For millions of Grateful Dead fans the core of the band that became a way of life, Jerry Garcia was man of contradictions, many of which are on display in Robert Greenfield's informative oral history of his life, DARK STAR. Here, we find the carefree Garcia who spent his childhood playing in the streets of his home neighborhood; the intelligent, music-obsessed teenage student; the supportive husband and father who taught music for a living; and the later, familiar bearded icon of the counterculture. In the accounts of his brother, Clifford; his wife, Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia; and significant other cultural and musical figures of the era, like Merry Prankster Ken Kesey and Jefferson Airplane bassist Jorma Kaukonen, Garcia undergoes a tragic, slow-motion metamorphosis from acid experimenter to unreachable heroin addict over the period of a decade. It's a familiar story to Dead fans, made more dramatic by the participants' remarkable recollections of both Garcia and the frequent scenes of anarchic insanity that took place around the band in its heyday. A worthy addition to the body of work on the Grateful Dead, DARK STAR vividly captures the band's leader in all his frail humanity.