If a reader is not already interested in the subject of a biography, will that person enjoy the book? For Neil Young’s autobiography Waging Heavy Peace the answer is a definite no. Even casual Neil Young fans familiar with radio hits such as “Southern Man” and “Heart of Gold” will likely lose patience with Young’s rambling storytelling style. But long time fans such as this reviewer are likely to feel that Young’s long awaited autobiography couldn’t have turned out any better.
A lot of celebrity autobiographies are partially or completely written by ghost writers and based off of interviews with said celebrity. From page one it’s clear that Young wrote most if not all of Waging Heavy Peace himself. The book jumps around quite a bit rather than telling Young’s life story chronologically. This is unconventional for an autobiography, but I thought it just added to its charm. The book’s greatest quality is its intimate feeling, as if you’re sitting in a room with the author listening to him tell stories about his almost fifty year long music career.