27: A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse

11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2013. ISBN 9781452617787. $39.99; 11 CDs. library ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. BIOG/MUSIC
Soon after Sounes (Fab) acknowledges that the titular 27 Club is "essentially a media construct based on a coincidence," any pretense of a theory that could unify the deaths of the titular six musicians—all of whom died at age 27—quickly disintegrates. What remains are biographical sketches of the principles' lives, focusing on the seedier and drearier bits, which grows interminable. Though the Winehouse coverage features some primary material, it is from unimportant figures (e.g., school chums). All the material Sounes covers is presented better and in more detail elsewhere. Todd McLaren's straightforward reading is appropriate for a nonfiction title.
VERDICT Readers interested in entry-level biographical treatment of the six troubled 27ers will find this useful, but there is nothing new for avid rock history fans. ["Despite the morbid subject, this sharply written and insightful title should have a home in any public or music library," counters the review of the Da Capo hc, LJ 11/15/13.]
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