On a mission to expose the music of the US south to a new audience in as pure a form as possible, [Clapton] captured the raw emotion of the sound he loved enough to transfix his young listeners. A generation was discovering an alien language with which they instinctively felt at home. That cultural leap - which began with conversations in record shops, coffee bars and art schools, and eventually swept the world - is one of the key stories of the last century and is always worth re-examining, as Philip Norman does in this biography of one of the movement's pioneers
It has taken a biographer as perceptive and clear-sighted as Philip Norman to do Clapton justice ... Despite everything, you end up liking Clapton, and feeling as if you know and understand him. It is proof that Norman's biography has done its work
Solid and sad
Many unexpected details have been unearthed by an author painting a vivid picture of a man whose extraordinary career has been carved out of his ability "to conjure magic from a slab of electrified wood"
Extraordinary stories ... the entire tale, including how, miraculously, late in life Clapton learned to function as a normal, civilised person, enjoying a long and apparently faithful second marriage, is told with wonderful vividness
Slowhand reads like a textbook account of all the pathologies of the rock-star life: promiscuity, infidelity, heroin addiction, alcoholism
As usual, the masterful biographer Philip Norman has unearthed countless fascinating details