Rumours of glory: a memoir by Bruce Cockburn

as reviewed by Glenn

Rumours Of Glory  Bruce Cockburn  9781443420723  Books   Amazon.ca

A friend introduced me to Bruce Cockburn’s music back in the 80’s when I was finishing high school. His “Waiting for a miracle” double album saw repeated play on one of the first commercially available cd players that I was proud of. Remarkably I never saw him perform live until this year at the inauguration of the Winnipeg Human Rights Museum. When I became aware of his recently released biography I put this on the top of my reading list!
There is lots of detail in this book – over 500 pages worth. He talks extensively about his spiritual journey and religious influences. He also speaks quite a bit about his humanitarian activism and uses the book as a platform for his political concerns. While I agree with many of his observations about the injustices around the world; I couldn’t help but think that this may go beyond the scope of an autobiography. His love life receives prominent attention and he credits multiple female companions for their influence. One woman who he had an affair with is referred only as Madame ‘X’. Not revealing her identity seems trite as the secret remains. Many of his song lyrics are transcribed throughout and he elaborates on the meaning behind many of them – a nice touch.
Overall I enjoyed what he has to share but I did find that it could have been whittled down a bit. Still, anyone curious about this tried and tested Canadian folk performer should enjoy the insight that this book provides.

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