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Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley Paperback – May 2 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 4 edition (May 2 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805080864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805080865
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.7 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Probably the finest biography ever written about a popular musician. "-Joel Selvin," San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

One of the most prominent music journalists of the twentieth century, Timothy White wrote extensively on Marley, reggae, and Caribbean music and culture for Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and other leading publications. His close contact with Marley and his family and inner circle of friends led to White being granted access to private papers, photographs, and memorabilia. White died in 2002.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did some research when looking for a good bio of Bob Marley, this seemed like the most accurate and unbiased one. I have yet to see how it is (it's a Christmas gift), but it's what I wanted and I'm trusting the other reviews and my research.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9edfbfd8) out of 5 stars 42 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec0fa38) out of 5 stars The Dream Of Lasting Peace, World Citizenship Dec 30 2006
By Best Of All - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book title is also the name of the 1973 debut album on Island records for Bob Marley and The Wailers that brought the lyrics and sounds of reggae to an international audience.

Originally published two years after Marley's death from cancer, the biography remains a great read due to the exhaustive research by author Timothy White.

White had interviewed Marley from 1975-1981 and projects the development & growth musically, spirtually and politically in his life. White also interviewed musicians, friends, family members, music industry executives and poltical leaders, along with the typical research - newspaper articles and other media outlets - and not-so-typical - CIA documents concerning Marley.

There are also sections on Jamaican history & politics, the history of reggae & Rastafarianism and how White did his research.

Marley projected a militant spiritualism in his music that will remain timeless. Catch a Fire gives the reader an understanding and appreciation on why Marley's message means as much today as it did so many years ago.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec0fa8c) out of 5 stars Should be titled 'The Life of Bob Marley AND Jamaica' May 18 2012
By Robert Dean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To begin, this book is wonderful; it is highly original; it reads like literature at times; it is vast and comprehensive; but, for all intents and purposes, it is flawed. It tends to give a greater or equal amount of attention to Jamaican cultural, political, and social history than to Marley's actual life. Admittedly, as the author is trying to assert and as the reader will also assume, the life of Marley and the history of Jamaica are inseparable and, thus, foundational when studying each other. But if you are looking for a book that will provide you with insight into who Bob Marley was as a person, as a singer-songwriter--how he crafted his music and lyrics--this is not for you. To his credit, White has written a fantastic book that is meticulously well-researched and informative, but that I cannot rate it the full five stars simply because of the book's title. To accurately represent the material inside, the title of this book should, without a doubt, be something like 'Bob Marley and the Rise of Jamaica' or 'Bob Marley in the Midst of Jamaican Struggle.' I would still recommend this book as a starting point for understanding the life of Bob Marley, but not as a definitive biography. Readers will need to read further.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec0fec4) out of 5 stars Extremely thorough June 15 2010
By Bryan Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
White wrote a very thorough book about Jamaica and Jamaican music. The Jamaica that Bob Marley grew up in. He provides a detailed account of the Jamaican culture before and during Bob Marley's rise to success. White also chronicles the unfortunate hangers-on that accumulated with Bob's success and blemished his later years. The songs i have been listening to by Bob Marley for the last 20 years now have new meaning after reading this book. Initially, I thought a song was about this or that, but with some background into Marley's tribulations at the time the song was written, that particular song has a whole new meaning. For a true Bob Marley fanatic such as myself, read this book if you want to know him from his boyhood to a man as well as the musician that broke barriers that were firmly positioned.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec0feac) out of 5 stars Catch A Fire caught me a fire! July 6 2009
By hydra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this book in London several years ago, as an avid Marley fan I grabbed it up immediately and simply couldn't put it down. A complex man, a complex faith, deceptively "simple" music and a chaotic world wove a musical phenomenon perfectly caught in this book.

White does a superb job interspersing his obvious passion for Marley and reggae and the island which spawned both, weaving a tapestry which is easy to "just" enjoy or to really delve into and "get" where Marley was coming from. Rasta lives, reggae lives and Bob Marley still lives in both.

Be you a real fan of reggae and it's ultimate master, or just looking for a good read, you won't go wrong with "Catch A Fire".

hydra. St. Petersburg, FL
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ec16384) out of 5 stars A Biography of more than just a Singer Oct. 24 2006
By Joseph Guillaume - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For those of you who have heard Reggae and like the music you should like this book. Undoubtly Bob Marley is the greatest Raggae artist who ever lived, so it is not unusual that people are going to want to know more of his life. The book seems to be fair and objective. Sometimes it seems the writter is a little to sterile in his discription of Jamaican life. Having been to Jamaica I realize how unique Jamaican culture is. It was interesting to read of Bob Marleys mystic background. For a hardcore fan this might not be enough, but for somebody just wanting to know a little more you'll enjoy it.