Alanna Nash
July 19, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

I Lived to Tell It All

Current Status
In Season
George Jones, Tom Carter
Memoir, Music

We gave it a C

In his long-awaited autobiography, country legend George Jones says ”the Nashville of the 1960s was a fun-loving, mischief-making paradise for a bunch of kids in adult bodies who didn’t want to grow up.” That’s the overriding theme of this helter-skelter memoir of country’s finest song interpreter and the genre’s ”national drunk and drug addict.” Cowriter Tom Carter never really captures Jones’ voice, giving us mostly a string of anecdotes. Throughout these tales of self-destruction, self-hatred, and eventual sobriety, Jones comes across as alternately despicable and selfish — walking off stage and inciting riots, leaving his family stranded on a rural roadside — and more wasted and pathetic than he ever let on. There’s absolutely nothing in I Lived to Tell it All about how Jones pulls the magic out of himself when he sings and very little about music, period. But if a story about twisting Porter Wagoner’s penis turns you on, this book’s for you. C

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