from https://somethingelsereviews.com/2024/0 ... ttsVGst3d4
GOD ONLY KNOWS: THE STORY OF BRIAN WILSON, THE BEACH BOYS AND THE CALIFORNIA MYTH by DAVID LEAF (OMNIBUS PRESS): David Leaf has become one of the best-known chroniclers of the Beach Boys and, through his decades-long friendship with Brian Wilson, has effectively become the man’s Boswell. This is an update of Leaf’s original book on the group, published in 1978 and updated once before in 1995, and its leader Brian Wilson. God Only Knows fills in a lot of context from the past and brings the story of Wilson and the group up to date, often almost exclusively focusing on Wilson.
Leaf has a very complex subject in tackling the entire history and legacy of the group. He has done a great job of talking to many sources inside and outside of the band and those who were and are a part of their inner circle. Although he is clearly a fan and has a special affection for Wilson, he doesn’t hold back in untangling the near-Shakespearean drama that is the group’s musical career and complex life. While many books about the group seek to untangle the artistic and business history, God Only Knows (and any on the group) has to also delve into the family history, as the group was comprised of three brothers, a cousin and only one non-family member. Leaf also does an excellent job of excavating the California culture with which the group was intertwined and how it influenced them and they influenced it.