Christina M. Hinke


21 Nights

A Starred Review by Christina M. Hinke
Publishers Weekly
Oct. 20, 2008
Prince, photos by Randee St. Nicholas. Atria, $50 (256p) ISBN 9781416554448

For international pop star Prince’s first book, photographer St. Nicholas set up shop during the performer’s 2007 sold-out 21-night stand at the O2 Center in London. In Prince’s room, by the hotel elevator, backstage at the concert hall, out on the streets after-hours and on stage, St. Nicholas dazzles with one magical shot after another. Perhaps the most enigmatic and tight-lipped of modern rock stars, St. Nicholas says in her introduction that “[t]o know him is to know that you probably will never really know him and to question that is a waste of time.” Images reveal quiet joy and pronounced solitude, pensiveness and passion, like a two-shot of Prince sitting head down at his mirrored piano, eyes closed, fingers worn down by guitar strings. Though at first glance many of these images―vividly colored, dynamically framed―appear staged, this hefty, gorgeous tome is filled largely with off-the-cuff shots of the artist and his band, the New Power Generation. Accompanying photos are Prince’s lyrics and poetry―he writes a lot about women and biblical lessons―as well as a 15-track CD recorded live at London’s Indigo club, where he played most nights after the concert. Though the low-light restriction at times interferes with a perfect print, St. Nicholas has crafted a gorgeous, raw and honest portrait of one of the world’s most elusive musicians, a worthy addition to any fan’s library. (Oct.)

Note: A starred review are for books that stand out according to Publishers Weekly standards.

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