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Publisher's Summary

This is the official authorized biography of musician and vintner Maynard James Keenan, the enigmatic vocalist for Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer. Co-author Sarah Jensen's 30-year friendship with Keenan gives her unique insight into his history and career trajectory. The book traces Keenan's journey from his Midwest childhood to his years in the army to his time in art school, from his stint at a Boston pet shop to his place in the international spotlight and his influence on contemporary music and regional winemaking.

A comprehensive portrayal of a versatile and dedicated artist, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things pays homage to the people and places that shaped the man and his art. Until now, Maynard's fans have had access to only an abridged version of his story. A Perfect Union of Contrary Things presents the outtakes, the scenes of disappointment and triumph, and the events that led him to take one step after the next, to change direction, to explore sometimes surprising opportunities. Included are sidebars in his own words, often humorous anecdotes that illuminate the narrative, as well as commentary by his family members, friends, instructors, and industry colleagues. The book also features a foreword by Alex Grey, an American visionary artist and longtime friend of Keenan. Maynard's story is a metaphor for the listener's own evolution and an encouragement to follow one's dreams, hold fast to individual integrity, and work ceaselessly to fulfill our creative potential.

©2016 Sarah Jensen, Maynard James Keenen (P)2016 Audiobooks.com Publishing

What listeners say about A Perfect Union of Contrary Things

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a wonderful read!

I never knew much about maynard. he is a very private man by nature but I love his musical vetures. I knew of his winery and watched blood into wine. that was the first glimpse I saw of him outside of his musician hat. this book comes full circle and give you as complete of an account of this man we will probably ever get. This book was interesting and got me excited to listen to tool and puscifer and a perfect circle again . I actually stopped the book and times and listed to his music chronologically with the book and it created a vision and depth that almost felt like I knew maynard... or wished I did lol. very good read and will recommend to people who are fans or could appreciate his story.

17 people found this helpful

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Insite Into the Unseen!

I have been a fan of Tool, APC, Puscifer, MJK & his wine starting in the mid 90's. Though James aka Maynard has typically been shrouded in the shadows for much of his career this book is a refreshing peak into his life from childhood, thru failures & of course triumphs. Had my attention from beginning to end & may even listen a second time. It's cool to hear of surrounding elements to shows of his that I've been to & to finally get a personal glance at MJK as a guy finding his way thru life as we all do. Very interesting & entertaining! Highly recommended whether you think you are familiar with his story or not.

14 people found this helpful

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Think for Yourself: Question the Hype

I read this as an avid TOOL, APC, and Puscifer fan - and though I'm not in love with the winemaking process, I have watched Maynard's Blood to Wine documentary and thought it was interesting.

My biggest issue was that this seemed like a lot of self-gratifying hype. Like everything Maynard touches turns to gold and he's a list of what inspired him along the way. The stories seemed really devoid of depth - though to be fair, there are some gems, like his pastor in his teen years. Sadly I feel like it's just a surface look kind of story, as if he wants to put out a book about his life, but still keep his life private.

The writing wasn't great and the performance of the book was even worse. The parts where Maynard is voiced in are very quiet and lower audio quality.

If you're hoping for some behind the scenes of TOOL, APC, Puscifer or other music projects, this is absolutely a let down. Very little is revealed, and most of it was already known info.

When I watched Blood to Wine, I accepted that is was going to be a wine documentary with very little reference to Maynard's music. But having Maynard allow a biography and totally skimp on biographical relevant details seems cheap.

This might have more easily been called "A List Of Maynard's Accomplishments and Inspirations".

9 people found this helpful

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A must for any real Maynard fan..

What did you love best about A Perfect Union of Contrary Things?

I loved that Maynard personally narrated the majority of his quotes. I myself have followed all of his bands and there is a lot of blank spots filled and dots connected.

6 people found this helpful

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are you ready to be bored to death ?

I've gotta tell you, this is one of the worst audiobook experiences of all time !
if you want to listen to hours upon hours of someone getting their ass kissed this is just the thing for you. Sarah Jensen should be ashamed of herself for this fluff piece.
this is the first time I've ever been compelled to leave a review on a book and that's only because it was so bad.
MJK's monotone sporadic additions only help to detract from this droll experience.
As a huge fan of Tool, APC and Puscifer, I was looking forward to this, and boy was I disappointed.
I could not wait for this audiobook to be over. I just finished it because I paid for the thing.
use your audible credits on something of Merit, not this.

6 people found this helpful

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Having Maynard read his own side notes was great!

Been a fan of Tool and A Perfect Circle for ages. it was a given that I'd enjoy the hell outta somethin like this considering that, so I can admit my own bias, but this is the only official biography of Maynard Keenan so if that's what's drawn you to this book it's a no brainer. Read it, you'll love it.

5 people found this helpful

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Loved the narration of this book!!

the narration was superb. an eye opening listen to not only fans of Maynard but to anyone who is interested is good story telling.

5 people found this helpful

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a good audio book to just sit and listen

Gives you a glimpse into the artist life and how his art and life came to be but also leave alot to ones own interpretation. A definite must for all.

