaboration that became one of the most successful singing duos of their time.Art Garfunkel writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel . . ....

Title:What Is It All But Luminous: Notes From an Underground Man
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Edition Language:English

What Is It All But Luminous: Notes From an Underground Man Reviews

  • Jeff Crosby

    I'm perhaps the rare music listener who HAS bought every solo record Art Garfunkel has ever made while, on the other hand, I have NOT done so with his more famous on-and-off-again collaborator, Paul Simon. Thus, I approached this book (as I did his earlier collection of poetry, "Still Water: Prose Poems") with excitement. And it delivered moments of insight (particularly about his struggle to regain his ability to sing in recent years) and captivating turns of phrases. But the word "Notes" in th

    I'm perhaps the rare music listener who HAS bought every solo record Art Garfunkel has ever made while, on the other hand, I have NOT done so with his more famous on-and-off-again collaborator, Paul Simon. Thus, I approached this book (as I did his earlier collection of poetry, "Still Water: Prose Poems") with excitement. And it delivered moments of insight (particularly about his struggle to regain his ability to sing in recent years) and captivating turns of phrases. But the word "Notes" in the books sub-title is really descriptive of what this is: A collection of notes in no particular order, with no particular theme around each chapter, much less the whole book. As a die-hard Garfunkel listener, I would not have missed reading "What is It All But Luminous." But I was hoping for something more resembling a memoir than what it delivers - fragments of his recollections, as if scribbled on post-it-notes gathered up from the 1950s to the present day, and assembled in a stream-of-consciousness manner.

  • Ari Choquette

    The typeface in the print book—all the way through—is a digitized version of the author's handwriting, which seems like a neat idea but was actually distracting almost the whole time. That, plus the lack of narrative structure, made this one kind of a beast to get through on a cover-to-cover reading. But there were pieces of it that I loved and I can see myself returning to.

  • Roisin

    Ok.. I was going to give this book 2 Stars for the nice photos of Paul Simon but I'm sorry, nothing could save this collection of mad man ramblings.. not even Paul Simon could save you this time, Artie.

    He states in the book that he should maybe sometime write a "show off book", wow e wow, this is nothing but a show off book. Artie likes people to know that he is friends with Jack Nicholson, he wants you to know how many books he's read, how many pages he's read, how he helped produce S&G alb

    Ok.. I was going to give this book 2 Stars for the nice photos of Paul Simon but I'm sorry, nothing could save this collection of mad man ramblings.. not even Paul Simon could save you this time, Artie.

    He states in the book that he should maybe sometime write a "show off book", wow e wow, this is nothing but a show off book. Artie likes people to know that he is friends with Jack Nicholson, he wants you to know how many books he's read, how many pages he's read, how he helped produce S&G albums, how many miles he's walked, how much he loves his wife. He has lots and lots of lists of books he's read, don't you think after reading so many books, he should have an idea on how to write one? He also has a list of songs that are on his iPod. Is it a little weird that most of his iPod is solo Garfunkel records? This book is absolute drivel.. alot of sly little digs at Paul Simon and he mentions about there being an S&G tour on the back burner! Seriously, get with reality Art. The second half of the book is about how much he loves his wife. Yes, it's nice to know he loves and respects his wife but seriously, half of this book is about how great he is for loving his wife and kids! Don't buy this book unless you want to read unfinished stories and random thoughts. At least we know now why Paul was the writer. A great quote in the book "All is Vanity".. so long, Artie.

  • Nell

    What Is It All But Undercooked

  • Steve Peifer

    Without a doubt this book ascends to the pantheon of the all time worst book of all human history. It clearly enters into the rare air of ‘so bad it’s great’ territory. Let me quote : ‘The Muse bit the ass of my beautiful wife, and I had an ear for the insight. A spiral of trust climbing in colored light. Love makes the Slinky rise.’

    Several thoughts:

    1. DON’T SMOKE MARIJUANA.

    2. Anyone who reads this will go ‘Now I understand why the hippies died off.’

    3. As big of a jerk as Simon is purported to b

    Without a doubt this book ascends to the pantheon of the all time worst book of all human history. It clearly enters into the rare air of ‘so bad it’s great’ territory. Let me quote : ‘The Muse bit the ass of my beautiful wife, and I had an ear for the insight. A spiral of trust climbing in colored light. Love makes the Slinky rise.’

    Several thoughts:

    1. DON’T SMOKE MARIJUANA.

    2. Anyone who reads this will go ‘Now I understand why the hippies died off.’

    3. As big of a jerk as Simon is purported to be, this is the rare book that will make you feel sorry for him.

    4. This is the poster child for people who have enormous success early in their careers and become entitled jerks living off those five years the rest of their lives.

