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 by Art Garfunkel Book Review Musical Biography


Everyone wants to know why Simon and Garfunkel broke up and that is not explained either in the book. I was interested in his girlfriend Laurie Bird’s suicide, but just like Burroughs and Joan, Art refuses to talk about it. You will learn more about Laurie Bird from Wikipedia then this book. Why would she commit suicide at a young age while being famous and beautiful in the Movie Annie Hall with Paul Simon? I have to guess that it was to get revenge upon her mother for also committing suicide. This is not as uncommon as you think. Suicide the ultimate revenge upon one’s parents. But if there were other reasons they will never be known. Garfunkel sunk into a depression and wasted about 10 years of his life after the suicide. Maybe he wanted to just do that and used the suicide as an excuse for doing what he really wanted? Another possible is that is a cocaine situation in which many celebrities of the indulgent drug era don’t remember the famous people they met and what they did due to cocaine wiping out their memories. It would be bizarre to be presented a photo of myself with a famous person and not even remembering the occasion. The best part of the book are the photos but there is little or no explanation to the context, as if he found these photos in a shoe box and could not recall the occasions. Notably Art met John Lennon who had a message for him, but he either forgot it or refused to detail it. In fact famous people did hang out with him all the time.

I wanted to know about Art Garfunkel, but this book has almost nothing about his life. Other reviews mentioned that they also wanted to know about his life and his childhood but instead found something like this cut up sort of work. When I say this book reads like a Cut Up, it’s like spending the day with an old man who will tell you bits about his life that he thinks up at random out of chronically order.  If he had writing a book that was a biography first, maybe this book would appeal to people who just could not get enough Art Garfunkel and wanted to read these poems. The price on Kindle is astronomically at $14.99 and $12.99 to get the audiobook after you buy the Kindle Book. You should be able to find moving poems online for free that are much better. The audiobooks on Audible are so expensive now they don’t even list the prices for them any longer. I can’t even find out the price to buy the book as an individual audiobook which I could use to help induce sleep. But the audio sample tells me that it will not work for that. I have to have some interest in the book to use it as a book for sleep.

Just say NO to books like this until a message is sent to publishers. If Notes from an Underground Man by Art Garfunkel was a fantastically interesting history of the time period with stories about the famous people he met and read as an audio book by a sparkling young voice, I may have full price. But now I would not buy the book even if it was deeply discounted because I don’t want to encourage famous people to publish pseudo memoirs that they dreamed up while high. I got it from the Library which saved me from taking a leap into renewing my audible membership. I don’t consider the price to be too high if the book is of value to me and I will read it more than once. So this book needs to be price according at no more than $5 dollars, based on the amount of time and attention people will give to it.

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