5 people found this helpful

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  • AD
  • 11-13-16

Not what I expected!

Very well made. Confirmed, and proved wrong many assumptions about the guy. Couldn't stop listening. Kind of ended abruptly, but the story is still happening... Very pleased.

5 people found this helpful

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Shallow biography about an interesting man.

I was disappointed in the surface level look at Maynards life and career of this book, I understand he is a private guy and the biography certainly reflects that. There are a few nuggets of depth through out the book but overall its a monotone timeline of events in his life which gives no justice to his art.

I was hoping for more about where he pulls his inspiration from, more about Sacred Geometry, Dharma, the Chakras, his spiritual work and his relationship to Alex Grey.

The last part of the book reads like a brochure trying to sell me wine and was really hard to get through. It's worth a read if you just want a wikipedia level narration of his life but don't expect much more.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Katie P.
  • 11-30-16

Meh. Not really worth one's time

As a big Tool and Maynard (Jim!) fan I really thought I'd enjoy it more m, but instead found myself often bored at the lengthy descriptions of grapes wines and vineyards.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Steven Mc
  • 10-01-19

First full Audiobook.

Felt and envisioned every moment. A simple masterpiece. Feel some of Maynards life from the bad to the good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-19

More than the sum of its parts.

Expected an enlightening look into Maynard's life, by the end I was inspired to create.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barbara Pendergast
  • 01-02-17

Loved this book 😊

I enjoyed the way this was written with inserts from MJK...never read a book like that before. I thought it was a nice insight into how he became the person he is today without giving away too much detail about his personal life, quite rightly. If you're a Tool, APC or Puscifer fan....you'll love this book :0)

1 person found this helpful

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  • benjameezy
  • 03-31-22

Very linear

Gives amazing insight into the worldview and philosophy of a truly unique individual... but is definitely spun to show him in his best light only! 'I was the best at running, then I was the best at army, then I was the best at pet shops, then I was the best at rock bands, then I was the best at wines.'

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  • STU K
  • 11-30-21

Excellent story about Jim and his life

Was surprised to read some of the reviews of this book as it's a great story about Jim's life and how his life has developed and evolved.

It's not a history of tool, APC or puscifer but you will learn how 'the pieces fit'.

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  • ThatPersonOverThere
  • 11-12-19

Not the most interesting book ever

I just about stuck with this as a big tool fan, but it's not the most interesting story or the most inspiring writing.

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  • Kooszi
  • 02-15-19

A tale, just that . . .

Great story for the reality we're all loosing everyday of the man who is standing on both feets strong on the ground.

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  • Bill
  • 03-06-18

Insightful look into the Machinations of Maynard

MJKs narrations were not as clear as Devons; he tends to mumble somewhat. But it was pleasent to have the cross over. Generally it was a nice, uplifting interpretation of how MJK believes the pieces in his life fell together. Exactly the kind of narrative you'd expect from a Military man who grows grapes and sings in rock bands on the weekend.

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  • Richard
  • 01-30-17

Very engaging. inspirational insights.

It's rare to get such insights into your musical heroes. There is so much I learnt about being, mindset and motivation. A great read.

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  • James F.
  • 12-25-17

At times nauseating in over the top praise

Maynard is undoubtedly a fascinating and influential figure. But the incessant praise quickly becomes nauseating.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joel
  • 11-14-16

Not Your typical rock star biography!

An intriguing tale of choices made and lessons learnt. Devon Sorvari has a light and engaging tone, perfectly off-set by Maynard's insightful sidenotes. A joy to listen to!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Melissa
  • 12-12-16

loved it!!!

A great story, very well read. I will definately be listening to it many more times!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ky Borham
  • 05-02-22

beautiful

from Maynard's struggles to his success this is a beautiful and very easy listen. the narrator I find to be a bit dull I wish it was just Maynard through the whole audiobook Instead of just every now and then

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  • Frizzle
  • 05-23-21

Could be better

Tried so many times to get into this but the way it's been narrated and bits and pieces, not one I could warrant the time to keep persevering on. I am a big fan of Maynard, but still ....

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-21

Not at all surprising..

...that this story is amazing.

Motivational and inspiring, this story talks about how dreaming of big things and working towards a goal will pay off.

What a delight to listen to.

My 3 favourite bands and a history of their creation and progression summarized in a captivating and engaging story.

Highly recommended for any TOOL, A Perfect Circle or Puscifer fan to add to their collection.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-26-20

loved it !

This book has popped my "Audible cherry" 🤣 loved every minute, didn't disappoint! Knew a fair bit about Maynard but this definitely filled in the gaps nicely!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-22-20

Fascinating

I’m a TOOL, APC fan, so was fascinated in the story of maynards life. My only criticism of the book was that the author really made him seem god like. It just felt a little contrived. BUT I really enjoyed it and maynards anecdotes

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-20

omg 😍🤤🤤🤤

yes, omfg yes. and 12 extra words that I can not think of . also testicals.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-14-19

such a deep and interesting life story

well read and sprinkled with stories told by the man himself. makes me understand and appreciate the music/art on a deeper level. recommend!