Alanna Nash
December 05, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Cash: The Autobiography

Current Status
In Season
Patrick Carr

We gave it an A-

Johnny Cash’s life has been full enough to warrant two autobiographies (the first, Man in Black, was published in 1975). But this second entry isn’t so much a marshaling of the chronological facts as it is a warm and riveting rumination. Much of the writing in Cash: The Autobiography, whipped into shape by country-music journalist Patrick Carr, has the hypnotic power of good poetry. Though Cash exhibits a humorous streak (the Masons turned him down for membership on ”moral grounds,” and Patsy Cline once rejected his amorous advances), he’s best at chronicling his amphetamine addiction. Now 65 and dealing with Parkinson’s, the disease that killed his grandfather, Cash feels free to discuss spirituality more than music — but he also comes clean about other things: He doesn’t wear black all the time, after all. And while he may be a champion of the poor and downtrodden, he bought his new Range Rover through The Robb Report. A-

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