Things The Grandchildren Should Know
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Things The Grandchildren Should Know

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  2,498 ratings  ·  293 reviews
How does one young man survive the deaths of his entire family and manage to make something worthwhile of his life? In Things The Grandchildren Should Know Mark Oliver Everett tells the story of what it's like to grow up the insecure son of a genius in a wacky Virginia Ice Storm-like family. Left to run wild with his sister, his father off in some parallel universe of his...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 2007 by Little, Brown
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149th out of 748 books — 592 voters
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Community Reviews

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D. Pow
There is in this world certain songs, books, movies that get to the human condition like no other. Or maybe just an aspect of the human condition. Or maybe just an aspect of one humans condition. The aspect I am thinking of is a certain tenderness, a rawness, and an emotional vulnerability. A life of nakedness and need, of bird-like frailty and beauty, an opened-hearted way to life that lets all stimuli in no matter how razor-like hurtful it is, how lacerating and potentially lethal. But there i...more
Ian Paganus
What a Ride!

This is the first book for years that I've started and finished in one afternoon.

I thought it was going to be a train-wreck, but it was more like a roller-coaster ride.

E. and I.

The pace started off at a million miles an hour and never let up.

E. went all over the place, and finally, on the last page, when he came to a stop, he realised that he had reached a point of some wisdom and contentment.

So did I.

February 22, 2011
Things you should know.

Mark Oliver Everett is the mastermind behind The EELS, more commonly referred to as E.

This book is heavy on the sarcasm, but light on the condecension.

I would say that despite what some of us may have faced in our lives thus far, 82% of us should count ourselves lucky that this is not our life. The other 18% are entitled to a hug at any time (even considering my near legendary space issues.)

I absolutely loved this book. I have been a fan of The EELS from the moment I h...more
Mr. Everett, better known as "E" from the band "eels" tells his harrowing life story with grace and humor. I'm a huge eels fan, so I found the book illuminating and inspiring, but I'm not sure a non-eels fan would have the same reaction. Still, this is a great story of artistic integrity and the role art can play in helping one survive dark times.
Supongo que uno no decide lo que le toca vivir en la vida. Tampoco decidimos lo que sentimos, las pasiones que nos consumen ni la familia en la que hemos nacido. Las tragedias tampoco necesitan nuestro consentimiento para manifestarse. Los milagros, los pocos que se dan, nos ignoran por completo incluso cuando están ahí para nosotros.

Pero hay, sí, un mínimo margen de maniobra. Podemos intentar estar en el lugar correcto. Hacer lo que debemos. Tomarnos la vida con la perspectiva sana de saber que...more
Paul ZombieVintage
Dec 01, 2008 Paul ZombieVintage rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Eels fans, music fans
Shelves: have
I read this book during the Thanksgiving 2008 drive from Chicago to Minneapolis. This book will probably go down as the most pleasant memory of that trip, with the possible exception being the moment I was introduced to the singing, strumming, and smacking around of guitar hero world tour.

But back to the point, the book is a fantastic read, but I am a poor judge in this case as I am a rather rabid follower of E (short for M.E. which is short for Mark Everett) and his various musical endeavors. I...more
Mark Oliver Everett, also known as E, the man behind the band Eels, has written the kind of autobiography that has the substance to change lives. To put it simply, it is a work of staggering genius. It is poignant, funny, and frequently optimistic, and surely a great source of inspiration for anyone burdened by the weight of living.

There is nothing pretentious or gratuitous about this book. Nothing flowery or extraneous - just a straight-shooting, honest, no bullshit story, of desperate sadness...more
In this trek through Mark Everett, lead singer of "The Eeels" ' life he is honest. He is not trying to win me over with his dynamic prose or his thesaurus found words. He is not wasting my time with "flowery shit". He is "straight with me", and I dig it.

We follow M.E. through his crazy, non-supervised childhood into his spiraling, stair climbing adult years, through his music ups and downs and into his own self awareness. He, of course, talks about his success in music, but he is no braggart, h...more
This is what every memoir should aspire to be.

