Today’s question for Booking Through Thursday is:
There are so many crappy biographies … would you rather read a poorly-written biography of a fascinating life, OR an exquisitely well-written, wonderful read of one of a not-so-interesting life?
Let’s start with the fact that I’m not big on non-fiction biographies. I think you have to love yourself a bit too much to accept writing (or having written) a biography, or if it is a unnoficcial biography it will probably be about the latest pop- or football-star (none of which interest me).
I do love fictionalized biographies, but I guess those would really be considered historical fiction rather that biographies, so I won’t take them into consideration for this.
Biographies I have read I can only remember two: Feel by Chris Heath and Once While Travelling: The Lonely Planet Story by Tony and Maureen Wheeler.
If we follow standard definition none is a biography. Feel is a month in the life of Robbie with many flashbacks and Once While Travelling is really the story of the Lonely Planet publishing company, but since it follows the founder’s life we learn a lot about their lives as well.
Going back to the question, I would probably go for a badly written interesting biography than a well-written boring one. Mainly because what I am looking for when I read about someone’s life is to learn about that person’s life. If I want literary value I don’t go to a biography. Then again, if I get both, all the better.
In the cases of Feel and Once While Travelling, they are both books I read within 3 or 4 days. The lives were brilliant and the writing very attractive.
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