Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon is unlike any artistic portrait you’ve ever heard before. Recorded over a series of 30 hours of conversation between Simon, Malcolm Gladwell, and Broken Record podcast co-host Bruce Headlam, the conversation flows from Simon’s music to his childhood in Queens, NY, his frequent collaborators including Art Garfunkel, and the nature of creativity itself. Gladwell and Headlam traveled from the mountains of Hawaii to Simon’s own backyard studio to record an artist they’ve idolized since childhood.
Archival audio tracks and never-before-heard live studio versions are woven throughout the audiobook alongside distinctive commentary about Simon’s songwriting and beloved hits like “The Boxer,” “The Sound of Silence,” and “Graceland.” Between conversations, Gladwell deploys his signature blend of historical research and social science in an attempt to understand how a boy from 1940s Queens conjured near-perfect songs over an incredible 65-year career. Along the way he gathers reflections on Simon’s particular genius from the likes of Sting, Herbie Hancock, Renee Fleming, Jeff Tweedy, Aaron Lindsey, and Roseanne Cash.
The result is an intimate audio biography of one of America’s most popular songwriters. Brimming with music, and conversation, Miracle and Wonder is a window into Paul Simon’s legendary career, what it means to be alive as an artist, and how to create work that endures.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you love exploring the intimate experiences, strange stories, and creative magic behind great music, you’re in for a treat. In this fascinating audiobook, author Malcolm Gladwell sits down with legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon for a series of in-depth interviews to discuss the musician’s most iconic songs and the stories behind them. And as always, Gladwell goes deep—prompting Simon to discuss how everything from his childhood in Queens to his creative partnerships have helped shape his music throughout his six-decade plus career. But this is so much more than a biography. Simon fills the listening experience with impromptu performances, demonstrating how a simple guitar riff became the foundation for “The Boxer” and giving us new insight on the creation of classics like “Homeward Bound” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” (Improbably, Simon and then-partner Art Garfunkel each thought the other should sing the song!) There are even excerpts from interviews with famous fans like Sting, Rosanne Cash, and Aaron Lindsay, who provide even more insight into what makes Simon’s work so special. Miracle and Wonder is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to understand the connection between the man and his music.
Miraculous & Wondrous
Yup, he’s got ideas! Rhymin’ Simon, poet and musician.
Good conversation & interesting stories and background surrounding the creation of songs we have come to know and love.