Wouldn't It Be Nice: My Own Story

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HarperCollins, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 398 pages
3 Reviews
In a riveting and candid autobiography, music legend Brian Wilson reveals the truth about his meteoric rise to superstardom, his total breakdown, and his long, miraculous struggle back to the top. It is filled with shocking revelations about his abuse as a child by his violent father, the bitter infighting among the Beach Boys, the death of his brother Dennis, and the controversy surrounding the therapist he credits with literally saving his life. 50 photographs.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An express train to hell and back with the leader of the Beach Boys. Wilson begins with his darkest days, in November 1982. Then, weighing over 340 pounds, smoking six packs of cigarettes and snorting ... Read full review

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I just finished re-reading this book, having read it originally about five years ago. It isn't possible to talk about the book without reference to the controversy surrounding it. Many have said that once Eugene Landy enters the story (about midway through), the story loses its value. I don't agree. Even if Landy had substantial input into how it was written, the book gives a good idea of what Brian Wilson's life was like--his successes and demons. Brian was not able to exercise any self-discipline at the height of his drug addiction and self-destructive behavior. If Landy had not forced him away from the drugs, bad diet, and inability to function socially, he likely would have died years ago. The transformation in Brian that Landy brought about might have been improper in some respects, but it was effective. The proof is that Brian is still alive and well over 20 years later.
As a story of Brian's life, it isn't bad. And it's very readable--I could hardly put it down. Perhaps experts on Brian's life story can challenge portions of it, but the essence of it rings true. It's full of details that only Brian, or someone very close to him, would know. Reading this story gives a good picture of a great artist and his iconic band.


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The 1960s
Edward J. Rielly
Limited preview - 2003
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About the author (1991)

Wilson sings with The Beach Boys.

Todd Gold has collaborated with numerous celebrities to write their memoirs, including Ann-Margaret, Drew Barrymore, and Sonny Bono. He is the West Coast Bureau Chief of US Weekly magazine and lives in Los Angeles, California.

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