Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing (2020)

Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing Benjamin Nugent Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing Best known for his Oscar nominated song Miss Misery from the Good Will Hunting soundtrack Elliott Smith was catapulted to the status of indie rock star after performing at the Academy Awards Som
  • Title: Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing
  • Author: Benjamin Nugent
  • ISBN: 9780306814471
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Paperback
Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing Benjamin Nugent Best known for his Oscar nominated song Miss Misery from the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, Elliott Smith was catapulted to the status of indie rock star after performing at the 1997 Academy Awards Some of his albums, XO and Either Or among them, would become 90s classics, helping to define an understated aesthetic that owed as much to the melodic emphasis of The BeatleBest known for his Oscar nominated song Miss Misery from the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, Elliott Smith was catapulted to the status of indie rock star after performing at the 1997 Academy Awards Some of his albums, XO and Either Or among them, would become 90s classics, helping to define an understated aesthetic that owed as much to the melodic emphasis of The Beatles as it did to punk In the afterglow of the success of Miss Misery, Smith s fame grew alongside his struggles with depression and substance abuse First relocating to Brooklyn, and then finally to L.A he fell into a downward spiral evident to friends and fans alike, even as he continued to write such beautifully realized songs as Waltz 2 XO Drawing on new interviews with those who knew and loved Smith, and focusing on the crucial interplay between Smith s life and music, Ben Nugent compellingly and sympathetically portrays an enormously gifted, yet troubled, artist.
Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing Benjamin Nugent

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One thought on “Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing

  1. Matthew Rossana

    Elliott Smith has been one of my favorite musicians for many years, and his suicide was very upsetting When I read about this biography, I was really excited to get an inside look into the life of this artist to hopefully get some answers to his death Instead, I got a poorly written semi biography based on stories and tales of people that barely knew Elliott and it doesn t really offer much insight at all.The most entertaining part is the addition to the end of the book where the author defensiv [...]

  2. Lauren

    Probably the worst written and poorly fact checked musical biography I ve ever read Hell, if Austin was really only ten miles from Lubbock, the capital wouldn t go blue every time there s an election But that s just me, and I don t get paid to edit musical biographies that don t even include interviews from the people closest to the person in question.

  3. Jeremy

    This author chose to spend most of his time on elliott s life rather than his tragic death A good choice considering his death is not yet fully explained A must read for fans.

  4. Jeffrey

    Nobody got very close to Elliott while he was alive, and this book does a good job of painting a fair albeit distanced portrait of the songwriter.

  5. El

    I was considering even reading this biography as other reviews were rather negative about the whole concept After sitting down with it, however, I wonder if those people are out of their minds.This is the first biography about Elliott Smith granted, it was published a year after Smith s death, so there could be some question as to the motivation behind the publication, or question as to whether or not it was too early to write a biography about a relatively unknown man to begin with Outside of m [...]

  6. Scott

    I just finished this book for the second time, and upped the rating to 4 stars from 3 Why This is a very good book, one of only a few out there on Elliott Smith Smith has been one of my favorite songwriters and performers for years now, and is one of only a few along with Nick Drake and Daniel Rossen, in my opinion who can write very intense music on an acoustic guitar Tomorrow, Tomorrow is a prime example of this.This book taught me a lot about Smith Reading it a second time, I was less shocked [...]

  7. David

    Based on all of the negative reviews I d seen, I approached this book with trepidation But in the end, it turned out to be a satisfying read Given the fact that Smith s family won t talk about him publicly, there s likely never to be a definitive book on the man so this book will have to do the trick It s got plenty of quotes from old interviews with Smith himself, along with ample input from old friends and musician colleagues And Nugent s interpretations of Smith s lyrics were well reasoned an [...]

  8. Joshua Nomen-Mutatio

    I read this on the drive back to Milwaukee from my first visit to Austin Basically it was not well done Rather boring Rather repetitive Rather overflowing with tortured hero myth tropes I remember stopping in Dallas to stretch our legs and see Dealey Plaza, the famed site of the JFK assassination The strange boredom I felt while looking at, well, nothing but a patch of grass in the middle of downtown Dallas pretty much maps onto how I felt about reading this book Unfortunately all too culturally [...]

  9. Joss Stick

    This book has a worse reputation then it deserves.Benjamin Nugent takes a psychological approach to this book, and relies heavily on stories from people in Elliott s life Although it obviously suffers because of the lack of participation by several close individuals, it does give insight into the life of a talented person who suffered from addiction Feel like this might be of interest on its own to addicts people who know them, it really does delve into contributing factors in his self destruct [...]

  10. Michael

    I wish SOMEBODY would write a truly GOOD Elliott Smith biography He was fascinating, and a genius, yet nobody has ever done his biography justice.

  11. minna

    Benjamin Nugent Elliott Smith and the Big NothingDa Capo Press 2005 ensimm inen painos 2004 P iv ys 6.1.2012Oikeestaan siit hetkest l htien kun tokaa kertaa kuuntelin A Fond Farewellin vuonna 2006, Elliott Smith on ollu mulle jotain paljon suurempaa kuin kukaan muu artisti koskaan Paria p iv my hemmin omistin jo tuotantoa ja paria kuukautta my hemmin saatoin jotain muutakin kuunnella v lill Toki olin pahoillani siit , ett mies itse oli jo ehtinyt kuolla l hes kolme vuotta aiemmin Jonkin verran k [...]

  12. Speeda

    I remember sitting atop a dryer almost a decade ago riveted to a story in LA Weekly about the life and death of musician Elliott Smith, as some of the description of his personality resonated with me in ways nothing has before or since I remember feeling naked in the laundromat seeing these things in print, though the sensation may also have been due to the fact that most of my clothes were tumbling around underneath me The unfortunate denouement is that Smith ends up rampantly addicted to drugs [...]

