It was Gutierrez' manic fauvre illustration that made this book move--my son sat and looked at pp 32-33 for a long time. The pictures prompted me to get online and listen to something new. I looked at the Expression album, and the music is just wildly abstract--"Offering" and "To Be".
The text delivered a fairly straight biography, with an unwavering line toward Coltrane's religious enlightenment. That was what Golio chose as the story to tell. He chose to do the full life from childhood up. Hm. This story may have worked better as a 'slice' out of the larger life, as so many biographers are doing, so he could have gone for depth in exploring why and how.
Golio was absolutely un-shy about the difficult content of alcohol and drug abuse, which was admirable. But at the same time the straightforward explanations of why a person turns to drugs sounded a little like advice. I give Golio the benefit of the doubt. I'd rather have a book bring up issues like this for people to discuss--and this text is built more for a read-aloud than for a kid to sit down alone.