Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock by Gregory Thornbury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a biography of Larry Norman, one of the forefathers of modern contemporary Christian music. A genre I have basically no knowledge of, I was hoping for a lot more from this book both in terms of insight into the genre’s creation itself and of Norman, presented here as an important cog in the CCM machine. We basically get neither – the book assumes a lot of knowledge about CCM that may be clear to fans of the genre, as you get basically no context for the genre itself or where it’s at along the same lines of Norman’s growth/changes as a musician, and Norman himself, to this reader, is portrayed as more of an eccentric crank than a musician of import. It would be fine if the book was trying to present that point of view from the start, but the narrative instead comes across more as a bait-and-switch.
I hesitate to criticize a book for not being what I want the book to be, but I instead criticize this one for not being what it was presented as. It’s a missed opportunity, and I am interested in seeing another book that might better explain Norman and the modern history of the genre.
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