Chris Willman
April 18, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Joe Nick Patoski
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
genre
Nonfiction, Biography

We gave it a B+

Willie Nelson fans will have their blue eyes cryin’ in the rain — with joy — over the arrival of such a richly reported bio. Willie might be the least conflicted hero in biographical history, once he trades being a ”bad drunk” for placid pot and metaphysics. (When he cries after a snub from girlfriend Amy Irving, it’s practically his only vulnerable moment in 500 pages.) But despite Joe Nick Patoski’s reluctance to psychoanalyze his beatific subject in Willie Nelson, there are scores of funny firsthand stories in his account of how a ramshackle hillbilly career sparked an unlikely convergence of redneck, hippie, and Hollywood culture. B+

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