  13. Guy

    Uit Elliott Smith And The Big Nothing van Benjamin Nugent Toen het boek verscheen rond de eerste verjaardag van Smiths overlijden kreeg het vooral negatieve kritiek te verwerken Nugent, die amper drie maanden na Smiths dood op 21 oktober 2003 aan het boek was begonnen, leverde amper een half jaar later al zijn werk af een redelijk dun boek een goeie 200 pagina s , dat grotendeels bestaat uit interviews met vrienden, kennissen en medewerkers van Smith Zijn ouders en beste vrienden althans degenen [...]

  14. Sonja

    As I had heard way before I finally grabbed the copy this time the missing copy in the library sysmtem magically was recovered after I put the title on hold nearly a year ago , no surprise that this turned out to be a piece of garb I had to crack up asking myself why on earth I wound up reading this poorly editted undergraduate paper it might not be B even for a term paper level The reason that I sought this out was still clear, though there were very few documents and even fewer when it comes t [...]

  15. Brenda Tirado

    When I first decided to buy this book on , I immediately went to to look at the reviews before I went ahead and bought it The reviews didn t seem so enthusiastic Nevertheless, I purchased it In my opinion, Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing by Benjamin Nugent is a really well written book This book gave me insight into the type of life Elliott lived Yeah, he did drugs and ultimately lost himself because of the fame and fortune thrust upon him by being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Origi [...]

  16. Literatemoose

    I was excited to read this, as I ve always been interested to know about Smith, but this was a huge disappointment both in content and in quality The writing was terrible He jumped to conclusions about what songs were about, even though several people pointed out their meanings couldn t be broken down simply He made no effort to edit the repetitions or impertinent information out of his interviews, and didn t speak with several key figures in Elliott s life It glossed over a lot of information [...]

  17. Mark Delboy

    I am adore Elliott Smith, but became a fan after his rise fall I really knew nothing about Smith and was interested in getting some sort of background into his life The best part of this work was the details and slight analysis of Elliott s songs The methods of recording and musical influences for each album were also interesting I had to stop reading and go back listen to his albums to really get a feeling of what the other was talking about, which is highly enjoyable.Easy read Sometimes quotes [...]

  18. Colin Moon

    Informative but shoddy and incomplete I learned a lot about Elliott, was enthralled with him, as I always was, but I wish Nugent would have reined himself in and waited five, ten, fifteen years, so that the people so devastated by his death would be able to inform the over all biography It seems rude, really, to rush to this project given the light of what had happened, and I completely feel for the people who did not respond to Nugent s requests for interview the people closest, with the most i [...]

  19. SirLordBaltimore

    Being a big Elliott Smith fan, I was naturally excited to sink my teeth into this biography This book does contain a lot of quality information about the artist in terms of what happened when, and how things transpired for him Also, some of the studio information is interesting and valuable in my opinion.Unfortunately the author just meddles with the magic constantly I found myself rolling my eyes into my skull time after time The author states that many people close to Elliott refused to contri [...]

  20. Amanda

    As a story of Elliott Smith s growth as a musician and as a critique of his career, this is a well written and interesting book However, an in depth biography this is not Most of the most important and influential people in Smith s life refused to talk to Nugent for the book, and so instead he has relied on people in Smith s outer circle, even including childhood friends that seem to have no idea what kind of person Smith was from the time he hit puberty Nugent doesn t make guesses at the truth [...]

  21. J.C.

    This book I d recommend to any fan of Elliott Smith Most of it is filled with stuff that most ordinary fans would already know, but there are plenty of bits of fresh info in here My favorite part, and to me was the most interesting, was towards the end when it dove into Elliott s creative stupor over From A Basement On A Hill , where he basically lived in the studio and supervised over every single little sound on the album It made me wish he had lived, again, so that he could have finished it a [...]

  22. Joe

    The author ,Benjamin Nugent, did research but was unable to reveal a lot of fact as most people wouldn t talk to him I think it may have been too soon after his death with too many questions still left unanswered I think Mr Nugent may have been successful if he had waited a year or two Not to mention the fact that Elliott Smith preferred his life to be private, and his family and friends respected that for the most part I enjoyed it because it was something related to a man whose music I love S [...]

  23. Danielle Sciocchetti

    good book about a talented, amazing singer songwriter although at times gets redundant, and doesn t really dig too deep probably because a lot of the people closest to him weren t included in the book , it does a good job of not painting smith in the cliched sad, depressed light that one would expect definitely has sad moments, obviously, and makes his final moments even depressing when you read about how he was actually a really funny, joking, sweet person for most of his life a good read for [...]

  24. Matt

    This really is a bad book Trust me I know the material The author basically took a bunch of rumors, a few random facts and expanded upon them Kind of like if you took a cliff s notes and wrote the book around that This is a waste of your time I recommend instead Elliott Smith by Autumn DeWilde.

  25. Brooke Brown

    Elliott s biggest contribution was his music, and this book barely even mentions or explores this fact I was sorely disappointed with this book The writing was extremely poor and obviously rushed, and the subject s incredible gift was hardly acknowledged You can learn much about Elliott by simply listening to his records.

  26. Samantha

    This is one of those books that I always end up re reading every couple of years The story of his life, and what brought him to make some of his music brings a new light and depth to a typically quiet person It makes it to where the reader can now connect to him on a deeper level versus just what you hear in his music.

  27. Erin

    I love Elliott Smith, but this book was positively awful It s as if Mr Nugent simply got tired of the subject he was researching for this biography, the end result being a mundane and strained attempt at capturing Elliott s life Sadly, it is as dry as a woodplank and as disinterested as a child in church.

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