Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shoot Out the Lights” as Want to Read:
Shoot Out the Lights
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shoot Out the Lights (33⅓ #58)

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  63 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In the fall of 1980 Richard and Linda Thompson (of Fairport Convention fame) had recently been dumped from their record label and were on the verge of divorce. Somehow they overcame these miserable circumstances and managed to make an album considered by many to be a masterpiece.

"Shoot Out The Lights" puts the album from the personal history driving the songs, to the recor
Paperback, 116 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Continuum (first published May 31st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shoot Out the Lights, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shoot Out the Lights

Let's Talk About Love by Carl WilsonIn the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Kim CooperExile on Main St. by Bill JanovitzDummy by R.J. WheatonDusty in Memphis by Warren Zanes
35th out of 114 books — 47 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 130)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Bryant
Nice to see someone - anyone - taking notice of Richard Thompson, who's one of those best kept secrets of modern music that critics love and no one else has heard of blah blah blah Lord how many times has that been written in the last 35 years? Richard began life as a 17 year old folk rocker in Fairport Convention (he's the long haired git on the right)

then he married Linda Thompson and they became Sufis

then he divorced her hand his hair fell out
Jul 07, 2008 Richard rated it it was ok
I HATE these 33&1/3 books when they try to use the fiction gimmick. Even more annoying in the case of this book, there are several sophomoric appendices and not one citation to anything else anyone has written about the Thompsons. Even though I agree with most of Child's musical judgments--they are utterly subjective. _Shoot Out the Lights_ truly is a masterpiece and it deserves better a better guide to the underworld than Childs's community college Virgil.
Emily Childs
Jul 11, 2008 Emily Childs rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer. I was one of the early readers for the author. I assume he chose me for a number of reasons. One of them is that I'm his wife, but one of them was also that I am not a music geeek and I am not a typical 33 & 1/3 reader. The fictional device and Virgil Schlage's story pulled me along, and the Dante allegory added interest and complexity, to an already interesting journey into the lives of Richard and Linda Thompson at the time of the recording and touring for this album. When I di ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Christopher rated it it was amazing
What do you look for in rock criticism? Do you want Lester Bangs style autobiography? Do you want a minute explanation of the sounds you're hearing by a musical know-how? Or a scene know-how? Or an anthropological musical know-how? Do you want something that improbably ties the sound of an electric guitar to a Great Works of literature? Do you want gratuitous but wholly righteous swipes at Eric Clapton?

Whatever it is, Hayden Childs has thrown everything into this book, and it all completely WORK
Kevin Summers
Apr 30, 2015 Kevin Summers rated it it was ok
Overall, this book was disappointing. The music criticism in this book was decent, but the fiction aspect of the story was not good.

Sample quote: "Bonny didn't die the night I went to murder her, but twenty-five years later she did. Sandy Denny didn't die the night she fell down the stairs, but a month later. After the fall, it doesn't matter whether you fell on your own or if there was a hand there to push you. What matters is who you touched along the way, and how fast they'll come running whe
May 06, 2016 John rated it liked it
Interesting, but the thread where the author pretends to be a failed musician going through his own version of Dante's Inferno in some sort of strange parallel with Richard Thompson's deteriorating relationship with his wife, Linda, during the recording and release of this album, is unnecessary, if not distracting. Better to miss your contracted page count than to burden an otherwise compelling narrative with this detour.
Nov 17, 2009 Nathan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dante
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
I wasn't really convinced by the narrator in this book. Sure, I could see the tie-in to Dante, but I wanted the narrator to be more believable, to have a bit more of a relationship with the album itself, rather than just an afterthought. Still, this book wins alone for its appendices.
Joe Faust
Jun 23, 2011 Joe Faust rated it it was ok
Half autobiographical novel (?) and half term paper paralleling the album with the circles in Dante’s Inferno, this isn’t the best of the 33 1/3 series – but it’s not the worst, either.
Jan 16, 2008 Hayden added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: everyone
I wrote this! The description is inaccurate, though.

33 1/3 blog has an excerpt available online.
Jun 18, 2008 Dave rated it liked it
Interesting when he's doing a close analysis of Richard and Linda Thompson's music. Not as much so with the fictional parts and some literary pretensions.
Robbie Bashore
Jul 04, 2008 Robbie Bashore marked it as to-read
My husband might enjoy this. He's a big Richard Thompson fan. We saw him in a nice intimate club in Pittsburgh a few years ago, and it was great.
Mar 16, 2013 Don rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
These little books are supposed to be about the record. Way too much of this one is about the author.
Leonard Pierce
Jul 02, 2008 Leonard Pierce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
Hayden autographed my copy of this, so he gets five stars. See how easy this is, people?
Jan marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
Sofie Mathiesen
Sofie Mathiesen marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2016
Jeff rated it liked it
Apr 30, 2016
Richard Trice
Richard Trice rated it it was amazing
Apr 30, 2016
Mark Davey
Mark Davey marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2016
Dsreebny marked it as to-read
Mar 25, 2016
Sanya Kushak
Sanya Kushak rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2016
Jimmy Rumple
Jimmy Rumple marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Neal rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2016
Julie rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2016
Eryn Black
Eryn Black marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2015
Kevin marked it as to-read
Dec 01, 2015
Damian Clements
Damian Clements rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2015
Simon Sonnak
Simon Sonnak marked it as to-read
May 24, 2016
Yuri marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
Jake rated it really liked it
Sep 12, 2015
Michael Keene
Michael Keene marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Co-editor & co-founder, The High Hat online journal of pop culture:

Blog for Shoot Out The Lights at
More about Hayden Childs...

Other Books in the Series

33⅓ (1 - 10 of 103 books)
  • Dusty in Memphis
  • Forever Changes
  • Harvest
  • The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society
  • Meat is Murder
  • The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  • Abba Gold
  • Electric Ladyland
  • Unknown Pleasures
  • Sign o' the Times

Share This Book