Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye

Divided Soul The Life Of Marvin Gaye A biography of the Prince of Soul David Ritz a friend of Marvin Gaye had been working on this biography for several years before the singer s death and had conducted interviews with him Drawing fro

  • Title: Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye
  • Author: David Ritz
  • ISBN: 9780711948952
  • Page: 387
  • Format: Unknown Binding
  • A biography of the Prince of Soul David Ritz, a friend of Marvin Gaye, had been working on this biography for several years before the singer s death, and had conducted interviews with him Drawing from these interviews, this book recounts Gaye s life in his own words and those close to him.

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      Published :2020-02-19T07:41:15+00:00

    611 Comment

    • Petra X says:

      The ending of this book is so surprising and usually you don't get twists in biographies. Something very unusual about Marvin Gaye was that his first wife was 17 years older than him, the marriage lasted 12 years. His second marriage was to a 17 year old girl 16 years younger than him. This marriage lasted 5 years officially but they were together on and off until his death.Marvin Gaye had been rejected by his father from birth and spent the rest of his life trying to win his father's approval a [...]

    • Andre says:

      This book was good, as good as possible, but not as good as it could have been. I believe that’s because the author, David Ritz, was too close to the subject. Knowing that Ritz and Gaye had a rollercoaster relationship that included litigation and disputes over money, there was no way I can take Ritz’s biography at face value. Even though the story of Divided Soul is nonfiction, it is told in the voice of an unreliable narrator.Don’t get me wrong. I give Ritz a lot of credit for this work. [...]

    • bfred says:

      Although I've been a fan of his music since I was a kid, I knew very little about Marvin Gaye’s life—aside from the fact that he was shot to death by his own father—before reading this biography. Author David Ritz does a thorough job of reconstructing the highs and lows of Gaye’s 44 years, including his abusive childhood, two unhealthy marriages, drug use, and long road to superstardom. Ritz portrays him as a incorrigibly insecure man, tortured by the psychological wounds inflicted upon [...]

    • Erin Ashley says:

      This was actually a pretty compelling book. My friend recommended that I read it because I am a huge Marvin Gaye fan, however, he passed away before I was alive so a lot of his back history for me was unknown. After reading this book, his album Here My Dear, even I Want You make so much more sense to me. Parts of the book which were uncovered by Ritz in his interviews with Gaye were a little bizarre to me for example, his father essentially cross dressing and Gaye exhibiting the same behavior, a [...]

    • Keila says:

      I liked this book. As my first biography of Marvin Gaye, it seemed to be a comprehensive view of his life and struggles. As for the author, I'm not a big fan. His detailed accounts of the people, places, and circumstances that spanned the decades of Gaye's career were appreciated, but I could have done without the flowery language used in between those stories to portray him as a tragic hero. I was distracted enough to skip over paragraphs at a time, and I'm a little hesitant to try another of M [...]

    • I Be Reading says:

      Great biography of Marvin Gaye; I would consider it definitive (SO FAR), given the author's interviews with Marvin and those closest to him. However, I could do with a lot less of David Ritz's personal opinions and analysis about Marvin. He managed to insert himself in Jan Gaye's autobiography by making sure he was credited for giving Marvin the idea for "Sexual Healing"; he also found a way to insert himself in this one. I didn't notice it the first time I read this but it was super obvious (an [...]

    • Winter Sophia Rose says:

      Fascinating, Tragic, Compelling, Heartbreaking, Engrossing, Page Turner! An Awesome Read! I Loved It!

    • Gabrielle says:

      This often makes lists of best music biographies. And I can see why. It is based on years of interviews with Marvin Gaye - who was usually stoned. And seems well researched and the writer is well connected so was able to verify things after Marvin’s death and talk to his mother and so on. And if you love memoir and biography you need to read this. But it had downsides. The author incorporates too much of himself frankly (yawn) and the ebook was filled with typos. And Marvin. What a troubled gu [...]

    • Nada says:

      I would never consider David Ritz a biographer because of his tendency to write as if he can read his subject's mind. That is a flawed way of writing a candid biography, and he always keep me feeling suspicious when I'm reading any of his books. This is the same case with Marvin Gaye's book, which I do not consider (like many other readers) a biography, it is more like a memoir.It is not easy to read Marvin's life without aching. He was indeed a flawed genius.

