Arch, roundabout ... Isn’t a musical memoir exactly. It’s part travelogue, part autobiography, a nonlinear, unsentimental accounting of what Taupin did when Elton John was otherwise occupied ruling the world ... Scattershot doesn’t have a center: It reads like a collection of amusing anecdotes assembled by a charming raconteur. But Taupin’s account of rubbing elbows with celebrities is the best thing here ... It’s baffling to witness two men so integral to the others’ lives and careers speak of each other with the affection usually reserved for distant relatives. Do they have some kind of mutual nonaggression treaty?
A life full of extraordinary material to draw from, compensating somewhat for such shortcomings as a chronicler ... The early chapters of Scattershot,...are the most endearing. With infectious zeal, he describes youthful obsessions with literature, music and the American West ... Some of the author’s exploits make for dazzling reading ... A good editor might have removed the book’s sour notes and made it sing.