📚 The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks by Rob Sheffield

Reviewed Sep. 2019

Narrator: Rob Sheffield
Length: 2 hours 43 minutes
Publisher: Audible Original⎮2019

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Summary

Grab your lace shawl and top hat and get ready to twirl—this is a full-throttle appreciation of the life and voice of Stevie Nicks from one of rock criticism’s most celebrated writers.

Best-selling author and Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield explores the music and artistry of the rock goddess who has kept generations of music lovers totally bewitched and spellbound, with such classic rock hits as "Rhiannon" and "Gypsy." With Stevie Nicks’s 2019 solo induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the time is right to uncover the stories behind the songs you love. Learn about the people, places, and events that have influenced her work—and why Nicks’ music is as powerfully alluring today as it was when you first heard it decades ago.

Drawing from Rolling Stone magazine’s extensive archives, and his long time appreciation of Nicks, Sheffield shares the stories behind the best-selling records and the spitfire 1997 Fleetwood Mac reunion show that put the band back on top of the charts—and why Stevie Nicks still speaks to us today. A dynamic, revelatory sketch of the one-of-a-kind icon, The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks is a portrait as revealing as it is dazzling, as human as it is pure magic.

The Audiobookworm's Review

Rating: 4.25 Stars

The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks is a nice little "appetizer" listen, but certainly not a main course. For me, it was a great introductory book into the history of the band Fleetwood Mac and the life and career of Stevie Nicks. I say introductory, not because Stevie or "the Mac" is new to me, but because I've never delved too much deeper into them than their music.

I've never heard a musician's biography before, but if I was going to start anywhere, it would naturally be with Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. I've professed Fleetwood Mac to be my favorite band for nearly a decade now and when I saw that The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks was only around five dollars and less than three hours long, I decided it was time to dive in deeper.

I don't tend to gravitate towards biographies and nonfiction, as a whole, very often. But when I do, it's either for a historical figure (usually royalty) or a celebrity I'm particularly interested in (i.e. Betty White). Stevie, of course, falls into the latter category. I've had another of her biographies (Gold Dust Woman)in my wish list for a few months now, but I'm hesitant to pick it up because of its length. I don't faint at the sight of a 14-hour (or even 50-hour) audiobook, but I've never heard a biography that long, so I'll admit to being intimidated. However, The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks has definitely piqued my interest enough that I'm now eager to hear the extended version of her life and career.

The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks had some wonderful stories and was pulled together beautifully, combining insights and lyrics in a way that would make music historians, philosophers, and fans proud. However, when other reviewers mention that The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks seems gushingly fanatical, they aren't wrong. I don't have a problem with gushing fans. Hell, I am a gushing fan. But in this instance, it gave the audiobook an air of amateurishness that was at times endearing, but mostly just cringe-worthy. Sheffield relied too heavily on direct quotes from Stevie and the band, giving me the feeling that if I had poured through every interview they've ever done, I could have written this book myself and that's just not something you want your reader/listener to think.

The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks may not have been a literary masterpiece or an unimpeachable piece of objective journalism, but it was still thoroughly enjoyable. It played its part in whetting my appetite for a more in-depth biography and gave me some great music history trivia tidbits in the process. Anyone more than a casual fan should probably skip this, though. It won't contain anything you probably don't already know.

Narration review: The author, Rob Sheffield, narrated The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks. He did a fine job enunciating and pacing throughout the production. He even managed to sound like he was talking to you, rather than reading to you. However, I have to admit that his narration added to the sense of casualness and fanaticism the audiobook possessed.  Sheffield clearly isn't a professional narrator and that was obvious in the underlying tones of his performance. It sounded like I was hearing a well-spoken student read a well-written essay on his favorite celebrity. ♣︎

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