Part poetic visionary, part misanthropic crank, Van Morrison has long had a rep for being as difficult as his most challenging music. Clinton Heylin had zero cooperation from Van the Man (who, in fact, threatened to sue for libel) but nonetheless produces a terrific, detailed look at his subject's life in Can You Feel The Silence?: Van Morrison: A New Biography culled from interviews with Morrison's ex-bandmates, associates, and former wife Janet Planet. Particularly fascinating is the portrait of the artist as a young R&B fan in Belfast, where he led the proto -- garage band Them and wrote the enduring pulp classic ''Gloria.'' Silence should prove indispensable for Morrisonites -- and a must for anyone who enjoys tales of tortured stars behaving badly.