Author David Wild loves Neil Diamond. The entire reason for writing this book was to lavish praise on the person he describes as the "Jewish Elvis." If your opinion of the singer/songwriter parallels his, this book is a must-read. Anything short of that lofty appraisal, and you're going to have to sift through a couple hundred pages of idol-worshipping prose.
After reading He Is... I Say, the reader concludes that maybe Diamond does deserve the accolades. As we learn here, Neil has just about done it all - and done it exceptionally well and successfully. Beginning his career as a songwriter, he wrote monster hits for everyone from Deep Purple to
The Monkees. This latter band, the fabricated four, had multiple big sellers with Diamond tunes including "I'm A Believer," "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" and "Little Bit Me, Little Bit You." He experienced fame as an actor in
The Jazz Singer. His own career has been built on such chestnuts as "Cherry Cherry," "Solitary Man," "Sweet Caroline," and many others you've all heard thousands of times on the radio. He continues to record and tour to this day.
All of that is written down here in tender and gushing prose. There's maybe a bit too much adulation, sometimes bordering on the strange, though Wild even sends himself up by describing his "platonic" feelings for the man.
As a Jew writing about the Jew, the book is just about centered there as a cultural statement. Wild can identify with Diamond because they both came from essentially the same type of Jewish background.
It's a funny book about a profoundly gifted artist. If Diamond is your star, read this