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Joel Samberg

Some Kind of Lonely Clown : The Music, Memory, and Melancholy Lives of Karen Carpenter

Average Rating:out of 5 stars
Walmart # 561538458
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"This book brings back so many lovely and amusing memories of a sadly missed friend. She was unique and irreplaceable in so many ways. Joel has been thorough in his research, and his love and respect for Karen shine through. Love and thanks for the fun and the magic of her musical soul." -Petula Clark "An insightful look at the life of Karen Carpenter, a singing hero of mine. I had the pleasure of opening for the Carpenters in 1975, but it was more exciting that they recorded several of my songs, particularly 'Solitaire, ' which featured a breathtaking Karen vocal accompanied by Richard's magnificent orchestration. Mr. Samberg's book is a worthy tribute to her everlasting legacy as one of the great vocalists of all time." -Neil Sedaka The popularity of the Carpenters-Karen in particular-has never really waned. In fact, when you consider the online presence, documentaries, tributes and other projects, you might even say that an unofficial Carpenters revival has been brewing for years. Many remember the velvety voice that helped the Carpenters sell 100 million records, but not everyone knows that beyond the gifted singer was also a love-starved romantic, conflicted sister, obedient daughter, unpredictable jester, modest millionaire, optimistic dreamer, wannabe mother, emotional wreck, generous friend, and melancholy clown. How is it that someone whose stardom lasted just a dozen years, and who might have given it all up in a heartbeat, is still so beloved and still fascinates more than three decades after her untimely death?


BearManor Media
Book Format
Original Languages
Number of Pages
Joel Samberg
Some Kind of Lonely Clown
Publication Date
October, 2015
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.02 x 5.98 x 0.35 Inches

Customer reviews & ratings

Average Rating:(2.5)out of 5 stars
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Average Rating:(3.0)out of 5 stars

Some Kind of Lonely Cl...

Some Kind of Lonely Clown... by Joel Samberg is not, by his own admission, a biography. If the reader keeps that in mind then this can be an enjoyable book. This is a tribute to Karen (and to some extent the group Carpenters) and as such it is mostly recollections from individuals, quotes from interviews and television shows as well as some of Samberg's own memories. He does a bit of trying to make sense of her life by expressing his ideas based on the information he collected. As with any conjecture, especially when it concerns a beloved artist like Karen, it will elicit strong feelings of either agreement or opposition. While this helps maintain the relatively informal tone of the book it also needs to be understood as a fan attempting to come to some kind of understanding of how such a talent could leave us so soon. This really is best suited to either casual fans of the Carpenters or readers who can read opinions they may or may not agree with without perceiving it as some kind of attack on an idol. Enjoy it for what it is or, if you are a devoted fan, allow another fan (Samberg in this case) to ponder this wonderful but far too short life. Reviewed from an ARC made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars

It is hard to know why...

It is hard to know why Some Kind of Lonely Clown was written. While the author is clear that this is not a biography it is hard to know its purpose. I didn't gain any new insights or perspectives and though I am of the age where I followed Karen Carpenter and her story and enjoyed her music, I was bored about halfway through the book. It seems like there is a mixed message about Richard Carpenter. Subtle and not so subtle pressure to talk about what he knows and at the same time an acknowledgement that it is his business. I saw the short film by Todd Hayes when it was briefly out and although at that time it did make me wonder about Richard Carpenter's role in Karen's life, at this point, especially since reading this book, I believe he has the right to his own story and to be left alone. Thank you Netgalley and BearManor Media for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion.


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