Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny by Nile Rodgers

You have probably never heard of Nile Rodgers. Born to a teenage, junkie mother and a deadbeat father, Nile never had what most would consider a normal life. As his mother went from boyfriend to boyfriend, he found himself embarking on multiple cross country trips between New York and California and in the care of his two grandmothers. With a lack of guidance, structure, and discipline, young Nile was forced to grow up quickly, and discover a self reliance that would serve as the foundation for the rest of his life.

While you may have never heard of Nile Rodgers, you have definitely heard his music. amongst a childhood full of drugs, abuse, incest, and even murder, a young Nile Rodgers discovered a natural talent for music. By the age of fifteen, he ran away from his family and devoted the rest of his life to his craft. Through his band, Chic, and through many other artists such as Diana Ross, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Madonna, and countless others, Rodgers became the man behind multiple hits including, Le Freak, good Times, We Are Family, Like a Virgin, Modern Love, I'm Coming Out, The Reflex, and Rapper's Delight.

While this story mirrors that of many other artists, all of whom struggle with addiction, poverty, and reaching artistic fulfillment, Nile's tale is a uniquely moving recollection that reads like a great work of fiction. He has a clear voice that is accessible, even to those who, like me, are unfamiliar with his name and career. I was surprised that I could relate to the kind of "matter of fact" views that Rodgers expressed about his life. This memoir is not only an inside look into the creation of some of the best music of the past forty years, but an introspective portrait of a flawed character striving to create a perfect art in an imperfect world.

For more information, visit the author's website at
and http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11361604-le-freak.

(week 3, book 3)

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 15, 2012 and is filed under ,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

9 Responses to “Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny by Nile Rodgers”

  1. I had never heard of Nile Rodgers, but I have certainly heard these songs. It's nice to hear about accessible, exceptional memoirs that read like fiction. Thanks for the recommendation Ethan!

    1. No problem! I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed reading this.

  2. I've never heard of Nile Rodgers before now, but I've definetly heard those songs. I'll have to check this book out. Great review!

  3. Great Review. I am looking forward to read it too. I was wondering if you would like to review my book (Ivana and the secret lake adventures). Its my first book and its a fantasy fiction. If yes please drop me an email at princess-eve-kris@hotmail.co.uk

    God Bless

  4. I am both enthralled and devastated after having found your blog. Enthralled to have found a kindred spirit and financially devastated as I put each of the books about which you write on my "to-read" list.

    We are kindred spirits as bibliophiles but we also have similar projects. I am trying to read as many books as possible in 2012 and chronicling my experiences at: http://erinsbibliomania.blogspot.com/

    I'd love for you to check it out. I'm following your blog and looking forward to weekly reviews :)

    1. I'm glad you found this blog too! I look forward to reading your reviews.

  5. A very nice review! Not generally something I would read (I'm not a big memoir kind of guy), but you made the salient details very interesting.

    I too am one of those strange guys who likes to read. Like you, none of my friends are of the same mind either. And damn it, we need some more testosterone in this book blogging thing, so I'm going to be following you from now on. I look forward to seeing your other reads!

    Jonathan @ I Read a Book Once...


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