I started listening to the Eels in high school. I haven’t devoured their tunes as actively as I used to in the past few years (even if “Blinking Lights and Other Revelations” was the best five dollars I’ve ever spent); that being said, I didn’t even make it halfway through this book without launching a massive attack on iTunes to download whatever albums of Mr. E’s I didn’t already own.

This book satisfied me in so many ways as a reader, as a music...more
The story of Mark Oliver Everett (better known simply as "E"), in his own words, "isn't the story of a famous guy. It's just the story of a guy (who occasionally finds himself in situations that resemble a famous guy's life)." Throughout his troubled childhood and later struggle to find success in the music industry, E faces an unrelenting series of tragedies juxtaposed with moments of happiness and fulfillment. What makes this story truly uplifting is seeing E face all the hardships he is force...more
Listening to the simple yet profound Electroshock Blues at 16, I identified with every song, and thought it was something I’d write, or something that could have been written about me. Now I know I'm wrong.

After reading Mr. E’s autobiography, my respect for him has grown even more, because it can’t have been easy to reach within and produce such raw, universal, and identifiable feeling out of experiences as unique and atypical as the ones he’s had.

The best parts of the book are where he talks a...more
Leah Fitzgerald
I loved Eels the first time I heard Novocaine for the Soul on MuchMusic. I was 16, and the lyrics spoke to me. I needed something for my soul so very much - I was an angsty teen after all. The album Beautiful Freak went on to become a soundtrack to my high school days and the subsequent albums all have ties to moments in my life, from my first dorm room to car trips with my husband and daughter.
This book is what was going on with the man behind the music and it is a beautiful tale of a weird and...more
I don't even know where to start. I picked this books up this morning, read a few pages, went on with my day, picked it up about 3 hours ago and I wasn't able to put it down. I had to finish it, and I did. There is something so tragically beautiful about E. He is someone you want to meet and ask weird questions to. His life is sad and depressing, and the way he writes about it broke my heart, but while reading, I put his whole discography on my iTunes on shuffle, and I felt incredibly connected...more
I go to bed early
everybody thinks its strange
I get up early in the morning
no matter how disappointed I was
with the day before
it feels new..

I had never heard of Eels and I'm so glad I have now. Such an encouraging story of a man who lost everyone he cared about and tried had to forge a career in the music business without selling out. Pretty hard for an ordinary regular guy to get through what he did and keep his dignity too. loved this book and I really like his music. I hope for this man to fi...more
Chelsea Owens
Given that "E" has always proven to be such a clever lyricist, his way with words shouldn't of knocked my socks off my ass as much as they did while reading his moving memoir. However, after absorbing his unbelievably touching, inspirational, and bittersweet story- I looked down and realized that my socks were, indeed, on the floor from having been knocked off my ass. I'm amazed that this is his writing debut. I hope that there are many more literary musings from the mind of "E." It's not often...more
This is great, really interesting and told with a good sense of self-awareness - he hasn't believed his own hype anyway. It's dark, honest and revealing and also made me revisit his music and see (hear) it in a different light.

However he's not a guy you'd want to hang around with too much as all his mates and family end up dying on him. If only we could get him to befriend Fearne Cotton.....

* Ok maybe a bit mean-spirited there, I suppose she technically has the right to life.
Not a "sex and drugs and rock & roll" memoir (although we get that, but from his teen days). Reads quickly, he has a nice conversational tone to his writing, and he states things simply. Nice that you don't feel like he is being some pretentious rock star when he talks about how important his music is to him, and how he stands behind it. He's had a lot of death in his life, but realizes he's had a lot of joy as well. I wish he had told more about his physicist father (founder of "many worlds...more
Jerry Oliver
This is a brilliant, honest, sometimes shocking book. It's hard to believe so many tragedies could happen to one person and that person could make something positive out of it all. A friend lent me this book and that also got me listening to all the music of the Eels. Beautiful, twisted art from the mind of Mark Oliver Everett.
Reads like an EELS song, unsurprisingly. Mr. E. is a good narrator, stays entertaining without coming across as anything but a simple guy that makes music and has a bunch of bad shit happen to him.
Ben Preece
Fucking brilliant!!! Mark Oliver Everett is a musical genius with one hell of a story. This is an emotional albeit very easy read by a warm and charming writer. Heartbreaking!
Cómo hacer de una vida y una historia de lo más trágico, un libro amable, con sentido del humor, sincero y aferrado a la vida.
Things the grandchildren should know van Mark Oliver Everett mag de spits afbijten (zie Het jaar van de biografie:

Wie? Mark Oliver Everett, beter gekend als Mr E, de zanger van Eels.

