I bought this book earlier in the summer when it came out because I knew I wanted to read it. Woodstock was coming up, and there is a part of the book that deals with that particularly singular event in this country, and in my own personal mythology as well. So, I started reading just before the 50th anniversary of Woodstock to celebrate. Here’s what I think of it.
Outside The Gates Of Eden is an incredible tour de force of the evolution of music and American culture from before Woodstock to the near present. At 860 pages, it looks a bit daunting, but it is a great read. Shiner pulls us easily through with great characters, perspectives, and prose so perfect you don’t notice it or the time flying by. He writes about music and musicians like nobody else, and if you’ve ever played any instrument, ever wanted to, or just want to know what it is like to be caught up in the magic of music, read him! Then there is the historical aspect of it, watching his characters live the changes that shaped our country over the past sixty years. I loved this book, and Shiner’s optimism about our future.
Definitely recommend this one.