Willie Nelson Book Report

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade May 2001

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For my book report I chose to read the companion volume to the phenomenal Tv series, Behind The Music about Willie Nelson. Nelson has been a monumental force in the music industry for the past 35 years and this book vividly depicts his struggle to reach the top and his never ending struggle with bad luck.

Born Willie Hugh Nelson on April 29, 1933, deep in the heart of Depression-wracked farm country, Nelson who grew up poor was raised with rich family values and a deep appreciation for music. Many times music was the only entertainment that Willie would have. Writing his first song and joining his first band at the age of twelve Willie showed promise and an unrelenting devotion to one day rise to the top of the music charts. The book was written by Clint Richmond, published by Pocket Books and copyrighted in the year 2000. It is obvious upon reading the title and the back cover that Richmonds' purpose is to tell Nelsons' story and how he got to where he is at today.

The books introduction discusses events far from Willies beginning and focuses on the things that people ultimately did for Willie to try and repay him for his countless acts of kindness. The book gets into full swing in chapter two and begins telling the story of Willies young life at home. The book quickly changes pace and starts focusing on the beginning of his career as he moves across the country several times chasing his musical aspirations.

The reader is taken on a long journey and follows Willie through all his travels but eventually ends up back in Texas where he belongs. Essentially this begins what is the meat of the book and where the author puts most of his focus.

In my opinion the author does an excellent job telling the story of Willie Nelson. To take the life of someone who has done so much and affected so many people and tell such a detailed story is simply amazing. Getting details about things that occurred some forty of fifty years ago is not easy and getting Willie to discuss things that he is not proud of could not have been easy either. The one place that I feel the author could have done a better job is to have gotten more input or quotes from Nelson himself. The story was told well but I think it did not include the whole story aspect without input from him. I was moved as the author probably told readers about things that very few people if any knew before the release of this book.

Willies rise and fall story is heartwarming and leaves the reader feeling good about the book and still craving more. It made me feel that I wasn't given enough information. Even though I had received all of the information, it was delivered in such a powerful manner that I wanted it to keep on going. The book flowed excellently from beginning to end and the transitions from chapter to chapter were so good that you could put the book down and pick it up the next day and feel like you had never set it down. This was a very book to put down, as I do not read often and I thoroughly enjoyed this publication and found it very hard to put down.

It seemed that the author had an extreme personal interest in Willie himself and that may be why the book was so well developed. There was a sense of passion coming from the author as he discussed his trials and tribulations.