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Guided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll
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Guided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Guided by Voices was one of the most popular indie-rock bands of the 1990s. Critics internationally have lauded the band’s brain trust, Robert Pollard, as a once-in-a-generation artist. Pollard has been compared by The New York Times to Mozart, Rossini, and Paul McCartney (in the same sentence) and everyone from P. J. Harvey, Radiohead, R.E.M., the Strokes, and U2 has sung ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 10th 2005 by Grove Press, Black Cat
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(showing 1-30 of 418)
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j. ergo
I just re-read this upon purchasing my tix for the upcoming reunion show, and again was confronted with my inner fan boy; this, despite Greer's writing smacking of the Magnet-isms that filled his articles for that magazine. Actually, that sentence, and the fact that I am referring to it immediately following it, is a prime example of what can sometime be annoying when reading him. I'll quit now. Accolades are, however, much deserved for what was obviously a herculean, albeit wildly fun task in t ...more
Hunting Accidents is essential reading for uber-fans of Robert Pollard. Any let's be honest, is there any other kind of fan of Uncle Bob? This brief history of the eccentric and prolific songwriter gives us an inside look at his creative process as well as his personal life. James Greer is a former bassist for Guided By Voices, so he has a unique and invaluable perspective on Bob the person as well as the musician. That being said, Greer's writing is hit or miss, and sometimes he lingers too lon ...more
Ryan Blacketter
This book on Bob Pollard is a crass, brilliant, occasionally slurry, ego-fueled drinking party. Loved it.
Another bio of one of my all-time favorite bands that is lacking in some way. It seems like they filled the 300 pages without really saying anything. I want to know what makes Pollard tick, damn it! And don't just tell me "Budweiser."
Chris Pinner
A solid if occasionally a little-too-stylistically-obsessed bio of the Dayton OH band. Bob's story behind Teenage FBI is obvious bullshit, but adorable. The only minor ruining of the book is the reunion of GbV in 2010 or so that makes this book's aura of finality a bit misleading, but that is OK. Everything about GbV ends up being misleading anyhow.
Rick Sanders
The author makes clear that there was a distinction between Pollard's music (beautiful, heartfelt) and personality (crass, macho). I guess the author can't be faulted for describing Pollard's behavior, but it gets hard to read. Like smoking in the boys room, it's cool for a couple minutes but then it gets nauseating.
I'd recommend this for GBV fans. It's good for at least a skim through. I got a kick out of the fact that their first EP was recorded less than three miles from where I grew up in the 'burbs of Northern Kentucky. How cool would it have been to run into them then and had some beers, course I would have been 7 but, whatever. The discography in the back of not only GBV albums but solo and side projects as well is extensive and quite useful. I liked that. I also liked the chapter of notes by Bob on ...more
I enjoyed learning more about the GbV story because I love them. The subject was interesting but the books lost points in the writing. Some parts were confusing because of the way things were worded. In other parts the author would jump from one subject to another random subject for seemingly no reason without tying it together. The author would often make attempts at jokes or sarcasm that was either inappropriate or just not funny. I mean, I think I get what he was going for but it didn't work. ...more
Turk Tuckahaw
Loved it. Funny and fascinating.
Sep 19, 2007 Jon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: when the music isn't enough
This book should be a delight to all the GBV obsessed. Even has some wonderful band member flow charts and a discography (including side projects and even some of the bigger bootlegs) in the back. Answers many questions and reveals Robert Pollard's songwriting process (most everything in his lyrics comes from his personal life, friends, etc. and it's really not as cryptic as it appears). Being written by an ex-band member you can also trust in the knowledge.
Here's the rare rock and roll book where the discography at the back doesn't feel like filler (oh thank you, I really needed this chronological list of all the Swedish import B-sides) and is instead an invaluable resource. Though one that already needs updating. This book has all of the joy of Guided By Voices without the inconvenience of some drunk guy yakking on your shoes. Cheers!
Well-meant, but totally useless book. Extremely self- and Bob Pollard-indulgent. And I'm telling you this as a fervent admirer of Guided by Voices. I thought this book would help me as a latecomer to GBV, but it's kind of unreadable. One chapter has Pollard's annotations to some songs. This part was cool. Otherwise, couldn't get thru a single chapter.
At times, Greer sounds like a too-reverent fan boy.
However, having played in GBV for a brief period (who hasn't played in GBV for a brief period?), Greer is close enough to Bob and his pals to give all the hilarious stories, inside jokes, relevant background, and memorable Bobspeak that all of us GBV-obsessed robot boys have been learning to hunt.
Chris Bernhardt
Mar 23, 2007 Chris Bernhardt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: GBV fans
Being from (near) Dayton and a GBV fan, I was delighted when I saw this in the public library. Not well written but you can fly through it and learn everything you will ever want to know about Robert Pollard and his drinking habits. Kim Deal details included. Fun bw photos included. Highly entertaining.
All the same information just told straight instead of trying to be so darn kooky would have made this 4 stars.

Got this because Pollard explains meanings of his songs in it. Probably the best part of the whole thing too.
Feb 01, 2008 Jeff rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Buzzards, Dreadful Crows, and wild girls of strawberries
I was left wanting more classic Robert Pollard stories. It does come with the best Robert Pollard quote...something along the lines that the secret to pissing sitting down from a car is the relaxation of the asshole.
Great book if you are a fan of GBV. Could of used a little more insight into how Bob became such a great lyricist. Kinda jumped from Sports to early GBV and missed where that talent came from.
Jared Busch
Mar 23, 2007 Jared Busch rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: GBV lovers
Shelves: music
Like I said before, everything that comes out of Bob Pollard's mouth, including vom, is genius. It's a very well-written and well-documented biography of the best goddamn rock band ever.
Martin Sertich
Exhausting, in a great way...just like their 19 albums. If you're a fan, find this book and buy it. I pick it up every so often because GBV is so influential, to me at least.
Entertaining if uneven book about the prolific Bob Pollard and his various bandmates over the years. Cool stuff about the music scenes in Ohio, where I'm from.
A.Jay Wagner
Guided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock and Roll by James Greer (2005)
i learned way too much about Robart Pollard. Somehow this helps me understand my husband much more intimately...
Reading this book at work inbetween calls...probably the most I have read about one individual band ever...
Matt Macneil
This was really fun and I read it while really hungover so it was kind of like method-reading.
Nate Dalgas
May 28, 2007 Nate Dalgas rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gbv fanatics
an insider's point of view to the life and times of bob pollard and his band guided by voices.
It was a really great read. It really made me want to drink beer and start a band.
Kendra Hoffman
One of the best books about one of the best bands...this will always be a favorite.
Matt Hill
this book is written in the most irritating way possible, thanks james!!!
Christian Schultz
Anecdotes are almost all you'll get. If that sounds fun, enjoy.
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"James Greer, one of the nimblest and most multilayered American fiction writers, has, with his latest novel The Failure, pulled off a sublime and shivery-smooth literary hat-trick-cum-emotional-gotcha. I defy anyone to come up with an equation to explain how this book's first impression as a ridiculously clever, funny crime story can gradually disclose a metanovel built from far more encyclopedic ...more
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