Fans of Wang Leehom will definitely dig this (I am one and I enjoyed it). It gives a pretty interesting insight into his life pre-stardom, and also offers a glimpse into his supposed way of life, loosely in his words, sans spotlight/microphone/camera and all.
I don’t mean to sound cynical, but I could not resist using the word “supposed” because, while this biography is described as “accidental”, it reads more like a carefully crafted book of um, PR propaganda for fans. If you’re looking for a more in-depth understanding of this star, this book isn’t it, for almost everything inside reinforces Wang’s positive public image. The author actually attempted to dish out some “dirt”, but these serve only to endear Wang more to his fans… like, did you know he’s so un-particular about his living environment that when the curtains he put up himself were too short for his windows, he resorted to using his scores/books to block out the sun? (Useless trivia to most people, but these are some of the things fans will lap up.)
Actually I don’t have a problem with this lack of objectivity, because no one ever said biographies had to be so. And what more this guy is still an A-list star in the scene – he has a public image to protect and nurture. But, I did find the “dirt-dishing” by his college dorm mate at the last part sort of irrelevant, and to some extent, tabloid-ish. I guess the intention was to enable fans to understand the background of some of his earlier works (it seems like many of his earlier works were written for the same girl), and I appreciate that. But the way it was executed reads like a page from some tabloid, and I can’t help but think that there’s the other agenda of portraying him as some devoted boyfriend/ex-boyfriend. This brought down this biography’s credibility by a few notches imo. Propaganda could do with some subtlety, but this one got a bit too obvious.
That aside, I thought many parts of the biography were really inspiring, particularly the part when he requested to study Jazz Piano when at Williams even though his foundation in piano was elementary. I’ve always known that he picked up the piano proper only when he was 18, but I’ve also always taken for granted that his talent sailed him through the learning process. Little did I know that he sort of “begged” his way into the major, and that he had to put in five to six times more hours than his more advanced course mates just so that he could catch up. The book also talks about his initial coordination problems at the piano. Kinda hard to imagine, because when he performs these days, he makes everything look so easy. Speaking of which, I am so inspired to practise now.