Gould, Jonathan 1951–
Gould, Jonathan 1951–
Born November 3, 1951. Education: Studied music with jazz drummer Alan Dawson.
Home—Willow, NY; New York, NY.
Writer. Worked as a professional musician.
Jonathan Gould is a writer and a former professional musician. He studied music under the well-known jazz drummer Alan Dawson and spent several years working in bands and recording studios. His debut book, Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America, which took him nearly twenty years to write, was published in 2007. In the introduction to Can't Buy Me Love, the author states that this book on the Beatles, the renowned pop/rock group from Liverpool, England, formed in 1960, is unique from its numerous predecessors in the sense that it combines three main perspectives—biographical, musical, and historical—in order to give the reader a comprehensive view of the band.
The book was well received by several critics, many of whom were skeptical that this book could contribute anything new to a subject that has been extensively examined over the years. However, a Kirkus Reviews critic did note of the book that "well-worn information and questionable musical analysis add up to a very disposable take on the Fab Four." Bob K., in his review of the book for Bob's Bloggery, noted that while the biographical aspect of the book was not as comprehensive as other biographies on the Beatles, he found the historical aspect of the book "especially enlightening and learned things about the band and the things that were influencing them" in their decision making. "There have been several biographies of the band … but Gould leaves the gossip to others and instead relies on their music to tell the story," remarked Mark Rotella in his review of the book for Publishers Weekly. "Long on history, short on gossip, [Gould] gives nuanced assessments of the world's most admired rock band and of its era," observed June Sawyers in a review of the book for Booklist. "Whether defining their enduring appeal, illuminating the nuances of John and Paul's complex relationship, or waxing rhapsodically over one of Ringo's signature drum fills, Gould delivers a multifaceted gem of a book that should delight and surprise even the most oversaturated fan," exclaimed Christian Science Monitor's John Kehe. "It's not so much a new take as it is a more diligent take, a grand sifting…. Gould has written a scrupulous, witty and, at times, appropriately skeptical study, which drew me back into a subject I thought I was sick of. The book lacks the intimacy of a full-fledged biography—if you want to know who John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr really were, you'll do better elsewhere—but it compensates with an imaginative intelligence and a lively breadth of knowledge. While the prose veers from serviceable to elegant, it's the observations that really sparkle," commented New York Times Book Review critic Bruce Handy.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2007, June Sawyers, review of Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America, p. 36.
Christian Science Monitor, February 5, 2008, John Kehe, "Another Beatles Book? Yes, Maybe the Best Ever," review of Can't Buy Me Love, p. 13.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2007, review of Can't Buy Me Love.
Library Journal, September 15, 2007, Douglas King, review of Can't Buy Me Love, p. 62.
New York Times Book Review, October 28, 2007, Bruce Handy, "Nothing You Can Know That Isn't Known," review of Can't Buy Me Love, p. 12L.
Publishers Weekly, August 20, 2007, Mark Rotella, review of Can't Buy Me Love, p. 58.
USA Today, October 23, 2007, Anthony DeBarros, "Do You Want to Know a Secret?," review of Can't Buy Me Love, p. 7D.
Bob's Bloggery,http://drbobk.blogspot.com/ (April 11, 2008), Bob K., review of Can't Buy Me Love.
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (June 19, 2008), author biography.