Lurie writes that he has 'witnessed the inexplicable.' He has also embodied the inexplicable many times over. Drawing on his unruly genius, persistent subversiveness, habitual courting of risk, and mordant humor, he recounts wild tales of his spiritual quests, drug-stoked New York City misadventures, bond with the saxophone, tormented relationships, and nightmarish tours with his band ... A passionately innovative musician, a painter of exquisite nuance and teasing wit, and a survivor of a recklessly improvised life of chance, poverty, violence, addiction, betrayals, and debilitating illness, Lurie proves to also be a wry, sly, furious, and vivid storyteller. His raucously frank, sardonic, sex-saturated, compulsively detailed, and hard-charging memoir is incandescent.
In his memoir, The History of Bones, the musician, actor and painter John Lurie demonstrates that he can be, among other things, petty, defensive, self-aggrandizing, self-pitying, gratuitously provocative and regularly obscene. Not at all unrelatedly, The History of Bones is a fantastic read ... Lurie's habit of pulling pranks and making flip comments for laughs had a way of coming back to bite him--a reliable source of his book's abundant humor ... Readers will leave Lurie's book, which carries them through the 1980s, with the impression that they have been keeping company with a kvetchy but wildly entertaining uncle who's bent on proving that things were better in the old days. Going by The History of Bones, they probably were.
This meandering collection of sordid tales is a history of his bones to pick. Lurie comes off as bitter and petty, and readers will cringe when he refers to a sex worker as a 'nonperson' ... This exhaustive replay of Lurie’s highs and lows will delight only his most ardent fans.
[A] bawdy memoir ... By turns comic, pissed off, and desolate, his raffish picaresque captures everything from showbiz highs...to malaise from living on the road ... The result is an energetic, raucous reprise of an adventurously offbeat life.