    • Kimberly Hicks says:

      Marvin is my favorite recording artist, and after reading his life story, it just pulled at my heart strings. Marvin fought so many demons, and who would have guessed it with the life he led. I have every song he's ever recorded. Took me years to complete my collection, but complete it, I did, and I've added my book to my Marvin collection. I miss you, Marvin! But your music will remain with me always!

    • Chavon says:

      Excellent read. Full of musical history spanning 20+ years woven with the story of GAye's life. Tragically brilliant, he reminds me of fictional character Holden Caufield. Gaye's spiritual awareness and connection with God is beautiful. His mental health issues are heart breaking as you winess the star fall from grace. I adore Gaye even more. Understanding his story and pain, well written by David Ritz.

    • Daniel Chamberlayne says:

      Marvin Gaye was a complex man who beared his soul in his music

    • Fray Arsenio says:

      I had read previously the Etta James "autobiography" by the same author, which I enjoyed very much as well. David Ritz has written a handful of soul and R'n'B musicians autobiographies and I'm sure you'll agree with me that writing someone else "autobiography" can't be more paradoxical. It would be surely better named an "authorized biography told in first person" but that's not very commercial.That aside, I liked the book very much, although with some reservations.Ritz was a friend and collabor [...]

    • Matthew says:

      I found this book to be a vivid and accurate representation of a tortured soul, meaning it was very depressing. As a work of literature it is excellent, particularly the quotes from Marvin himself, who didn’t appear to mince words when it came to self-critique. Unfortunately from a narrative perspective, the tone of the final chapters of the book echo that of Marvin’s life, meaning this doesn’t have a happy ending. I also felt that the book focused on the negative qualities of Gaye to such [...]

    • Stuart says:

      Tragic in the Oedipal sense - all his woes and flaws can be boiled down the beatings and beratings from his father. His many loves could never live up to his saint of a mother. In this story though the father kills the son. Yet he created some of the greatest records of the 70’s and thus of all time. Recommended.

    • Karen Jones says:

      I didn't like the author inserting himself into this biography of Marvin Gaye. "Marvin told me" "I explained to Marvin,,," are peppered throughout. He wanted so much to be an important part of Gaye's life, and I found it off-putting. Other than that, I enjoyed reading about the life of one of my favorite singers.

    • Theresa says:

      I read this book many years ago. It was such a good story and very well written. He was such a talent, but was also such a tormented soul. He was his own worse enemy and that was his biggest tragedy. Together he and David Ritz painted a vivid, honest and touching picture of his life. I felt such empathy for him.

    • Jimmy says:

      This book was nothing short of a disappointment. I'd easily rate it as the worst biography I've ever read. David Ritz puts himself way too much into this book, to the point that a lot of it read as a poorly-planned memoir rather than an actual biography. (Seriously, the point of a biography is to have it be about someone else; to put even one little bit about the author in the main text of the book is completely destroying the definition of biography.)Ritz is justzy. He quotes interviews with an [...]

    • Ethan says:

      Ritz writing mostly exists to string along the numerous quotes he's collected that tell the great brilliance and insane tragedy of Gaye's fascinating life; and thank god too as the sections where Ritz lays it on thick start to make needless comparisons between Gaye's life and Dante and other classic works of literature. His primary voice makes this book more beach read than study, but it's hard to fault him for that when the story is often so exciting that you want to keep flying along even when [...]

    • Lisa Gallagher says:

      Growing up in Detroit, on the music of Motown, nobody was cooler than Marvin Gaye. No one more spiritual. Nobody more passionate. This biography takes you into the heart and soul of this artist. The Daddy issues (manifested with his own father and his father-figure, Berry Gordy Jr.), the issues with women, the sex addiction, the other addictions and his immense talent. At times I wish the author weren't so close to his subject, perhaps a little remove was needed to fully flesh out the story. Mar [...]

