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Review: “In the End. A tribute to Chester Bennington” by Rosanna Costantino

RECENSIONE IN ITALIANO: QUI

Good day everyone, thanks to be here on Life is like a wave who rises and falls!

Today I tell you about a book that on the one hand I hoped would come out but, on the other, I was afraid of when a biography on Chester would come out, because sooner or later someone would write it and I feared it was only a way to sell using his first name. I read it at a time when I missed Linkin Park, I was nostalgic and as soon as I learned of this release I could’t wait to read it, although I had doubts and fears. Usually I don’t talk about books when they are on everyone’s lips, since I like reading a book because it intrigues me and I don’t want to talk about the most talked about book of the moment, but I couldn’t resist. I’ve read a lot of positive reviews from fans and non fans and started it as soon as it got to me. One more thing before continuing with my review: I’d like to clarify that I read the Italian version of this book, but I have decided to republish my review now on the occasion of the release of its English edition.

In the End. A tribute to Chester Bennington

by Rosanna Costantino

PubMe, 2022

ISBN: 979-1254580806, pp. 328

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«It starts with…

A boy born on March 20, 1976, a skinny little boy with his contagious laugh, a boy whose childhood was stolen. Then the boy turned into a man with a great passion for music, a man who made his dream come true, becoming one of the most famous singers of all times, a man who was a wonderful friend, husband, father, a man who, behind that joyful and lighthearted facade, hid demons so wicked and devious you couldn’t imagine.

Chester was all of this.

In this amazing tribute, Rosanna Costantino was able to transmute the emotions and the feelings of every fan in the world into written words, opening her heart. In the same time she also described in detail the life of this great man, from the day he was born to the tragic death, and how his bandmates, his friends and Linkin Park fans have experienced and how they were able to hold on and to stay strong together.

Chester and Linkin Park are a source of inspiration for all the soldiers, their music saved so many lives, they told us not to give up through their lyrics, they made us feel invincible, they are our heroes and now, with Rosanna’s book, we can have a little piece of Chester to always keep with us.»

Classificazione: 5 su 5.

Reading time: from April 30 to May 7, 2021.

Reading n° 42 of 2021.

One of the most beautiful readings of 2021 but also ever.

I have read the Italian edition of this book and I tell you right away that I can’t say anything about the English translation by Drazen Prunk: he too as the author is a passionate Linkin’s fan so I believe that doing the translation he respected the intentions of the author. I cannot say more. From the very first pages I understood that Rosanna Costantino is a big Linkin fan like me and that she was the first to want to honor Chester, so I relied on her words and it was a beautiful and profound but not easy reading experience. I believe that this unofficial biography has nothing less than an official one, if and when it comes out: perhaps an official one could contain unpublished material but, beyond that, Costantino’s book is really very well done.

From the first words of this biography I was transported to twenty years ago, when listening to In the End I fell in love with that song, so much so that I went to look for the single from the record store and since it was finished I decided to buy the album Hybrid Theory. Since then I have never stopped following them, letting myself be lulled, consoled and exorcised my anxieties and fears by their beautiful lyrics, their wonderful melodies, the simply unique voice of Chester. Linkin Park are and will forever be my favorite band. Despite this, reading this biography I discovered things I didn’t know and I rediscovered many emotions. I really liked Rosanna’s choice to translate the lyrics (in the Italian edition) of the songs and inserted in this way, in the middle of the text, they acquire a meaning and become an organic part of the narration.

In the End is a dip in the history of Linkin Park but also and above all in the life of Chester, made up of sacrifices and suffering, always lived to the fullest, passing from very high peaks to extreme depressions, marked by addiction and alcohol and drug abuse to relieve the demons that beset him. Reading and thinking about what Chester experienced is painful because in my opinion the author did a wonderful job: she plumbs the many clues and testimonies of Chester to explain to us how much the Linkin’s words and songs were autobiographical, to show us the Chester that many do not they knew. The author must have done a tremendous job of collecting the many clues to Chester’s moods, of how he always felt at fault with others.

As a Linkin’s fan I’m happy to have read this biography because, although I cried in several moments, although some parts were difficult to read because they were emotionally heavy and I had to stop reading because my eyes were clouded with tears, I’m happy that Costantino has written In the End: Chester and the Linkin deserved a work like this. It was hard to read of Chester’s shame over his relapses, his weaknesses and insecurities. Behind that radiant smile there was an evil that slowly devoured him. It was also difficult to read the long chapter of messages from all over the world of people when they learned of his death but thanks to this and the next chapter of the book which talks about how Talinda was able to react constructively – but not easily – to her husband’s death and an important message comes for those suffering from mental disorders: you are not alone; the bad will end when you least expect it; ask for help, do not suffer in silence; and above all you are unique and unrepeatable, the world needs you, you can make a difference for someone. You ARE the difference to someone. Chester was and still is for us Linkin fans and Costantino’s book reminded me of it and carved it once again in her memory. In describing Numb at the tribute concert in Chester, the author abandons the third person to move on to us, more personal and authentic. Rosanna is a Linkin’s fan like me and her emotions are mine too, her mourning elaboration is mine too.

The author gives us a biography of Chester and also of Linkin Park, but she does more because she transforms all the evil that Chester has experienced as an example for those who find themselves in those same difficult situations, it brings out a positive message. Costantino wants, just like Talinda, Chester’s death not to be in vain: in my opinion this book becomes beautiful and useful for all Linkin fans but also for those who want to know more about addictions, mental problems and the consequences of abuse. Thanks to Rosanna Costantino, Linkin Park fans will surely appreciate this book because it was written with love and dedication, respectful and also curious about what happened. Instead, non-fans will be able to read a poignant biography of a person too good for this world, engulfed by evil and darkness when she was too young to face it alone.

I also liked that among all the titles that this biography could have had, In the End was chosen, the song with which I discovered this group. I also like the cover image because it looks perfect to me and represents all sides of Chester.

When I read I always take notes to get some guidelines for the review but this time I took notes to mark the titles of covers or songs I want to listen to. This for me means that the lyrics captured me and aroused the same emotions as the Linkin’s songs.

I don’t know if the author will ever read this review and these words but, thank you Rosanna: for your passion and for this wonderful and unmissable book. ❤

And here are some phrases I have underlined:

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You can’t win if you’re afraid to lose.

Chester Bennington (Chesterbe, Instagram, 2017)

“Chester,

You ignited a flame of passion, laughter & courage in our hearts forever.

We miss you, brother.

Joe, Mike, Brad, Dave & Rob.”

(Linkin Park, One More Light (Official Video) – Linkin Park, 2017)

CHESTER WAS UNIQUELY PASSIONATE, UNCOMMONLY GENEROUS, SENSITIVE, OPTIMISTIC, FUNNY AND KIND. WITH HIS VOICE, HE TURNED PAIN INTO CATHARSIS, AUTHENTICITY INTO ART, AND PASSION INTO CONNECTION. HIS DEDICATION TO BRINGING THESE SONGS TO LIFE WAS TRIUMPHANT.

(One More Light Live, s.d.)

“As you wish”.

Chester Bennington (Alecabare, 2015)

This book, for all the reasons I wrote above, is among the best readings ever and I hope I have managed to honor it because it deserves it. I’m happy to have the italian edition in my library. Thank you all, have a nice week,

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