Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dion The Wanderer Talks Truth

Dion -- The Wanderer Talks Truth is a great read I heard about through a God-incident.  When we took our best friend/brother John to the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart a couple weeks ago, he got some books at the gift shop.  He picked up a copy of this one for his sister, who is really into music and loves Dion.  None of us had realized Dion is Catholic. 
I selected Dion -- The Wanderer Talks Truth to review so I could talk about it with John’s sister, who also loves to read, and because it’s sort of off-the-beaten-path from what I usually select.    
Dion’s amazing journey to stardom includes the blues, those in his own life and those that inspired his music.  He got caught up for a number of years in the pop music artists’ traditional mélange of: alcohol, drugs, and Rock and Roll.  Throughout his life, Dion had some very strong influences on his music, many people who stood up and out with him from his Bronx neighborhood and the international music scene, and the support of someone I can only assume from his description of her is a remarkable woman, his teenage sweetheart/wife, Susan.  It’s always encouraging to hear of a couple who’s remained together through some tough times and come out stronger on the other side.  It’s nothing short of inspiring to learn of a Rock and Roll legend who’s realized God needs to be at the center of his life, someone who is still very much in love with his wife and proud of his three daughters.   

Two interesting facts I learned from the book that I bet many would get wrong if playing Rock and Roll trivia are: 1. “The Wanderer” is not a song written about Dion himself, and 2. “Runaround Sue” wasn’t written about his lovely wife.  The musicians did have a female from their town in mind when they wrote the song, but they changed the name of the girl to protect the guilty and provide them with a name which was easy to fit into many rhymes.      
In a thoroughly fascinating, often humorous way, Dion describes his roundabout adventure back to the Catholic Church.  From the priest in his neighborhood who would shout out questions to him about virtue and morality from across the street to his discovery of the Bible and subsequent interest in St. Augustine, the Holy Spirit kept bringing him closer to the heart and soul of all creation, the God who is Love and Truth.  
My husband’s more of the music historian of the two of us, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out what Kevin would probably have already known: a number of Dion’s songs have been extremely popular and are easily identifiable to people from many different generations, including mine. 
The only thing I could think of that would have made reading this book even more enjoyable would be if I’d had some of Dion’s greatest hits on-hand to play.  Of course, he mentions a number of his songs and even includes some of the lyrics in the book.  Okay, so maybe there’s one more thing that would enhance the experience: I’d love to meet his wife Susan.  She sounds like a very strong, faithful wife the caliber of which not many Rock and Roll stars have had by their side, ever and/or certainly not since their youth. 
I highly recommend this read for music buffs, those who have fallen away from the Church, and anyone who enjoys a good story told with humor and honesty.         
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Dion -- The Wanderer Talks Truth. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.
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