Will Brooker – Why Bowie Matters


A unique, moving and dazzlingly researched exploration of the places, people, musicians, writers and filmmakers that inspired David Jones to become David Bowie, what we can learn from his lifes work and journey, and why he will always matter.

When David Bowie died on 10 January 2016, it seemed the whole world was united in mourning. His greatest hits were sung tearfully in pubs up and down Britain, garlands of flowers were left at the Aladdin Sane mural in his old stomping ground of Brixton and tributes poured in from a galaxy of stars. To many of us, Bowie was so much more than a pop idol. But why?

In Why Bowie Matters, Professor Will Brooker answers that question persuasively, as both a fan and an academic. A Bowie obsessive since childhood, he hit the headlines over the course of a year-long immersive research project that took him from London to Berlin and New York, following in Bowies footsteps, only listening to music and reading books he loved, and even at times adopting his fashion.

In this original and illuminating audiobook, Professor Brooker approaches Bowie from various angles, retracing his childhood on the streets of Bromley, taking us through his record collection and bookshelves and deciphering the symbols and codes of his final work, Blackstar, to piece together how an ordinary suburban teenager turned himself into a legend, and how perhaps we too could be a little more Bowie.

He shows us that while David Robert Jones died on that terrible day in January, David Bowie will live on forever.

Author: Will Brooker
Narrator: Ciaran Saward
Duration: 7 hours 55 minutes
Released: 19 May 2011
Publisher: William Collins
Language: English

User Review:

atrium diverse

This is a story of Charles Dickens and his mistress Nelly Ternan. He was 45 and she 18 when they met in 1857. I almost got more interested in Claire Tomalin detective search for information about Nelly Ternan. Apparently both Ternan and Dickens destroyed most of the written material about themselves and lived in a discreet way. The divorce of the Dickens was shocking to Victorian England, so they kept a low profile. I found it interesting to note that a life in the theater (acting) was an unfavorable occupation and more so for women at the time, they were social outcasts and were thought of as whores. Things sure changed in the 20th and 21 century we put actors at the top of our society. Claire Tomalin did a great job trying to provide an accurate biography of the two but I am sure she had to do some speculation and deduction also. Wanda McCaddon did a good job of narrating the story. Tomalin’s discussion of Dickens and his contemporaries was interesting as I had recently added to my wish list a book by Anthony Trollope, apparently he and Dickens were friends. Tomalin did a good job of bringing to life the era of the 1850s. If you enjoy literature and history you will enjoy this book.