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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio

Disclaimer: I was a provided a free copy of this book to review for Thomas Nelson Publishers.

I chose to read Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio without knowing who Diamond Rio was, and it seems to me that a book should be able to stand on its own merit as literature. However, I think that only fans of the famous country group would really love the book that is their collective autobiography. The book did propel me to listen to some of their music, and it is really fabulous. However, the storyline of the book really got bogged down in the name-dropping arena and with so much inside detail about the Opryland and Nashville music scene.

The book opens with the group's artistic crisis, and then traces the development of the group. It then veers off into the careers of its individual members, with many, many photographs included. Although many of those stories have potential, I just didn't feel the depth of the drama or that the real personalities of the group members connected with the reader. Again, this may be because I am not a Diamond Rio fan. However, I had hoped that the book would transcend the genre and transport me to their world. The book just did not do that for me.

I am sure that Diamond Rio fans will love this book. It has so many pictures and a very detailed history of their long-term success and relationships. As a reader with a different perspective, I had a difficult time maintaining interest. So, non-country music fans may want to skip this one.

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