    5. His editor has GOT to hate him. No one who cared about him would let this mess go to press. I’m imagining the conversation: It’s GREAT Artie! Don’t change a thing! The kids will LOVE it!

  • Mediaman

    This is a really bad book, a complete misstep and misunderstanding about what his fans would want to read. Some editor and publisher thought Garfunkel's audience would enjoy reading his rambling "notes" from the last couple decades, none more than a couple paragraphs long, and most incomprehensible. How wrong they were! This worthless book has only 8 or 10 pages out of 240 that have any value (including lists of his favorite songs and ranking the importance of his own albums!). The rest are hard

    This is a really bad book, a complete misstep and misunderstanding about what his fans would want to read. Some editor and publisher thought Garfunkel's audience would enjoy reading his rambling "notes" from the last couple decades, none more than a couple paragraphs long, and most incomprehensible. How wrong they were! This worthless book has only 8 or 10 pages out of 240 that have any value (including lists of his favorite songs and ranking the importance of his own albums!). The rest are hard to understand or follow. Full sections I have no idea what he's even writing about. And they're all small pages with lots of white space and photos.

    Are you looking for insight into Simon and Garfunkel's career? Forget it. He says near the beginning that someday he may write about it but not now. What in the world does he think we're reading the book for then?

    Instead we get him crossing America, saying virtually nothing about his trip. Then him crossing Europe. In between are a few comments about how great he is as a singer, how his gift is from above. He overpraises his wife and firstborn son as well, and almost ignores his second child. He glosses over the suicide of his girlfriend. He's mad that his Christmas album wasn't promoted properly (isn't he Jewish?). Then a few sentences are asides about his strained relationship with Simon (which Garfunkel claims started when they were teens and Simon was recording songs behind Garfunkel's back) but there are no details or stories.

    How does one write a book with no stories yet name drop some of the biggest stars of music and film? Either he was heavily drugged when he jotted these notes over the years (which he admits to having been under the influence of) or he doesn't know how to write (although he claims to have read over 1200 books, even giving you a list of what he recommends you read!).

    If you are even thinking about buying this book, don't! If you must read it, save the money and go to the library. It's virtually not worth more than a few cents, because most of it makes no sense. Never has a publisher, editor, and author more misjudged what the audience is looking for. Give us his real autobiography instead.

  • Karen

    Not what I expected. Lots of poetic pieces. It was an interesting peek at him but not really a memoir. Just gave you bits and pieces of what went on in his life.

  • Erin

    not your typical artist memoir but still enjoyed it. (I like the traditional rags to riches/hard work pays off type of success stories. )

  • Lisa

    Very disappointed. Stream of conciousness writing/poetry. Hints of life changing events with no follow through. I skimmed the entire book hoping to find substance. The writings are obviously important to Art but they are lost on the reader.

  • Michael

    Simon and Garfunkel will always be my favorite duo, listening to them soothes my worries. I wish I had the pleasure of hearing them growing up, but I discovered them later in life, but regardless I still remember hearing 'Sounds of Silence' it always brings back so much nostalgia. In fact all of their songs holds a special place in my heart such as Old Friends, Bleaker Street ( I always get choked up), Keep The Customer Satisfied, Ms Robinson, etc. If I named all the songs that touched me, I wou

    Simon and Garfunkel will always be my favorite duo, listening to them soothes my worries. I wish I had the pleasure of hearing them growing up, but I discovered them later in life, but regardless I still remember hearing 'Sounds of Silence' it always brings back so much nostalgia. In fact all of their songs holds a special place in my heart such as Old Friends, Bleaker Street ( I always get choked up), Keep The Customer Satisfied, Ms Robinson, etc. If I named all the songs that touched me, I would name every song they ever recorded. Needless to say, I was very interested reading this story hoping that I would find reasons why they parted ways.

    If you take away the lyrical content, this was an amazing book about Art's life to stardom. Lyrical content meaning the writing style was not good at all, the font was very distracting, if it was not for the photos that accompanied the book, it would have caused me to stop reading all together. However despite that issue, I really liked ow Art never bashed Paul. I am sure that he wanted the group to soar as well, but it seemed like they broke up through mistrust and 'silent' conversations. I never felt that there was a legitimate reason besides the one that is outlined in the book. Yet even that reason alone did not really validate the reason for their breakup.

    The book shifted from Art's life, his peers, time with Simon but it felt disjointed towards the end. As a result, the story was no longer as engrossing, then I started skimming pages but I will say that this was a solid three. I will not recommend this book if you want to know only about Simon and Garfunkel, you will likely get disappointed but it was a good read.

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