Elliott Smith was one of the most gifted songwriters of the 90s, adored by fans for his subtly melancholic words and melodies. The sadness had its sources in life. There was trauma from an early age, years of drug abuse, and a chronic sense of disconnection that sometimes seemed self-engineered. Smith died violently in LA in 2003, under what some believe to be questionable circumstances, of stab wounds to the chest. By this time fame had found him, and record-buyers who shared the listening experience felt he spoke directly to them from beyond: astute, damaged, lovelorn, fighting, until he could fight no more. And yet, although his intimate lyrics carried the weight of truth, Smith remained unknowable.
In Torment Saint, William Todd Schultz gives us the first proper biography of the rock star, a decade after his death, imbued with affection, authority, sensitivity, and long-awaited clarity. Torment Saint draws on Schultz's careful, deeply knowledgeable readings and insights, as well as on more than 150 hours of interviews with close friends from Texas to Los Angeles, lovers, bandmates, music peers, managers, label owners, and recording engineers and producers. This audiobook unravels the remaining mysteries of Smith's life and his shocking, too early end. It will be, for Smith's legions of fans and listeners still discovering his songbook, an indispensable examination of his life and legacy.
©2013 William Todd Schultz (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
"Almost interesting, often overwrought, poorly read"
Travis Young mispronounces a word every 2 or 3 sentences. It is annoying and takes me out of the story.
I am going to start asking for refunds for books read by semiliterate narrators.
Several books I downloaded recently had the same problem. Imagine if you bought a printed book that had a multiple typos on every page. Does anyone edit or check these things? Or, do they just turn on the recorder and use whatever comes out on the first take?
This book describes in detail the troubles he had with drugs and relationships. I liked it more than the big nothing book. Seemed to have more info and more sources. Still, I recommend both books.
"Narrator needs to take an English class."
The writing was fine. And fairly thorough. Biographies are often hard to bring to life in the third person. But this one moves along fairly well.
The narrator mispronounces words so often it becomes annoying. This is the first book in over 10 years that had this many mistakes in it.
Elliott Smith was an amazing songwriter and guitar player. I am revisiting all of his work now as i go thru the experience of quitting pain medication after 20 years of being on it.
For some reason his music has become the soundtrack of this experience for me. Made it much more tolerable.
Amazing book on the life of singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. Fantastic narrator as well, my favorite of all I've heard on Audible. I didn't think I could love Elliott more until I read this book. A perfect and fitting tribute.
"A great insight into Elliott Smith's life."
This book is necessary listening/reading for any Elliott Smith fan. Like most Elliott Smith fans, I have a deeply personal and intense relationship with his music and feel almost protective about portrayals or analyses of his character or music. Still, because I love his music, I had to have this book. I have listened to many audiobooks on my favourite musicians and this one is certainly up there in terms of what it covers, and the tone it takes. Particularly, I liked the seriousness of the tone of the narrator. It wasn't a 'fun' reading, and therefore to me it suits the tone of a lot of Elliott's music. As far as the writing goes, the best bits by far to me were the analysis of the songs. The way the author unpacks 'Coast to Coast' and 'Kings Crossing' was especially cool, and it prompted me listen to the songs again with a newfound intensity and heaviness. I listen to audiobooks at night when I'm getting ready for sleep and sometimes, particularly at the end, the mood is so sad and heavy I couldn't sleep. I just thought about his life and how he must have been feeling to be doing the things he was doing toward the end of his life. In some ways, at times this book is almost like following Elliott around. I got a very deep insight into how he engaged with his music, such as how he was in the studio or with his 4 track in his early recordings. Personally, I enjoyed the author's analysis of various songs, particularly those on XO and From A Basement On The Hill. Though I guess not everyone would agree with these, I would have liked more of this. It just helped me love the songs even more because I understood (though without surprise) that every song was written with an important feeling or question behind it and was never just something to sing to fit the music. Also, it was cool to check out many of the performances on YouTube mentioned in the book. The background provided gives a fresh insight, particularly to the Oscars performance. Actually, the section on that was a highlight. I could almost feel what it must have been like to be Elliott in that situation.
One other thing I'd like to mention is that this book, through the views of Jon Brion, is the first thing I've read that acknowledges the incredible inventiveness of Elliott's harmonic sensibility.
No characters were attempted to be portrayed as other audiobooks might. But if we just think of the story itself, then anything done by or said by Elliott is of course the highlight.
Yes, if I liked the subject.
Yes it inspired me to listen to more Elliott Smith!!
Well, you love Elliott Smith, so like it or not, you have to get this book. People like us need all we can get on this tormented songwriting genius.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.