What could possibly connect Prince, the great twentieth century singer songwriter, and Charles Dickens, the great writer of classics usually stuffed into the hands of adolescents too early? What could these two geniuses, one born in 1812 in England, and the other in 1950s Minneapolis, have in common?
For Nick Hornby, Dickens and Prince are two artists that compare to no others. At the young age of 24, they both had their breakthroughs, Prince with ‘1999’ and Dickens with The Pickwick Papers. At 26, Prince released ‘Purple Rain’ and Dickens’ Oliver Twist was published, and, by 30, both artists were huge stars.
No one else had such a relentless work ethic and produced such a staggeringly original and enormous body of work. Where did their magic come from? How did they use it? And, in the end, did it kill them?
Tracing their lives, from the early years to their relationships with women, their finances to their inability to stop working, Dickens and Prince is a brilliantly surprising and joyous uncovering of the essence of a very particular and unique type of genius.