Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith–OMNIBUS of links & reviews (UPDATED, 2/6/14)

October 22, 2013 § 5 Comments

I wanted to post something comprehensive, now that I have a day to myself.  What follows are links to articles, reviews, excerpts, and stories, all in rough chronological order.  I’ll update these every now and then, as new stuff comes in. (UPDATE:  Feb 6, 2014)

•LA Times Review HERE

•Rhett Miller review in Bookforum HERE

•”To Elliott, With Love.”  My essay on why and how I wrote Torment Saint HERE

•NME, one of top music books of 2013 HERE

•Buzzfeed, one of top music books of 2013 HERE

•Evening Standard (UK), music biography of the year HERE

•Oregonian story by Jeff Baker HERE

•Willamette Week cover story HERE

•My Huffington Post piece on Elliott’s poetics HERE

•My Bookish piece on why we can’t stop listening to Elliott HERE

•Interview with Alex Cohen of LA’s KPCC HERE

•LiveWire radio, episode 230 (at 16:30 mins).  I’m interviewed, I read from the book, plus “Between the Bars” HERE

•Podcast of my interview in Ireland with Nadine O’Regan HERE

•Interview with Paul Page, Ireland (Part I HERE; Part II HERE)

•Review, SunGazette HERE

•Review, the Patriot Ledger, MA HERE

•Radio review, RTE, Ireland HERE

•Feature story in The Independent (UK) HERE

•Me driving around Portland (video) pointing out Elliott landmarks HERE

•Mojo Magazine:  “Brilliant, raw fuel for Schultz to add carefully collated detail and song deconstruction to explore a man in harrowing free-fall toward his 2003 suicide” (4 stars)

•Vanity Fair Magazine, “Hot Type” pick:  “Elliott Smith gets the wake song he deserves in Torment Saint”

•Caught in Carousel review by Paul Gleason HERE

•Totally Dublin, story/review HERE

•Review in The Examiner HERE

•Review in Paste Magazine HERE

•Review, Record Collector Magazine (4 stars) HERE

•Review, Slug Magazine HERE

•Review, Rain Taxi HERE

•Review, Eugene Weekly HERE

•Interview at rockfeedback HERE

•Publisher’s Weekly, starred review HERE

•Long excerpt from the book at Slate HERE

•Another excerpt at Port Magazine HERE

•Article and interview at “don’t forget the songs” HERE

Thanks to all who have read the book and written to express their congratulations.  It’s so gratifying to put your life into something and hear that people find it compelling.  Most of all, it is a testament to Elliott and the enormous appeal of his spectacular music.  (photo below by the talented Marina Chavez)



October 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s been a busy day.  Several new links related to Elliott and Torment Saint.

•My radio interview with Alex Cohen of LA’s KPCC HERE

•Book excerpt at Slate HERE 

•A nice blog post on “King’s Crossing,” plus five questions with AE Cepeda HERE

And thank you Elliott.  For everything.  I’m still listening.

Powell’s Book Event, TORMENT SAINT

October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Spectacular book launch on Sunday, Oct. 6.  Thanks to all who came for the love and well wishes!  Here I am for the Q&A with dear friend JJ Gonson.Image

Torment Saint, Elliott Smith bio–New Stuff

October 2, 2013 § 2 Comments

The book was released yesterday.  Trying to keep up with developments.  Here’s some new stuff to check out:

•My Huffington Post piece on Elliott’s poetics HERE

•My Bookish piece on why we can’t stop listening to Elliott HERE

•New Oregonian piece by Jeff Baker HERE

Library Journal Review, TORMENT SAINT

September 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

I cop to the genius effusions.  But it’s what I believe!

“Smith’s violent death in 2003 cemented the still-enduring popular concept of the tortured artist and Smith as one who crafted songs of intense self-reflection and beauty. Here Schultz (An Emergency in Slow Motion: The Inner Life of Diane Arbus) provides plenty of details about Smith’s downfall but also seeks to show a fuller picture by exploring his upbringing in Texas, intellectual influences, and development as a songwriter. Schultz isn’t shy about labeling Smith as a genius, and, as a result, is at times overly florid and effusive in praise. Yet he remains persuasive in describing how Smith’s sensitivity, honesty, and artistic drive had an uncommon effect upon those around him, even as he battled with drug addiction and memories of emotional abuse that occurred when he was a child. Even better is Schultz’s analysis of Smith’s lyrics and music, which establishes common threads and exposes surprises across the songwriter’s body of work. The result is an admirably well-written biography with much to offer.” 

New Bookforum Review by Rhett Miller

September 5, 2013 § 1 Comment

Once a complete link becomes available, I’ll add it in here (LINK).  Meanwhile, I’m so grateful for a truly sublime Rhett Miller review of my new Elliott Smith biography, Torment Saint, in Bookforum. An excerpt: “William Todd Schultz has written his own kind of love song–an account of Smith’s life that does full justice to his memory and the impressive legacy of his art… TORMENT SAINT is both a persuasive reckoning with Elliott’s inner demons and–much more important–a full appreciation, and celebration, of his undeniable genius.”


July 29, 2013 § 9 Comments

Starred Review, PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY. Especially gratified to see the final sentence, which summarizes one of my chief aims all along:

“Schultz brings to his work a deep understanding of how inner and outer landscapes can affect unique and sensitive artists… But no matter how dark Elliott Smith’s story gets, Schultz never loses sight of the beauty of his music.” PW, starred review


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers