Songsters

The Life and Times of Tom Waits

Though rock journalist Barney Hoskyns seems like the perfect person to write a biography of music legend Tom Waits, he may have missed the best parts. According to Times Literary Supplement writer Jesse Jarnow, in Hoskyns’ new book, Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits, the author speeds through Waits’s early life, and relies too heavily on his 1970s producer, Bone Howe, for commentary. Hoskyns is “reduced to a sideshow performer,” and resembles a character in one of Waits’ lyrics: “the writer with his hands tied.”