Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

93%

36 Critic Reviews

Those indifferent to Young will see no point to it, but Young obsessives will find it hard to put down.
-AV Club

Synopsis

“I think I will have to use my time wisely and keep my thoughts straight if I am to succeed and deliver the cargo I so carefully have carried thus far to the outer reaches.” --Neil Young, from Waging Heavy Peace

Legendary singer and songwriter Neil Young’s storied career has spanned over forty years and yielded some of the modern era’s most enduring music. Now for the first time ever, Young reflects upon his life—from his Canadian childhood, to his part in the sixties rock explosion with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, through his later career with Crazy Horse and numerous private challenges. An instant classic, Waging Heavy Peace is as uncompromising and unforgettable as the man himself.
 

About Neil Young

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NEIL YOUNG's music and songwriting— which spans forty years and thirty-four studio albums of rock and roll, folk, and country, with shadings of blues, techno, and other styles—are among the most enduring and popular in modern times. From his early days with Buffalo Springfield through his solo career and collaborations with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Crazy Horse, and dozens of other notable musicians and groups, Young is acclaimed for both his musical talents and his artistic integrity. With a major hit in every decade since the sixties, Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (as a solo artist in 1995 and as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997). A well-known political activist, environmentalist, and philanthropist, Young has been involved in several causes, notably cofounding Farm Aid and The Bridge School, which assists children with physical impairments and communication needs.
 
Published September 25, 2012 by Plume. 512 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 14 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Waging Heavy Peace
All: 36 | Positive: 35 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Oct 15 2012

...an entertaining and mostly well-written journey into the past, if light on rock ’n’ roll.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Oct 28 2012

...presents a much more playful, capricious portrait of the same tough, controlling person Mr. McDonough described.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by HOWARD HAMPTON on Oct 26 2012

Young’s a star who behaves like a grizzled, antic prospector in the comedy of his own life. “Waging Heavy Peace” is his testimony before an audience conceived of as like-minded, if only as a brotherhood of the incongruous.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Richard Williams on Oct 19 2012

...some discussion of guitars and the occasional backstage tantrum, but rather more about his son Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, and his own childhood polio and the brain aneurism that attacked him in 2005.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Oct 01 2012

Young weaves crystalline lyrics and notes...with reflections on the enduring beauty of nature, and the lasting power and influence of music.

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Wall Street Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by WESLEY STACE on Sep 28 2012

...because the book is terrific: modest, honest, funny and frequently moving—an antidote.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Richard Marcus on Aug 07 2013

Reading it is like having a rambling conversation with a close friend. When you pick the book up after putting it down, it feels as if he’s been waiting for you to come back into the room so he can pick up where you left off. No matter what he’s been talking about...what matters is the book makes you feel he’s talking directly to you.

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National Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Kevin Chong on Oct 11 2012

The book is filled with shout-outs to old friends and frequent addresses to the reader...

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by David Ulin on Oct 07 2012

...which is surely one of the most idiosyncratic rock star autobiographies I've encountered, a book that wears its genius (yes) and its excess on its sleeve.

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AV Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Phil Dyess-Nugent on Oct 15 2012

Those indifferent to Young will see no point to it, but Young obsessives will find it hard to put down.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Kyle Anderson on Sep 28 2012

Fittingly, Peace unfolds like a blustery Crazy Horse jam: often frustrating but occasionally hitting on an enrapturing revelation, requiring ample stores of passion and patience.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Helen Brown on Nov 15 2012

Young has delivered a blog-like account of his daily life which meanders into tangential memories.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by TIM CUMMING on Oct 20 2012

But there is none quite like Neil Young's eccentric, sprawling, absorbing telling of his life.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Chris Willman on Oct 22 2012

...an unbidden editor's nightmare but an indulgent fan's delight - and just about the most ADHD-stricken autobiography of all time.

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Tampa Bay Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Colette Bancroft on Nov 04 2012

But get into its rhythm and you'll be rewarded with the kind of storytelling that has made Young's music so evocative.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Greg Schneider on Nov 16 2012

Time and again, he confronts his big fear: that he doesn’t have the spark anymore. And he’s honest enough to admit that he can’t know the answer. All he can do is keep trying.

