Homeward Bound is staggering in its breadth, a beautifully written chronicle of Paul Simon’s long and winding road ... Carlin is fearless in his depictions of Simon’s less savory qualities, especially accusations that he has a habit of ripping off ideas from other artists. Carlin’s prose is notably scintillating when he goes behind the scenes of Simon’s seminal albums.
Some bones of the rock-bio formula remain, but even from the get-go, Simon’s path—and Carlin’s recounting of it—bears intriguing abnormalities. The Portland author pays particularly careful attention to the New York songwriter’s formative years...It’s an often-overlooked period that’s crucial to understanding the rest of Simon’s career ... Carlin also diagrams his subject’s personality in a way that fully informs and illuminates the music ... Carlin provides a rewardingly complete picture in his briskly readable narrative.
Carlin provides a brisk and engaging overview of Simon’s career and protean musical output ... Carlin’s account of this early, near-anonymous phase of Simon’s career is both the most fascinating and the most telling part of the story ... For the most part Homeward Bound is crisp and well-paced, not long on psychological depth or detailed analysis, but generally lucid and evocative ... Not surprisingly, the long anticline of Simon’s post-Graceland career is the dullest part of the book.