What Is It All But Luminous by Art Garfunkel

What Is It All But Luminous

From the golden-haired, curly-headed half of Simon & Garfunkel--a memoir (of sorts): artful, moving, lyrical; the making of a musician; the evolution of a man, a portrait of a life-long friendship and collaboration that became one of the most successful singing duos of their time.Art Garfunkel writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel . . . about their folk-rock music in the roiling age that embraced and was defined by the...

Details What Is It All But Luminous

TitleWhat Is It All But Luminous
Release DateSep 26th, 2017
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Music, Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography, Biography Memoir, Travel, Culture, Pop Culture

Reviews What Is It All But Luminous

  • Steve Peifer
    Without a doubt this book ascends to the pantheon of the all time worst book of all human history. It clearly enters into the rare air of ‘so bad it’s great’ territory. Let me quote : ‘The Muse bit the ass of my beautiful wife, and I had an ear for the insight. A spiral of trust climbing in colored light. Love makes the Slinky rise.’Several thoughts:1. DON’T SMOKE MARIJUANA.2. Anyone who reads this will go ‘Now I understand why the ...
  • Roisin
    Ok.. I was going to give this book 2 Stars for the nice photos of Paul Simon but I'm sorry, nothing could save this collection of mad man ramblings.. not even Paul Simon could save you this time, Artie.He states in the book that he should maybe sometime write a "show off book", wow e wow, this is nothing but a show off book. Artie likes people to know that he is friends with Jack Nicholson, he wants you to know how many books he's read, how many ...
  • Gary
    I thought it was wonderful...the format took a while to get used to...but it's called NOTES FROM AN UNDERGROUND MAN.....notes......thoughts.....etc.....so....the format fits the title..... We also enjoyed meeting him in person,and hearing him speak. I enjoyed the book. It's not really a memoir or an autobiography...it's just sorta like someone carrying a notebook around,and just writing down snippets..... Had some beautiful inspiring things to sa...
  • Mediaman
    This is a really bad book, a complete misstep and misunderstanding about what his fans would want to read. Some editor and publisher thought Garfunkel's audience would enjoy reading his rambling "notes" from the last couple decades, none more than a couple paragraphs long, and most incomprehensible. How wrong they were! This worthless book has only 8 or 10 pages out of 240 that have any value (including lists of his favorite songs and ranking the...
  • Erin
    not your typical artist memoir but still enjoyed it. (I like the traditional rags to riches/hard work pays off type of success stories. )
  • Lisa
    Very disappointed. Stream of conciousness writing/poetry. Hints of life changing events with no follow through. I skimmed the entire book hoping to find substance. The writings are obviously important to Art but they are lost on the reader.
  • Michael
    Simon and Garfunkel will always be my favorite duo, listening to them soothes my worries. I wish I had the pleasure of hearing them growing up, but I discovered them later in life, but regardless I still remember hearing 'Sounds of Silence' it always brings back so much nostalgia. In fact all of their songs holds a special place in my heart such as Old Friends, Bleaker Street ( I always get choked up), Keep The Customer Satisfied, Ms Robinson, et...
  • Jeff Crosby
    I'm perhaps the rare music listener who HAS bought every solo record Art Garfunkel has ever made while, on the other hand, I have NOT done so with his more famous on-and-off-again collaborator, Paul Simon. Thus, I approached this book (as I did his earlier collection of poetry, "Still Water: Prose Poems") with excitement. And it delivered moments of insight (particularly about his struggle to regain his ability to sing in recent years) and captiv...
  • Ari Choquette
    The typeface in the print book—all the way through—is a digitized version of the author's handwriting, which seems like a neat idea but was actually distracting almost the whole time. That, plus the lack of narrative structure, made this one kind of a beast to get through on a cover-to-cover reading. But there were pieces of it that I loved and I can see myself returning to.
  • Nell
    What Is It All But Undercooked
  • Ann
    Lyrical, thoughtful and insightful, I love that these notes are available for a glimpse into the life of a beautiful man, father, husband and musical genius. The lists of hundreds of books he has read over the years, and found of note are an extra treat.
  • Karen
    Not what I expected. Lots of poetic pieces. It was an interesting peek at him but not really a memoir. Just gave you bits and pieces of what went on in his life.
  • Shelley
    "What Is It All But Tedious" might have been a better title. I'm all for the "Notes" format (as opposed to the traditional chronological autobiography), and I even didn't mind his numerous lists (of books read, favourite recordings, etc.), but it's Artie's poetry, which appears in abundance, that makes this book a tough slog.
  • Michale
    Some of these pieces were whimsical and captivating when read on stage, but the joy of hearing his unique voice and cadence did not translate to the printed page. Nevertheless, I did gain a deeper appreciation of his world experience and emotional range. Pet peeve: the charm of a handwritten manuscript has never been captured by the use of a faux handwriting font, particularly one which is always in bold. It only makes the text more difficult to ...
  • Emily
    I have been a Simon and Garfunkel fan since the first time I heard Sound of Silence. This book is part memoir, part poetry and absolutely beautiful!
