I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book, not knowing much about Prince other than having enjoyed a few of his songs in passing. I had never heard of Jason Webber either.
After reading the prologue, my first thoughts were about how people can become attached to celebrities they have never met, and that alone would have made an interesting topic to read about. However, Jason Webber took the book in a direction I wasn’t expecting. As he told his own story of growing up in a dysfunctional family, going through into his adult years, he weaved in stories of Prince and how at some of the most difficult times, Prince helped him keep going. Obviously, Prince never knew about any of this, but I don’t think that matters.
One thing I took away from this book was whether or not you like a particular singer or a type of music, they are in the public forum and therefore influence their fans. In this case, Webber helped me see Prince in a new light, and the way he told his own story was engaging and relatable, even if I didn’t live it myself. A lot of people will have experienced family problems, breakups, and other issues in their lives, on a lesser or greater scale.
The good thing about this book is the author doesn’t come across as trying to tell readers he’s had it better or worse than anyone else. He simply tells us stories from his life and how these experiences affected him. I admired how brutally honest he was, whether talking about members of his family (who might end up reading about themselves on the pages) or admitting to mistakes he made.
Purple Bananas has the potential to appeal to anyone interested in reading about other people’s lives, and music fans in general. You don’t have to be a Prince fan, although it inspired me to go back and have a listen to some of the songs Webber talked about in the book. Despite hearing them as I was growing up, I enjoyed them more after reading this book.
Purple Bananas can be purchased here.
Review by Amanda Steel, co-host of Reading in Bed on Anchor, and the author of Ghost of Me, which was a top 10 finalist in the 2020 Author Elite Awards.