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Layne Staley, Angry Chair: A Look Inside the Heart & Soul of an Incredible Musician [Paperback]

Adriana Rubio , Layne Staley
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 2003
Rock Singer Layne Staley was one of the most private, mysterious and misunderstood performers ever! His story is told by his mother, sister and Layne himself. It dispels the myths about Layne's childhood, his early days in music, and the final, very private years of his life. It contains dozens of never-before-seen drawings, writings and photographs...that all shaped the ALICE IN CHAINS' songwriter/singer who sold millions of CDs...helping revolutionize modern rock.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars poorly written Oct. 16 2004
I feel that this book is inadequately written she places herself too much in the lime light and writes as if she was a member of layne's family. I feel that it was written under delusional connection to the 'soul' of layne. After a while her tone gets to be irritating paralleling his work to the renascence era and going into detail of the drug culture drawing a parallel to her anorexia and layne's heroin addiction. I can say from the standpoint of being a writer, singer and artist myself that if someone were to write a book about me in this fashion I would be greatly upset. I feel that it has done a disservice to layne and his family to be written in such a presumptuous tone. However, the book does contain good information, artwork, and quotes and must be read with a massive grain of salt.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ehhhhh, not too bad, not too good.... April 20 2004
By Pete
Being the biggest fan of Layne Staley, I was hoping for alot more from this book. I understand from reading this, it isnt easy to write too much on him, because he basically was very sheltered and private. I just though there was alot in this book that was just page fillers. There was alot of info that frankly had nothing to do with Layne at all, and lost my interest quite a bit. However, there was some good stuff too, and it was cool just to read some his letters and poems. I didnt learn all that nuch I already didnt know, except for his family life. If your a huge fan, I guess its worth the read, if not, you'll probably throw the book away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For true fans only April 11 2004
This is a book you should purchase if you want to take a look at some of the private artworks, poems or photographs of Layne Staley, the 'great late' leadsinger of Alice in Chains. But: it's written by a fan who wants to be in the picture herself. Adriana Rubio is obviously very proud to have had intimate conversations with Staleys mom and sister, and it shows throughout the whole book. Everybody shall know that she has this overwhelming respect for Staley's relatives and their stories. Also, I got the impression that she wrote this book to get rid of her own complexes, comparing Staleys heroin-addiction to her own struggle with Anorexia Nervosa. She places herself too much in front, which is quite irritating after a while. Or, in the words of Layne Staley: "She should write a book about herself". Still, there is the telephoneconversation with Layne Staley and her that is quite shocking for the true fan. I'm still reading the book so now and then, about a year after buying it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Bad Book April 8 2004
By A Customer
In less than 200 pagess the author trails off into her own biographical infromation, goats, Cobain conspiracy theories, you get the idea. Poorly written (and printed in large print to beef up appearance of content I presume) and poorly edited (typos). For an individual who had access to a virtual treasure trove of Layne's family photos and early school and artwork, she printed nominal amounts of either, but they are worth seeing. "Interviews" were several hours long with Layne's sister and mother, yet the content was lacking. No light thrown on how or why Staley got so entangled in heroin use. That info. would have been useful. Nor did she reveal much about Demri and how her demise contributed to Staley's self-destruction. Get what you can out of it. . .won't be much. Pics are worth it and the account of her phone conversation with Staley is interesting if accurate. Not much of a biography for a very worthy subject. Eureka! How about Layne's family printing pics and Layne's early school/artwork in a coffee table book and use the proceeds to build/run a school for kids like Layne according to his own solution for how to fix public schools. That would be worth spending money on. The only Angry Chair here was the one I was sitting in as I read this awful book! This book, sadly, was not worth the paper it was printed on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Layne Staley???...kinda. Jan. 27 2004
For a pretty accurate review on heroin, and a good history lesson I highly recommend this book. But for an avid Alice in Chains fan and anyone with great interest in Layne Staley, this book is not exactly what I had in mind (chances are you won't either). This book lacks a sense of deep thoughts by the author, and is basically what an essay would sound like by a fan. The interviews with layne's family and the very, VERY brief conversations and quotes by layne himself (if they are not fictional) are interesting and give you a much better view of what he goes through. I would have either suggested filling the book with interesting tidbits on alice in chains, their MUSIC??, touring, studio, etc. Or at least put a decent amount of pictures of layne or the band. this book kind of lacks both. Worth the money, but after a day or two it will probably go in a box or disappear under your bed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste. April 20 2004
By A Customer
I feel sorry for anyone who has already wasted the hour it takes to read this miserably written so-called book. Poorly written, uniformative and incoherent best describe this sorry piece of work. Save yourself the money and just listen to some of the great music Layne, Jerry and the guys made over the years.
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It has often been said that true genius is never realized by the public except in hindsight. With that being said, Layne Staley's genius has been realized by more and more people since his tragic death last year. Staley's life and work correlated perfectly, proving that all great art, especially great music, comes out of some sort of pain. While this book, which was in the works long before Layne passed is written on more of a younger reader's level, it has a few good points within, and it will have to tide people over until a "Heavier Than Heaven"-esque definitive biography is written about Layne. Many readers and reviewers have pointed out that the book is full of grammatical errors and such and it does seem a little rushed in spots, but Adrianna Rubio does seem to have a great deal of care for her subject, and at times the suggestion that Layne himself made to her through an interview that she should "Write a book about yourself" seems true, as she does discuss herself a good bit in the book, but it all ties together. One thing that Rubio has to be commended on is not looking into and filling this text full of the sensational, Howard Hughes-like rumors that surrounded the Layne Staley myth in his last few years--stories that the reclusive Staley had been seen around Seattle and was in such and such shape and his skin was so and so color, or whatever. However, Layne does describe how his physical appearance had deteriorated, himself, in his phone interview with Rubio. Another thing that makes this book worth looking into is the photographs of Layne when he was a child, especially the one on page 121. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars so close yet soooo far away
I'm a huge Alice in chains fan and i really love Layne - he is god you know - Well I really really want this book..... Read more
Published on May 23 2006 by stonergirl
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad book, not authors fault
This book was a waste of money. But I cant blame the author for trying. Like her, I wanted to know much more about Layne-an arstist I truly admire. Read more
Published on April 5 2004 by Louis C. Oronoz
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Layne Staley: Angry Chair by Adriana Rubio is a good book, that I really enjoyed to read. The thing that I liked about it was that Rubio showed Layne for who he really was and... Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars a great learning tool
this book provides so many insightful looks into the life of layne staley. it is filled with many unrelated stories and subjects, but some of the information is absolutley... Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Mike
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have been better
This book was very poorly written. The author gets way off track talking about herself and the Renaissance period. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by "jgillespie1971"
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is basically a waste and a disappointment!!!
I just wanted to say that after waiting so long to buy this book, I was completely disappointed after reading it, which only took a day, because of its length. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Jaime
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money
The most poorly written book I have ever read. Repeats
the same information several times. I bought this book
for Layne Staleys "last interview". Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004
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