This Thing Called Life – Audiobook Online

In “This Thing Called Life,” Neal Karlen provides a heartfelt and intimate memoir that offers readers an inside look at the complex and enigmatic persona of the legendary musician Prince. Through personal experiences and interactions with Prince, Karlen delves into the deep bond he shared with the pop icon, highlighting their conversations and moments of connection. The memoir explores Prince’s creative process, unique perspective on life, and unwavering dedication to his music and artistry. Karlen captures the essence of what made Prince a true visionary and musical genius, taking readers on a journey through Prince’s career from his early days as a talented young musician to his rise to superstardom. The book also reveals the challenges and triumphs that shaped Prince’s life and career, shedding light on the man behind the music. Karlen portrays Prince as a deeply private and enigmatic figure, showcasing his complexity, mystery, and dedication to his craft.

Neal Karlen was the only journalist from whom Prince received in-depth press interviews for more than a dozen years, from before Purple Rain until the artist changed his name to an unpronounceable character. Karlen interviewed Prince for three Rolling Stone cover stories, writing “3 Chains o’ Gold”, Prince’s “rock video”, as well as the star’s last will, which may be buried with the will of Prince below Prince’s large and private estate, Paisley Park.

According to Susannah Melvoin, Prince’s ex-fiancée, Karlen was “the only reporter who made Prince sound like what he really sounded like”. Karlen stopped writing about Prince a quarter-century before the superstar’s death, but he never gave up on Prince, and the two remained friends for the last 31 years of the superstar’s life.

Long before they met as writers and subjects, Prince and Karlen knew each other as two of the kids riding their bikes around Minneapolis’s nearly segregated Northside. (They played basketball at the Dairy Queen next door to Karlen’s grandparents, two blocks from the budding musician.) He asserts that it’s impossible to understand Prince without understanding 1970s Minneapolis, and even his friends. Prince’s closest friends only know 15% about him. : That’s all he’s willing and able to give, no matter how much he cares for them.

Returning to Prince Rogers Nelson’s origins, especially his conflicted, often tortured and sometimes violent relationship with his father, This Thing Called Life profoundly changes what we know about Prince, and explains him like no other biography has: a superstar who calls in the middle of an evening to talk, who loves The Wire and can quote from every episode of The Office, who frequents the mail hospital and impromptu gathering in front of a local crowd (and then feeding everyone pancakes), who is lonely but longs to be alone. Listeners will drive around Minneapolis with Prince in a convertible, chatting about movies, music and life, and watch him try not to curse, instead enjoying a dose of “mamma jammas.” healthy.

This book is probably one of the best books written about the Prince. Very well documented and thoughtfully put together. Understanding Prince, the man, is an elusive story and Neal is very candid when he says that all those who know about Prince are only 15%. Neal, who interviewed and wrote about Prince for Rolling Stone Magazine, forged an unlikely and unique friendship over the years. Compiling this book from all of his notes and tapes over the years gives us a glimpse into Prince’s life. The audiobook features recorded interviews with Prince and you hear, in Prince’s own voice, the message he wanted to convey about himself… day. Because Prince died before he could complete his own biography, Neal helped complete this story in a way that would make Prince proud. I highly recommend this book. Thanks Neal for keeping it real.

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