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Carlin, Peter Ames

Carlin, Peter Ames


Born in Seattle, WA; married; children: three. Education: Attended Macalester College; Lewis & Clark College, graduated, 1985.


Home—Portland, OR. E-mail—[email protected]


Journalist, television critic, and writer. Oregonian, Portland, OR, television critic, 2000—. Previously senior writer for People, New York, NY.


Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, Rodale (Emmaus, PA), 2006.

Also author of two blogs, one on his home page, and one at the Oregonian. Contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Men's Journal.


A longtime journalist and television critic, Peter Ames Carlin is also the author of Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. The book is based on the author's research and interviews with various people, including former band members and Wilson himself. In the biography of Wilson, who composed the Beach Boys' songs and is considered the genius behind the band, Carlin delves into the many triumphs and struggles associated with Wilson's life, from the Beach Boys' overwhelming success in the 1960s to Wilson's battle with his controlling father who served for many years as the band's manager. The author describes how Wilson's father and other band members opposed Wilson over his desire to make a much-anticipated album called Smile, which would be a serious departure from the band's popular "sound." (The album was eventually completed nearly four decades later, in 2004.) The author also probes Wilson's psychological problems, fall from the public eye, and reemergence as a recognized master of the pop song. Porter Shreve, writing in People, called Catch a Wave a "first-rate biography and a compelling social history about a generation's loss of innocence." In his review in the New York Times Book Review, Bruce Handy noted that the author "is too scrupulous to ignore more nuanced shadings and contradictions; his Wilson is both a victim, too fragile for this world, and a passive-aggressive manipulator, a man who, at times, willfully squandered his talent." Handy added: "Carlin tells his story well and sensitively." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author "succeeds in rendering an immediate and often heart-wrenching look at both the psychological abuse and the artistic muse" of Wilson. Douglas King, writing in the Library Journal, called Catch a Wave "a boon for music scholars and Beach Boys fans alike."



Booklist, June 1, 2006, Gordon Flagg, review of Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, p. 24.

Entertainment Weekly, July 14, 2006, Chris Willman, review of Catch a Wave, p. 83.

Library Journal, June 1, 2006, Douglas King, review of Catch a Wave, p. 118.

London Times, July 29, 2006, Richard Whitehead, review of Catch a Wave.

New York Times Book Review, July 23, 2006, Bruce Handy, review of Catch a Wave, p. 12.

People, July 24, 2006, Porter Shreve, review of Catch a Wave, p. 43.

Publishers Weekly, May 1, 2006, review of Catch a Wave, p. 51.


AARP Magazine Web site, (February 21, 2007), Wendi Kaufman, review of Catch a Wave.

Armchair Interviews, (February 21, 2007), Connie Anderson, review of Catch a Wave.

BookHelpWeb, (February 21, 2007), brief profile of author.

BookLoons, (February 21, 2007), Hilary Daninhirsch, review of Catch a Wave.

Muse Book Reviews, (February 21, 2007), Barbara Ehrentreu, review of Catch a Wave.

Peter Ames Carlin Home Page, (February 21, 2007).

Willamette Week Online, (September 27, 2006), Jeff Rosenberg, review of Catch a Wave.

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