"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I Am Charlie Wilson by Charlie Wilson

Synopsis: A memoir of an American musician.

Writing Style: Standard lit smooth first person.

Pacing: Engaging, quiet, one beat up from moderate.

Premise: A moving reflection on finding ones voice and owning it.

Personal Highlights: There was as much to love about this personal narrative of a music icon, as there was substance to glean and be inspired by. The mention of music classes no longer present in schools, like in the past, was an important reflection. Charlie’s passion for music and sacrifices to maintain the GAP Band and, as well, his personal perseverance hardly could be missed. His struggles were what made reading his memoir most difficult, and not in a distasteful way, but in a way that I welled up more than anticipated. His sister I found to be a gem, and cousin Shirley three times that gem... being his tangible lifesaver. By extension of Shirley is how his wife Mahin and her son Michael proved to be that light at the end of a tunnel, though, it was his mother and her very early admonition to stay true to his voice that wholly won me over. That advice, on top his relationship with Snoop Dogg, for me, rocked this memoir on home. The scene at the gas station will play in my mind over and over again, similar to a comment Rick James made.

Overall, this ‘quiet’ memoir screaming of tremendous pain and passion, which as difficult as it was to read, I know it is the rudiments that not only produces high-end art, but is the essence of what inspires others.. “The thrill of creation is indescribable. Magical.” – I agree.  Highly recommended.


  1. I remember hearing his interview on the Frank Ski show about his memoir. The story of how he ended up part of The GAP Band was hilarious.

    1. LOL...you had me jogging back trying to remember how he and brothers formed the group. I vaguely recall there being some type of coercion involved. It's a good book.