The Life and Times in Carrigaline: The Changeling

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Changeling


It's only taken a year, but I've finally gotten around to putting up a review of the Mike Oldfield biography, The Changeling.

In one word, I suppose you could call label it as disappointing, for a number or reasons.

Firstly, without even reading a page of the book, it's clear that we wouldn't be getting a major exposé on his relationship with Richard Branson, as the book is published by Virgin Books. By dealing with Branson, he effectively gagged himself from discussing his long and highly publicised dispute with Virgin. If you read between the lines though, it's clear that the animosity between Oldfield and Branson has not been completely forgotten.

Another disappointment was the writing style that Oldfield engages in. Too often, when Oldfield is describing events of his past; they end up as rambling, stream of consciousness-type meanderings that often fall short in detailing the event itself. It's obviously not fair to expect him to compare with James Joyce, but I do think he could have done more research in backing up his sources.

While his childhood is covered reasonably well and his Tubular Bells piece is quite well done; everything after that feels rushed, fuzzy and written as an afterthought. It struck me that Oldfield had lost a bit of interest himself in the story at this stage, but was obliged to complete it for finality.

Overall, it's an interesting read for Oldfield fans; but completely avoidable otherwise.

Interesting fact I never knew: The name of his album Ommadown, is actually a bastardization of the Irish word for idiot, amadán.

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1 Comments:

At May 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM , Blogger Gamma Goblin said...

I find it ironic that a man, who has recycled the same piece of music so much throughout his career, should choose the word "Changeling" as the title of his autobiography :)

Re: Ommadawn... Surprised you didn't notice how similar the words were before reading the book. I can't speak though: I noticed it so much that at one point I started questioning whether Ommadawn was actually the correct spelling of the word lol

 

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