Garfield, Simon 1960-
GARFIELD, Simon 1960-
PERSONAL: Born March 19, 1960; son of Herbert Sidney and Hella Helene (Meyer) Garfield; married, 1987; wife's name, Diana; children: two. Education: UCS Hampstead, B.Sc. Hobbies and other interests: Painting, poker, music, cricket.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o PFD, Drury House, 34-43 Russell St., London WC2B 5HA, England.
CAREER: Journalist. British Public Broadcasting (BBC), scriptwriter of radio documentaries, 1981-82; Time Out magazine, writer, 1982-88, editor, 1988-89; Independent, London, England, news feature writer, 1990-96; Observer, news feature writer, 2001-02.
Money for Nothing: Greed and Exploitation in the Music Industry, Faber and Faber (Boston, MA), 1986.
Expensive Habits: The Dark Side of the Music Industry, Faber and Faber (Boston, MA), 1986.
The End of Innocence: Britain in the Time of AIDS, Faber and Faber (Boston, MA), 1994.
The Wrestling, Faber and Faber (Boston, MA), 1996.
The Nation's Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio One, Faber and Faber (London, England), 1999.
Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World, Faber & Faber (London, England), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: British writer and social commentator Simon Garfield debuted with two consecutive books on the subject of music industry exploitation. Garfield's first book, Money for Nothing, according to Booklist's Peter L. Robinson, is an "insider's account" of artist exploitation in the music industry and that it has "all the ingredients that produce a juicy public spectacle."
Garfield's next book, Expensive Habits, is an "excellent new book on the scabbier side of the music business" wrote Marcus Berkmann, in Spectator. Berkmann noted that the "industry always reasserts itself," perpetuating some of the internal difficulties. Dave Rimmer, reviewing the book for Listener, called the "dark side" of the music industry "the business side." He insisted this 'business' includes "greedy and uncertain" aspects. Rimmer stated that Garfield is "one of the few writers in Britain dealing regularly, intelligently and entertainingly with the business of music."
Garfield turned his attention to the effect of the AIDS epidemic on society in The End of Innocence. Peter Campbell, a reviewer in London Review of Books, considered the work to be "objective about difficult issues." He called it "broad enough in its account of the way institutions have responded to the epidemic to achieve his larger aim. That aim is to write a history of Britain" concerning a decade in which AIDS is "at its core."
Garfield investigated the world of the professional British wrestler in his book The Wrestling. Gordon Burn, a reviewer in the Times Literary Supplement, called the work "a kind of oral history . . . of a breed that is facing extinction." He noted that "some [people] blame the rising body-count for the fact that wrestling disappeared from [British] television." Garfield explores the "inside world" of wrestling 'personalities.'
Simon Garfield has also written a book regarding another 'inside view' of Britain's favorite popular music station titled The Nation's Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio One.
In 2000, Garfield published a book on the history of a color. Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World, examines the creation of the color that is a cross between violet and blue. In 1856 William Perkins, using chemicals instead of the traditional plants that had always been used to make dye, created mauve. Marcia Bartusiak wrote in the New York Times Book Review that "By the turn of the 20th century, because of Perkin's novel idea, dye makers had 2000 synthesized colors at their disposal. Today, the digital palette contains more than 16 million shades." Bartusiak continued, "Garfield's chronicle of Perkin's life and the ultimate fruits of his labors is straightforward and clear."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Book, July, 2001, review of Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour That Changed the World, p. 13.
Booklist, September 1, 1986, p. 9; April 15, 2001, Donna Seaman, review of Mauve, p. 1518.
Choice, December, 2001, L. W. Fine, review of Mauve, p. 705.
Discover, June, 2001, Margaret Foley, review of Mauve, p. 85.
Library Journal, March 15, 2001, Wade M. Lee, review of Mauve, p. 103.
Listener, December 11, 1986, pp. 24-25.
London Review of Books, April 6, 1995, pp. 9-10.
New York Times Book Review, April 15, 2001, Marcia Bartusiak, review of Mauve, p. 17.
Spectator, December 6, 1986, pp. 49-50.
Times Higher Education Supplement, September 1, 2000, Jennifer Currie, review of Mauve, p. 21.
Times Literary Supplement, October 17, 1986, p. 1174; November 29, 1996, p. 36; November 27, 1998, Robert Edgely, review of The Nation's Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio One, p. 20; April 13, 2001, Alexander Masters, review of Mauve, p. 36.
U.S. News & World Report, April 30, 2001, Andrew Curry, review of Mauve, p. 54.*
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