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Torment Saint

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A revealing biography of the tragic musical icon Elliott Smith, written with unprecedented access.

About the Author

William Todd Schultz is a professor of psychology at Pacific University in Oregon. He edited and contributed to the groundbreaking Handbook of Psychobiography, and curates the book series Inner Lives, analyses of significant artists and political figures. His own book in the series, Tiny Terror, examines the life of Truman Capote. Todd Schultz blogs for Psychology Today.


Brilliant, raw fuel for Schultz to add carefully collated detail and song deconstruction to explore a man in harrowing free-fall towards his 2003 suicide. **** * Mojo * A clear-eyed and devastating new biography ... as heartbreaking and well-crafted as one of Elliott Smith's songs * LA Times * Elliott Smith, whose soul presides over the lives of melancholy indie rockers, gets the wake song he deserves in William Todd Schultz's Torment Saint * Vanity Fair * In Torment Saint, William Todd Schultz has written his own kind of love song - an account of Smith's life that does full justice to his memory and the impressive legacy of his art ... Both persuasive reckoning with Elliott's inner demons and - much more important - a full appreciation and celebration, of his undeniable genius * Bookforum * Torment Saint will likely go down as the definitive biography of the singer/songwriter. A full portrait of a troubled man who made beautiful music and left us far too soon * Paste * A tale as complex, dense, and poetic as Elliott himself * Amanda Palmer * You can try to look for answers in his heart-rending music, but, ultimately, up until now, little has been known about his life ... Torment Saint is perhaps the first proper biography of the singer * Independent *

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