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A Perfect Union of Contrary Things

Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (177 ratings)

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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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    3 out of 5 stars

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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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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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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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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omg 😍🤤🤤🤤

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

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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!

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Brilliance

Whole new appreciation for Maynard and all he does. Gave me new perspective on his lyrics and his art in general. Must read/listen

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Inspirational!

What an incredible experience. .I laughed ..I cried .. I left inspired. Thank you for a wonderful journey.

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Different but draws you in.

I have always wondered about MJK's background and this book certainly provides the reader a great insight. Leaving out all the usual rockstar antics makes for a refreshing take on his life so far.

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WOW

that was a breathtaking, emotional, inspirational and so very well written insight in to the art many fellow wary travelers have been able to enjoy thank you Sarah Jensen and Maynard James Keenan for the gift.

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  • CAROL AYALA
  • 23-11-2016

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.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy L. Diebert
  • 17-11-2016

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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  • Stephen Craig Anderson
  • 07-04-2017

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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  • Rob Mathisen
  • 21-06-2017

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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  • Anne
  • 04-04-2017

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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  • Wessel
  • 17-03-2017

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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  • nathan adkins
  • 20-07-2017

The only biography ever that isn't boring as hell

So I normally get put to sleep by biographies. This one is different, at least for me. As a long time fan of Tool and APC, I couldn't help but be curious about what makes this guy tick. Always wondering why he hides in the shadows at their concerts, how he got into wine making, and most importantly, what made him become who he is, as awesomely different as he seems.

This book answers all that, and revealed to me so much more about the guy, that makes me appreciate his lyrics and sense of humor more than ever. He was a very interesting person, from even a young age, and couldn't really be classified into a cookie-cutter "type". He's highly intelligent, multi-talented and confidently drives for perfection in everything he does (and achieves it!), and yet seems to retain a certain amount of humbleness. Not exactly what most think of in a huge rock star.

Anyway, the book was great. The audio performance is good as well. If you're a fan, definitely check this one out.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sean
  • 27-11-2016

Intriguing story from start to finish

As someone who's been a big fan of Maynard's music and character since I was 13 (1993) I really appreciated this book!
It's nice to see someone with great talent and fame be as selfless and he is selfish and the balance of just wanting to be who you are not who other want you to be. I'm sure any fan of MJK is going to read this but for ppl who may be on the fence or not know about his talent or the talent he seems to surround himself with take a leap of faith! You may come away not only with a great read but an artist and his art to admire in many different ways.

4 people found this helpful

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  • James D Loch
  • 23-11-2016

must have. you will learn so much

this is a must listen. captivating. informative. enlightening. just as good as anything he's done

3 people found this helpful

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  • Travis Balchun
  • 14-11-2016

Entertaining, Informative, and Inspiring

I found Maynards story to be profound, entertaining, and full of art. As a musician and lover of creation I found this story to help with many topics I struggle with. I felt shifted in my perspective by the tales end.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Katie P.
  • 30-11-2016

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ThatPersonOverThere
  • 12-11-2019

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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  • Steven Mc
  • 01-10-2019

First full Audiobook.

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

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  • Kooszi
  • 15-02-2019

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-01-2019

More than the sum of its parts.

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

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  • Bill
  • 06-03-2018

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
  • 30-01-2017

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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  • Barbara Pendergast
  • 02-01-2017

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)