• Divided Soul

  • The Life of Marvin Gaye
  • By: David Ritz
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (769 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this intimate biography of the Prince of Soul, David Ritz provides a candid look at a star and a friend. Ritz had been collaborating with Marvin Gaye on his story for several years before the singer's tragic death and had conducted a series of extraordinary interviews in which Gaye discussed his deepest secrets. What emerges is a full-scale portrait of a charming but tortured artist, a brilliant singer with a divided soul.  

Here is Marvin's story, from his early years in the slums of Washington, D.C. to his rise to the top of the Motown industry, his fall from grace, his comeback, and finally his sudden, shocking end at the hands of his own father. It is also the story of his glorious music and the music of Black America over the past 50 years, an epic tale whose cast of characters includes Diana Ross, Berry Gordie, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder.

©1991 David Ritz (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[David Ritz] tells Marvin Gaye's sorrowful story with remarkable insight and sensitivity....Divided Soul is often startlingly candid, but it manages to avoid lurid sensationalism, no mean feat given the particulars of the story: sex, drugs, child abuse, show business scandal." ( The Nation)

What listeners say about Divided Soul

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Wow made for the big screen

I learned so much about Marvin Gaye and the music that I do love. I am so surprised they haven't turns this into a movie for the big screens. it certainly has all the drama love sex and drugs that will fill the seats.

I didn't love the narrator. In fact I purchased this AB once before and returned it only to repurchase some months later because my sister said I would love it. She was right. After a chapter or so in I was so into the story that the narrator voice didn't irk me so.

I highly recommend this book.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Nice

I really enjoyed this book. It was sad and joyful all at the same time. I enjoyed the way the story was told and learned so many things about Marvin that I never knew. It is an awesome biography.

11 people found this helpful

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Excellent Audio Book

Marvin Gaye was such a talented artist. This books gives you an inside look on his struggles and demons. Never judge a book by it's cover. He was not a happy man even with all of the glitz and glam.

7 people found this helpful

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one of the great musical biographies of it's time!

loved this book! Divided Soul is probably one of the great biographies of its time!

5 people found this helpful

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Incredible

This audio book is one of the best I've heard. The narration was excellent, the history of Marvin's childhood was insightful & the psychology of what happens to beautiful, gifted children when they have deep-seeded shame is accurate. Marvin's difficult life living in his own skin made me feel such sadness for him & all those who are hurt by shame.

5 people found this helpful

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Musical Genius

This is a awesome read from beginning to end. It lays out Marvin's life story in an elegant fashion. He was one if the greatest despite his demons.

5 people found this helpful

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An American Tragedy

What a tremendous waste of talent due to drug induced paranoia. A great talent Abused

4 people found this helpful

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Great!

I loved everything about this biography. Very well told and had some great interviews. The narrator was awesome.

3 people found this helpful

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Impotent - LOVE Marvin, hate book

This is one of the most disappointing biographies I have ever been exposed to via any medium. Perhaps the author thought he was being generous with his honesty but I found too many themes in the book unnecessarily tragic and redundant (drug use, indebtedness, impotence, e.g.) just for the sake of putting an icon before a literary firing squad. I plan to and recommend finding another storyteller.

2 people found this helpful

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Wow

I have always been a fan of Marvin Gaye's music, but after listening to this, I feel the need to go back and revisit he songs. Every song has a deeper meaning. He was such a tormented soul. This story is full and sad. He life was so amazing, yet he never got the chance to really enjoy it. Wow. Rest In Peace Mr. Gaye. You are one of the greats💚

2 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria S.
  • 05-02-22

What a complex and sad story

I love Marvin Gaye's music, his life was so complicated and messed up. This book captures his journey from cradle to grave. A very interesting listen.

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  • Slowhand
  • 12-18-21

Awful narration could not finish

Awful narration could not even finish the first chapter. Monotonous drawl. Dull dull dull dull dill.

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  • Christine smith
  • 11-02-21

excellent so sad

excellent so sad well narrated..easy to listen to.a hard life for such a great man

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  • Nurtle
  • 08-29-21

Couldn't stand the narrator

I stopped after just a paragraph. The narrators voice and delivery was annoying, I could not listen to that for 6 hours. Shame as I love Marvin Gaye and wanted to hear his story.

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  • Bosede
  • 01-24-21

Excellent delivery

Loved it. so deep, I feel so sorry for Marvin and his mother. Thanks Dave!

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Profile Image for paul s rainford
  • paul s rainford
  • 03-14-20

Great retelling of a tragic life self sabotaged and ruined despite huge talent

Interesting but frustrating life story of a massive talent. Well written and entertainingly retold by the narrator of a life of strife and trouble of a man with huge abilities but also of self hamstringing and damage radiating outwards. By the end it is hard to envisage any other outcome than the self destruction that Marvin almost wills onto himself via his life long nemesis and part originator of his demons but this man’s talents should also be celebrated here as both sides of this sad story are excellently put together in a book length that is about right.

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  • Anthony Stobart
  • 03-28-19

The Drugs Don't Work

A sad take of the great singer-songwriter. This is an apparent abridged version. There are relatively few descriptions of recording the albums which is what I wanted to know about. Not the greatest autobiography.

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  • Elizabeth Francis
  • 01-03-19

Amazing Marvin

An excellent book would recommend to anyone not just Marvin fans. gives such an insight into his life and struggles.