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Review: Waging Heavy Peace

April 2, 2013

Waging Heavy Peace

Neil Young has been writing songs and playing music for over forty years, starting with Buffalo Springfield and going on to work with Crosby, Stills, and Nash and Crazy Horse as well as making solo albums.  He’s done his share of drinking and drugging but has always insisted on quality music, giving him a reputation for being difficult to work with.

Now that he’s sober and not writing music, he decided to write a book – after all his father was well known Canadian author Scott Young.  In his memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, Young shares his passions as well as stories from his life.

I enjoyed Young’s memoir, but I really think you need to be a fan of his to do so – I’ve enjoyed his music since I was in high school, so it was a good fit for me.  Young tells his story in a non-linear fashion and tends to ramble at times.  It’s obvious he loves his family and is loyal to his friends.  He is passionate about quality music and cars and is currently involved in projects involving both of them.  I found both of the projects fascinating and really respect him for financing them, even though he writes about them often and tends to repeat himself.  Young refers to his children by their full names and doesn’t use a lot of contractions, so the writing was awkward at times but the story was interesting enough for me to overlook all of that.

I listened to the audio version of Waging Heavy Peace.  It’s narrated by Keith Carradine and, I hate to say this, but, I don’t think he was the best choice – he never seemed to “feel” the story so his narration was somewhat monotone to me.  The audio is on 11 CDS and lasts approximately 12 and a half hours.  Fans of Neil Young will want to read this book but may want to experience it in print.

I love most of Young’s song and couldn’t narrow it down to one favorite, so here’s one of many:

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
23 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    April 2, 2013 6:12 am

    I loved Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but I never really liked Niel Young’s voice. His music, yes — but there is something about his singing voice that always grated on me. Anyway, if I decide to read this I’ll do print.

  2. April 2, 2013 6:30 am

    I’ve got this one but haven’t loaded it yet. I was waiting to hear what you said! My husband is a huge fan of Young, and while I appreciate his music and history, he isn’t my favorite. In the interest of loving music in general though, I might just listen.

  3. April 2, 2013 6:40 am

    Yes, high school and Neil Young on my 8-tracks…LOL

  4. bookingmama permalink
    April 2, 2013 7:00 am

    I like Neil Young okay, but I don’t think enough to read (or listen to) an entire book about his life. I have to laugh at the rambling nature of the book, though. It’s kind of what I’d expect.

  5. April 2, 2013 7:37 am

    I like his music too, but I am really not into singer memoirs! And like Julie, I think I would expect rambling as well! LOL

  6. April 2, 2013 8:11 am

    quite the career he has had….but you know memoirs and I do not get along.
    love the video..

  7. April 2, 2013 9:23 am

    I liked this one more than I expected to. Once I got used to the rambling and non-chronological flow it was interesting. I also flipped through the book at the library and there are some good photos so, yeah, fans would like the print book.

  8. April 2, 2013 11:04 am

    I’m not much into memoirs like this so it wouldn’t be for me although I find listening to things easier than reading.

  9. zibilee permalink
    April 2, 2013 11:42 am

    I’m not a big Neil Young fan, so this one would probably not be a good fit for me, but I am glad that you mostly liked it. I also sort of think that Carradine is an odd choice for a narrator!

  10. April 2, 2013 11:42 am

    Excellent review, Kathy! Like many others, I’ve enjoyed Neil Young’s melancholic music over the years. This sounds like a good memoir. Thanks for your honest review.

  11. April 2, 2013 12:08 pm

    Great review. Neil Young is definitely a celebrity I would love to hear his life story.

  12. April 2, 2013 5:29 pm

    I love Neil Young! And I love memoirs. And music. How could I go wrong with this one?

  13. April 2, 2013 7:15 pm

    He is an amazing song writer. I don’t know that this book is for me, but I do enjoy his music and am glad you liked the book.

  14. Patty permalink
    April 2, 2013 9:09 pm

    I lve him, too…great thoughts!

  15. Patty permalink
    April 2, 2013 9:10 pm

    Actually…I love him…not lve him…

  16. lab1990 permalink
    April 2, 2013 10:49 pm

    Nice review. I’m not even sure I know his music…I feel like I probably know a song or so. Definitely sounds like something a fan would enjoy most!

    Lauren from

  17. April 2, 2013 11:18 pm

    Twelve hours of listening to a monotone narrator! Must have been an engaging memoir. I’m not a fan of Neil Young so not sure I would enjoy this one.

  18. talesofwhimsy permalink
    April 3, 2013 12:47 pm

    I got excited when I saw this in my feed. It’s a shame that the narration doesn’t rock.

  19. April 4, 2013 4:12 pm

    I don’t tend to like celebrity memoirs so I will skip this one, but I sure do like Neil Young’s music.

  20. April 5, 2013 11:00 pm

    Buffalo Springfield used to practice in the garage down the street from my house. 🙂 This one is on my husband’s TBR Pile.

  21. April 7, 2013 7:04 pm

    I’m not a fan of his music but my parents were so I listened to it every now and again growing up. I think he should’ve narrated his own story.

  22. April 8, 2013 7:55 am

    Yes I agree Kathy – Neil has had great songs! Loved them. I read Waging Heavy Peace not long ago and enjoyed it. Here are my thoughts

  23. April 8, 2013 11:35 pm

    I don’t consider myself a fan so I guess I can skip this one without worrying I’m missing something.

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