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Chicago Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Christopher Borrelli on Sep 28 2012

Neil Young leaves much to be interpreted in his meandering new book — just as you might expect

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Chron.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Bob Ruggiero on Sep 29 2012

...an honest, insightful, engaging and, dare we say, fun literary rambling. It’s a yarn told by a good buddy in a dark bar over beers and tequilas with great music on the jukebox in the background.

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The New Yorker

Below average
Reviewed by Alec Wilkinson on Oct 17 2012

He just seems lost and mute when he might have brought a scene or a person to life, as if there were nothing more to prose writing than listing and noting.

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Los Angeles Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Jesse Jarnow on Oct 29 2012

...Waging Heavy Peace might be the most authentically demystifying rock memoir yet ever penned.

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Austin Chronicle

Good
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri on Dec 07 2012

Like the whole of his musical career, Waging Heavy Peace varies from enlightening to wildly frustrating....one can only conclude that's simply Neil Young's humanity showing through.

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Paste

Excellent
Reviewed by Elias Leight on Nov 06 2012

There’s a certain charm to his non-musical enthusiasms, and it can be interesting to hear about the wild stuff that people do with their money when they hit it big.

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Lancaster Online

Excellent
Reviewed by JON FERGUSON on Nov 24 2012

As you read, you're never sure exactly where you're going, and you're not always satisfied when you arrive, but the trip...is entertaining, making for a worthwhile journey.

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Straight.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Paul Phillips on Oct 26 2012

The legendary rocker unloads about his life, his friends, and his muse, all written as a nonlinear recollection, as if the reader were sitting with Young himself at the back of his tour bus, shooting the shit.

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The Northern Echo

Excellent
Reviewed by The Northern Echo on Nov 12 2012

Like with so much else, Young has done this book his way, and it is excellent.

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Rolling Stone

Excellent
Reviewed by SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON on Sep 25 2012

...often reads less like a traditional autobiography than a lively blog – full of casual asides, unpredictable tangents and open-ended questions as he looks back on his life at age 66.

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The Times-Picayune

Excellent
Reviewed by Alison Fensterstock on Oct 25 2012

...like all things he does, he has written his book exactly his way. If you like his way, then, you will most likely like it.

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Paul Gleason

The triumph of Waging Heavy Peace is that after reading it, you really feel that you’ve just had a great time hanging out with Neil Young.

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Jambands

Excellent
Reviewed by Brian Robbins on Nov 09 2012

...but the constant that truly counts is Young himself. His feelings, memories, and confessions were laid out on the pages as they came from his soul.

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The Buffalo News

Excellent
Reviewed by Jeff Miers on Oct 01 2012

...the memoir is a paean to the Muse herself, and a testament to Young's lifelong insistence on maintaining the wide-eyed wonder of a child in her presence.

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All About Jazz.

Excellent
Reviewed by LLOYD PETERSON on Nov 03 2012

There may be no other biography that is so closely in tune with the artist, nor an artist that is this in tune with his muse and has the ability to write about it in such a detailed and expressive way.

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The Beat Magazine.

Excellent
Reviewed by Richard Young on Oct 06 2012

In short, Waging Heavy Peace is very much like its author -- rambling, meandering and equal parts brilliant and frustrating.

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Under My Apple Tree

Good
Reviewed by Leslie on Nov 23 2012

Enjoyable and entertaining, music and memoir fans will find this a satisfying read.

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Quill & Quire

Good
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Dec 01 2012

...this charming, poignant volume is much like Young’s oeuvre: sustained periods of pure delight punctuated by sudden, unexpected turns.

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Books & Review

Good
Reviewed by Cole Garner Hill on Nov 27 2012

"Waging Heavy Peace" was Young's first attempt at writing, but just like his music - that humble, shaggy-dog swagger, the virtue of cleverness in simplicity - he makes it look easy.

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The Newtown Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Toby Creswell on Dec 06 2012

If you’re prepared to ride around with him on his psychic highway, you’ll get to see the most revealing portrait of a rock & roll icon yet written.

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Reader Rating for Waging Heavy Peace
75%

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