Waarom gelezen? Aangeraden door mijn volgers op Twitter

Voorkennis? Ik wist door interviews dat hij op korte tijd zijn naaste familieleden verloren had: eerst zijn vader, gevolgd door zijn zus en zijn moeder. Hoewel ik geen fan ben van Eels, vind ik enkele nummer van hem echt...more
Diego I. Barahona Z.
May 21, 2013 Diego I. Barahona Z. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diego I. by: Cristóbal Carrasco
Y no me leí el prólogo de Fresán
Y sí, bajé la discografía de Eels
Jezus and his lawyer couldn't stop me!
Ook voor niet eels-fans!
Ben Crisp
“Fifty feet across from us in the huge airplane-hangar-like studio is the new faux soul singer, John Legend. After our first song, a production assistant makes the long walk over from John Legend’s side of the studio and whispers in my ear, “Mr. Legend wants you to put your cigar out.”
“Mr. Legend? I’m fifty feet away from him and none of the smoke could ever reach him or pose any kind of problem or threat to his health in this gigantic, high-ceilinged room…I put the cigar out between songs for M...more
Electro-Shock Blues is one of my all-time favorite albums, with Daisies of the Galaxy up there, too, so that’s why I had to pick up E’s book eventually, even though I didn’t know what the book was about. It’s a memoir and at just over 200 pages, it’s a breezy read, not overwrought. Very matter-of-fact. It’s that same matter-of-factness that makes him a great songwriter and can make this book a little dull sometimes. When his friend’s wife dies of brain cancer, her luggage comes home from the hos...more
Things the Grandchildren Should Know.

Some memoirs are written in a style that reads like a conversation. You're left feeling like someone started in on this incredible story and just when you're about to interrupt, the person across from you answers the question you were about to ask. You're drawn in. You're conversing. You're exchanging ideas with the written page.

Other memoirs read like you're being talked to instead of talking with the author. They're telling their story and you're going to...more
L’autobiografia di mister E, uno dei miei musicisti preferiti, uno dei pochi di cui attendo ogni uscita discografica con l’entusiasmo dei vent’anni, potevo lasciarmela sfuggire?

Non so quanto possa interessare a chi non lo conosce, anche se è decisamente una vita fuori dal comune quella che ripercorre: una sfilza di disgrazie familiari che avrebbero abbattuto chiunque e la sua determinazione nel coltivare il sogno della musica, restando fedele a se stesso in un mondo quale quello discografico pro...more
In this memoir, Mark Oliver Everett, the frontman of the band Eeels, speaks of his time growing up in Virginia, his brilliant but aloof physicist of a father, his troubled sister, his mother's last days, and of course, his music and what drove him to write music despite his difficult relationship with the industry.

I really connected with this book and not because I am in the music business, mind you, but because I share the same social awkwardness that Everett is constantly dealing with. Howeve...more
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Mark Oliver Everett is better known as ‘E’ the singer, guitarist and songwriter in the band Eels. Anyone familiar with Eels’ music – from Novocaine For The Soul to Mr E’s Beautiful Blues (the latter featured in the film Road Trip) – will know that Everett is no ordinary rock musician.
More about Mark Oliver Everett...

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“Life is so full of unpredictable beauty and strange surprises. Sometimes that beauty is too much for me to handle. Do you know that feeling? When something is just too beautiful? When someone says something or writes something or plays something that moves you to the point of tears, maybe even changes you.” 125 likes
“Maybe I don't like people as much as the rest of the world seems to...But occasionally, people will pleasantly surprise me and I'll fall in love with them, so go figure.” 24 likes
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