- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Nov. 21 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385685653
- ISBN-13: 978-0385685658
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.2 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers and the Road Home Hardcover – Nov 21 2017
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Finalist for the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
A CBC Best Book of 2017
"Beautiful Scars is a frank and fair, raw and loving look at what it means to grow up with the silver spoon as far from your mouth as it can get, a confession that celebrates the miseries and joys of working-class life, of musicianship, of chasing secrets, of fighting through to discover the person you didn't realize you were. This is a remarkable, generous, big-hearted book that will stick with me for a long time." —Guy Vanderhaeghe, author of The Englishman's Boy, The Last Crossing and A Good Man
"The book isn't just good. It's stunning. . . . The secrets around [Wilson's] life form a fundamentally Canadian story, rich in history and steeped in darkness. They also separate Beautiful Scars from the ranks of the typical rock memoir, and place it firmly on the shelf with the likes of Angela's Ashes and The Glass Castle—riveting accounts of family and secrets, poverty and peril, adversity and triumph." —Quill & Quire, starred review
"A helluva story. . . . Wilson has the ear of the poet and the eye of the painter. He manages to pick just the right anecdote to sum up a personal feeling, at the same time as capturing a broader cultural moment." —Hamilton Spectator
"This is not your typical recollection of a debauched life of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. . . . The storytelling ability present in Wilson's songwriting translates to the written page with real ease. He has a direct cut-to-the-chase style, but is still capable of delivering poetic imagery. . . . This [is] an inspiring read." —Toronto Star
"Beautiful Scars is like Cataract City, only true, mixed with the kind of rock memoir you were scared to read. Wilson, musician and shockingly fine storyteller, is from Hamilton, Ontario. And not the bougie new Hamilton. That should tell you all you need to know." —The Title
"This incredible story is handled with grace, grit and a real feeling of boy, then a man, trying to find their place in the world." —Vancouver Sun
"A compelling story, beautifully told. . . . Wilson writes with honesty and clarity." —Winnipeg Free Press
"A funny and poignant memoir about family, identity and coming to terms with unexpected truths." —Zoomer
"Tom Wilson's memoir goes deeper than your average rock 'n' roll book." —Calgary Herald
"[A] moving and beautifully written memoir." —CBC Books
"A dread of unknown origin cloaked and nearly choked Tom Wilson, but his voice continued to soar and what emerges here is an incredible tale of inclusion and devotion and love." —Ron MacLean
"Tom writes with charisma, humour and passion. There's a depth to his story—full of a trauma and mystery—that helps explain the arc of Tom's life and career. If you're already a fan, you'll love him even more after reading this." —Max Kerman, The Arkells
"Tom Wilson's memoir, like his music, keeps a measure of time that is so beautifully his own. This is a life, a story, born of secrets and lies, of dark humour and love. Its song will stay with you." —Ryan Knighton, author of Cockeyed
"Wilson's memoir is much more than yet another retelling of the sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll story that many other musicians before him have told. All of that is in the book . . . but beneath and behind this, always there lurks Wilson's search for truth and his place in the world. . . . [Beautiful Scars] is more than a book. It is a precious gift, a legacy of insight and truth from a father who finally knows who he is and where he belongs." —Hamilton Review of Books
About the Author
TOM WILSON is a three-time Juno winning Canadian musician with multiple gold records. He has written for and recorded songs with Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour, Jason Isbell, Colin James, Lucinda Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mavis Staples and The Rankin Family. His band Junkhouse has scored eleven top-ten hits, and his iconic, Americana-fuelled Blackie and the Rodeo Kings was widely publicized for its presence on George Bush's iPod. Tom's most recent incarnation, Lee Harvey Osmond, has received extensive praise and airplay throughout the United States, where he's been touring for the last two years as a result. His art has shown in galleries in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and more recently, Ottawa. The author lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
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I finished the book in two nights and I hated to have it end. His story about hockey camp provided significant insight into the strong and determined man he would become. The book was sad, funny, sharply honest, and finally, uplifting. I would have to go back to the 1990's when I read Pete Hamill's book ‘A Drinking Life’ (which was far less about drinking than it was about childhood and coming of age) to find another memoir that I enjoyed this much. I admire Tom Wilson for his music, and now, for his natural talent for writing as well.
In looking back at his life, he withholds judgment and exhibits a compassionate understanding about a convoluted upbringing, peopled with complex and oftentimes endearing characters. His writing skills are equal to his musical talent, and that's really saying something.
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