Dave Thompson,
The Wit & Wisdom of Ozzie Osborne
(Krause, 2010)

Well, here it is: 174 pages of quotations from Ozzie Osborne, arranged sort of chronologically so that it adds up to an oral history of Osborne's career.

The famed Ozzie craziness is here: "Of all the things I've lost," he says, "I miss my mind the most." We also get Ozzie enthusiasms: "Have you seen They Saved Hitler's Brain? Oh you've got to see that one! Hitler's brain is like this goldfish bowl in the back of a limousine in South America and it's giving out orders to all these Nazis. It's so hokey! And in the end it self-destructs itself."

Ozzie's political opinions are here: "Politicians are scumbags." Ozzie on his drug use: "There were these horses in a field. They were talking to me," and "There was a period when I could hardly walk."

As you can see, Osborne is an honest man who does not spare himself. He knows that he has pretty well screwed his life up and does not want to see his kids walk the roads that he ran enthusiastically down: "I am a raging alcoholic and a raging addict and I didn't want to see my kids do the same thing." He credits his wife with his recovery, saying, "If it wasn't for Sharon, I'd be dead."

It's easy to laugh at Ozzie Osborne, easy to think of him as a rock casualty and to dismiss him as a brain-dead freak. The fact is, though, he comes across in these pages as a self-aware, intelligent and very funny man who might have put himself through hell, but learned from the experience, changed the way he was living and refuses to either lie about or apologize for his past.

book review by
Michael Scott Cain

5 February 2011

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