  • Patrick Duran
    Art Garfunkel is a huge narcissist but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. He sprinkles laudatory adjectives throughout the book about his angelic voice. He includes some nonsensical poems and even his pretentious reading lists throughout his life. The book would have been more enjoyable to me if he had stuck to a straight narrative.
  • skip thurnauer
    I have read numerous bios and memoirs written by and about rock stars and musicians. This is one of them. Many R&R bios are all drug, booze, sex, and R&R. This wasn't one of those. At times it was interesting and insightful, but overall, I found the book disjointed and difficult to follow. I enjoyed some of the early sections about growing up in Queens and creating music with Paul Simon. I found the lists of books read interesting (1219 read betw...
  • Bob Walenski
    Saw/Heard him in concert this Spring in Plymouth. I couldn't wait for the book to be published. Thanks Jenn! This was an impossible book to rate, it was like rating HIM as a person. Extremely personal, more like a journal or diary that a novel, this book was an intimate meeting with the real Art Garfunkel. Much of it was poetry, or brief anecdotal accounts over time. Many were musings and thoughts as he walked and walked and walked, first across ...
  • Gretchen
    If Art Garfunkel's name was not on the cover of this book, it would never have been published. It is a stream of consciousness work with nothing to recommend it. If the reader is hoping to find out some interesting bits about his work/break up with Paul Simon or perhaps about his personal life, read the flap and you will know all the book has to say about those topics. How ludicrous to think that the reader is interested in what music is on his i...
  • Cathy
    Being a fan of S&G and knowing how well-read and traveled Art Garfunkel is, I was so excited to read this. I was a bit disappointed - maybe I should have taken the title a bit more literally. It really is Notes - just like if you left yourself random thoughts in a notebook or journal or a bunch of (large) sticky notes.The lack of cohesiveness just didn't work for me. Stories seem half-told or assume you know background information, and then they ...
  • Charles Reimler
    2-Star INNER Mind; Feelings, & Soul Of Art! *Fans Art Garfunkel Music Will Enjoy Readings & Photos* Diary Of Private “Journal” Of Art’s “Deepest FELT Feelings” & “Reflective Thoughts” With “Creative Poetry”; “Song Lyrics” Expressions Taken Various Different Time Frames Of His Life! Not Written As An Actual Autobiographical Work, But Excellent Profound “Insights” His Genuine Private Personhood By Refections Per Years Of A...
  • Don Gorman
    (2). I had no idea Artie was quite this quirky. I had no idea his first wife committed suicide, that he had cut more than 10 solo albums or that he had walked huge portions of Europe and the United States. I found out about all these things inbetween lots of weird poetry and life thoughts. His thoughts on his relationship with Paul Simon are interesting, and somewhat contrary to what I had thought and read other places. A small cog in the big eng...
  • Mary Sisney
    As the subtitle suggests, Art's book is more a collection of notes (lists, random thoughts, mediocre poems) than a memoir. I enjoyed Sherman Alexie's creative memoir, but he's a great writer and poet. Art is a great singer. The pictures and the lists of books that he read and found memorable were interesting, but this effete book makes educated people and artists--the elite--look bad. Shut up and sing, Art!
  • Katie Kaz
    This book isn't for everybody. It's Garfunkel's poetic telling of his life; Some early childhood, his friendship with Paul, fame, adventures, and loss. I love the lyrics and prose intertwined with the narrative. He's a figure you don't often think about, even with the amount of influential music he has created. (I still can't listen to I Am A Rock without crying) So this insight into an otherwise quiet superstar is really superbly done.
  • Debby Palmer
    I really like Art Garfunkel. I enjoy innovative forms. I love journal and free-flow as a form for memoir. I’m an easy mark as a reader—my default approach is open minded and nonjudgmental. But..this is just too self-indulgent to continue. I listened to a quarter of it, and may try again sometime, but I’m moving on.
  • Doreen Ashbrook
    I have long been an Art Garfunkel fan so I was very anxious to read this book. There were parts that I loved and parts that I didn't. I would have liked a little more prose and a little less poetry - but the poetry is who Art Garfunkel is.
  • Carolyn Hanson
    Read this (skimmed some) while holding my sleeping grandbaby for a couple hours. Enjoyed the free flow, personal journal style. Great photos, interesting little bits like 'books read' lists and musical influences. Loved the typeface that was a digitized version of his actual handwriting.
  • Cathie
    A lot of rambling, but a lovely book to listen to. Can certainly see why s had low reviews I think its another of those books that it benefits from being listened to as the writer is reading it so you get to understand the sentiment more. He also has such a lovely voice to listen to.
  • Robin
    Beautiful writer but seemed rather self-indulgent and I didn't understand much of what he wrote. I liked the lists of books he enjoyed but the librarian in me would have liked a 1-2 sentence annotation about why he liked them. I ended up skimming it.
  • Matthew Brown
    I hope it makes sense to Art Garfunkel. He’s an interesting man, but he missed the mark with this offering. I’m not sure there’s a “book” here...it’s just an assembly of ideas with a few cohesive moments.