Earthbound : David Bowie and the Man Who Fell to Earth

3.77 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


'Before there was Star Wars before there was Close Encounters there was The Man Who Fell To Earth. advertising tag line for 1981 reissue of the film. Earthbound is the first book-length exploration of a true classic of twentieth-century science-fiction cinema, shot under the heavy, ethereal skies of New Mexico by the legendary British director Nicolas Roeg and starring David Bowie in a role he seemed born for as an extra-terrestrial named Thomas Newton who comes to Earth in search of water. Based on a novel by the highly regarded American writer Walter Tevis, this dreamy, distressing, and visionary film resonates even more strongly in the twenty-first century than it did on its original release during the year of the US Bicentennial. Drawing on extensive research and exclusive first-hand interviews with members of the cast and crew, Earthbound begins with a look at Tevis s 1963 novel before moving into a detailed analysis of a film described by its director as 'a sci-fi film without a lot of sci-fi tools and starring a group of actors Bowie, Buck Henry, Candy Clark, Rip Torn later described by one of them (Henry) as 'not a cast but a dinner party.
It also seeks to uncover the mysteries surrounding Bowie s rejected soundtrack to the film (elements of which later ended up his ground-breaking 1977 album Low) and closes with a look at his return to the themes and characters of The Man Who Fell To Earth in one of his final works, the acclaimed musical production Lazarus.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 150 x 215 x 22.86mm | 566.99g
  • Jawbone
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1911036254
  • 9781911036258
  • 1,319,369

Review quote

'The strands are interwoven with gleaming prose, the writer mining detail like a forensic scientist. No potentially illuminating interview is left unturned, no ego unruffled. She makes you want to watch the film again. Do so accompanied by this grounded masterpiece.' - Classic Rock Magazine 'There's more than enough in Earthbound for fans of the film to be satisfied [and] to give readers worthwhile insight into the
crazy trip that Bowie, Roeg, and the cast and crew concocted in New Mexico back in that summer of '75.' - Portland Mercury 'When a band of British filmmakers and crew decamped to New Mexico to make an art-house adaptation of an allegorical novel about alcoholism, they came out with a cult classic that baffles, enthrals and infuriates in equal measure. Untangling all the stages of its production, Compo makes film rights and editing battles a compelling read, with the New Mexico landscape--and a haunted leading man--its otherworldly centre.' - Record Collector "In Earthbound, Susan Compo delves deep into every aspect of the film's making, from its Walter Tevis source novel, through the location shoot in New Mexico, to its stunning costumes and the circumstances surrounding Bowie's rejected and never-finished soundtrack. Detailed and vivid, Earthbound is a riveting read for Bowie fans, Roeg fiends, and anybody interested in seventies cinema." - Simon Reynolds, author of "Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and its Legacy" 'Susan Compo has done a marvelous job of laying bare the intricacies, disappointments, and triumphs Nic Roeg faced in bringing The Man Who Fell To Earth to the screen. There have been many books written about movies and celebrities, but this one stands out. You are about to be taken on a fascinating ride. - Graeme Clifford, film editor on "The Man Who Fell To Earth"
show more

About Susan Compo

Susan Compo is the author of Warren Oates: A Wild Life, as well as three works of fiction plus some music and sports journalism. A fanzine she did during punk s heyday is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She lives within running distance of Los Angeles.
show more

Rating details

18 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 17% (3)
4 50% (9)
3 28% (5)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X