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Book Review

‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die’

1/23/2013

Book 012413Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Cathryn Lang

William Morrow and Company

11/13/12

$ 22.99

HIV

192 pp.

Oh, Willie, you clever scoundrel. You knew we would just have to read a book with a title like this. So I did, and here we go…                

This is a delightful, quick read of Nelson’s random thoughts, stories, lyrics and (slightly off-color) jokes — pure vintage Willie. It was fun to get inside the mind of this unique, much-loved, American icon. His Earthiness blends with his sincere beliefs on some matters of great importance — God, the environment, songwriting, marijuana (surprise!) and most importantly, his friends and family. Family figures greatly in Nelson’s life. His son, Micah, created the illustrations and included rare family photos. Nelson and his present, and longest-lasting, wife, Annie, have successfully blended three families into a remarkably cohesive personal and professional unit. He also writes with great affection of his many friends — some famous and some not. Special attention is given to adventures shared with his band and his fellow Highwaymen (Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash).                

I especially loved the sidebar stories about Nelson written by family members and friends throughout the book. They gave me the feeling I was getting the complete picture of our friend, Willie. I was especially impressed with the compassion, insights and intelligence of his wife, Annie. She is a woman who would be a pleasure to know. There is even a surprise addition to the artwork on the end papers of the book for the reader, (but don’t let anyone know I told you.)                

If you are a fan of Willie Nelson, you will feel closer to him at the end of this book. It isn’t great literature, but so what. It is fun, and Nelson is a scoundrel you love to love. CV

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