    • Constance says:

      Being a teenager in the '60's was all about Marvin Gaye & Motown. There was nothing better. Then in the 70's Marvin gave us I Want You. It was genius as was the creator. It was my anthem through that time of my coming of age. I wore out two 8 tracks listening to it!I knew a bit about his life, but nothing cuts as deep as this book. Ritz makes you feel you are there with him as a spectator of this troubled life. It's always been said that artists who die too soon had so much more to give. Not [...]

    • Casey says:

      Marvin's own words pervade the the book, but with the author describing the subject of the book as "stoned" the majority of the time, it's like you're listening to a narrative that is surreal and skewed. As a reader, I didn't know if I could trust the direct quotes from Marvin himself. I guess that's what makes this book unique. Marvin self-analyzes often. He was a very egotistical man and knew the legacy he would carry on long before he passed. Even with all of his trials, he is an artist who's [...]

    • Jennifer says:

      Compelling if sad read. Well researched and Ritz clearly strived to have balance despite his personal relationship with Gaye. He put a lot of thought into outlining the forces that bedeviled such a talented man. Gaye's story in some ways reminded me of Dusty Springfield, uniquely gifted but self loathing. My only quibble with this well paced, thoughtful biography is that despite all the interviews, some voices are absent. Not much from wives or children and of course Gaye senior is the black hol [...]

    • Kenneth says:

      I'm a huge fan of Marvin Gaye's music and everyone knows the basic outline of his messed up life, but until you read this you have no idea the torment this man endured at the hands of himself and others. Perhaps the most painful scenes are the final years of his life, where we see Gaye reduced to a shameful parody of himself. Even so, Gaye was so central to the history of Motown (he married the founder's sister in addition to putting out some of the label most important records) that this book s [...]

    • Jeff says:

      Reading and really enjoying it. As they mention and describe his various hits, the songs work their way into my subconscious. Right now I have Got to Give It Up playing on a loop. At 11:45, it takes up some room.Now finished - such a sad story such a wasted talent. It's amazing how such deep talent is paired with such self-destructive tendencies. Marvin's dad, Marvin Senior, fits the bill perfectly from ruining little Marvin's childhood to finally pulling the trigger - twice! - to finish him off [...]

    • Laini says:

      I had hoped to like it much more than I did. I was unfamiliar with Ritz's history with Gaye, but as one of the other commenters pointed out, it was the fact that their story was just as unstable and contentious as Marvin's relationships with just about everybody else. And the "unreliable narrator" aspect put me off. It was also sad to find out that the man who made such amazing music could be a real jerk-- troubled, homophobic, a wife beater and with a serious madonna/whore complex. It was enlig [...]

    • Toya says:

      Inspite of (or is it because of) the drug abuse, daddy issues and sexual issues Marvin Gaye made a name for himself in the music industry. After reading about his life I'm going to have an image of a coked out, male chauvinistic pig, without a backbone. I felt sorry for him at the beginning but by the end it seem like he was begging for someone to put him out of he misery. If you are interested in his life this is a good read but dont hope to come away with a good impression of Marvin Gaye.

    • Clairissa D says:

      Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye is the auto biography of Marvin Gaye. The author used the technique of slowing down the hot spot and character building throughout the text. In most cases the author was drawing out the hot spot to help the reader better understand Marvin's character. A great example how one can be used to assist the other. I would not recommend this text for younger groups but it would be great to teach these techniques using this text in an adult classroom.

    • Dick B says:

      The great thing about this book is that after you read it you gain a greater appreciation for Marvin Gaye as a person, knowing his inner turmoil, which heightens the tragedy of his life. But mostly you realize that you can't fully understand the place where Marvin's music comes from if you don't know Marvin and you also can't fully understand Marvin without knowing his music. Plus, what a fascinating life he lived! I'll have to read this again sometime.

    • Erik says:

      What a bad book. Marvin Gaye was on really tortured soul. The book sets this up really early and keeps dwelling on it. Marvin had a lot of issues with sex and drugs, but it was his ego (read: he was a Diva with a capital D) and his lack of confidence and the book's laser focus on these topics that really made this book drag on. Plus, I feel the author was a little too close to Marvin (the author co-wrote Sexual Healing). A new, revisited biography is overdue.

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