Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good is not an autobiography. Instead, it's Taylor arguing that the seven deadly sins aren't sins at all, but simply character flaws. He also postulates most of the so-called “sins” have positive aspects as well and comes up with his own list of deadly sins. Seven Deadly Sins does have stories from Taylor's life that illustrate the points he's making.
While the deadly sins argument/debate might make for a good magazine article, it does not sustain a 200 page book. Each chapter has some good points and cogent arguments, but there's a lot of repetition, rambling and simply filling up space. To put it in musical terms, instead of a 3 minute, hook filled hit song, Taylor wrote a 14 minute meandering, self-indulgent prog track. Taylor is a good writer, and some passages are downright brilliant. Others, though, look like he pulled out a thesaurus to find some big words and don't flow well at all.
As I said before, the stories from Taylor's past are really good and interesting, and they are the saving grace that makes this book worth picking up. The best chapter, by far, is “My Waterloo,” which focuses exclusively on Taylor's background and youth. It is insightful and reveals a lot about him as a person. The rest of the book does that to some extent, but this chapter really digs deep.
I learned a lot about Taylor by reading Seven Deadly Sins, but in the end I wanted more. Rock stars writing about theology is an interesting concept, but not necessarily a compelling reality.
(released July 2011 by DaCapo Press)