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The Words of Every Song

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  263 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
The Words of Every Song is a literate and original debut novel in the form of fourteen linked episodes, each centered on a character involved with the music industry in some fashion. There’s the arrogantly hip, twenty-six-year-old A&R man; the rising young singer-songwriter; the established, arena-filling rock star on the verge of a midlife crisis; the type-A female ex ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 3rd 2007 by Broadway Books
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Jason Pettus
Jun 12, 2008 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

Uh-oh; another musician's written a novel about the music industry. I don't know about you, but this always tends to be my first thought whenever hearing about a famous non-literary artist who's written a novel, especially when it's a novel about the industry in which they first got famous, whether t
Justine Seligman
Aug 08, 2007 Justine Seligman rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: indie beach lover.
This is a beach novel. It is a beach novel for hipsters, music people and plain old indie kids. The book is good, not great. Each chapter has lyrics that encompass each chapter and the story is interconnected as oppose to short stories. This aspect was a bit crafty and interesting.

The writing leaves something to be desired. It is a very, very easy read. You do not need a dictionary near your side at all!

If you are looking for a light read that isn't complete trash, this is a great book!
Aug 22, 2012 Bill rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for books about music and the music industry. Having said that, this is one of those easy, fun, quick reads that leaves very little lasting impression. Everything wraps up nicely, all the vignettes tie together pretty smoothy, but there's nothing that notable about the overall package of a whole.

Also, as much as I really hate to knock an author's style, Moore's third person narrative was just a little heavy-handed and clunky for me. For a book like this, where your'e trying to port
Dec 22, 2010 Alissa rated it really liked it
Wonderfully insightful in a gritty, truthful manner. Moore’s novel is broken down into chapters that each focus on a different character; while this seems impersonal and more of a collection of short stories, this is not the case. Every story/chapter is linked to another and by the end there is a feeling of whole – that is, that everything fits together.

The voices of the characters are real. Their emotion is raw, which is a nice change from the fluff that sometimes accompanies other novels. But
Michelle R.
Jun 11, 2014 Michelle R. rated it liked it
This book was an interesting look at many different aspects of the music industry, and the various people involved in it. However, instead of a cohesive story, this was much more of a collection of somewhat related vignettes. Some characters were featured much more than others, and while these characters did get somewhat of a full-circle storyline, others were mentioned only to be completely forgotten for the rest of the book. I can't help but wonder how much more I would have liked this book ha ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, music, 2014
A really fun and really engaging read, despite the lack of a central character/character arc to carry the story forward. The book is fourteen interlinked chapters, each focusing on a different person who is somehow involved in the music industry. While each chapter has a central character, each brings in perspective from others along the way, and each touches on characters that have previously been introduced or that will be introduced more fully later on. I loved reading it, it was very nearly ...more
Hannah Jo Parker
Apr 27, 2008 Hannah Jo Parker rated it it was ok
I ran into this book by accident while pulling books off of a too-full shelf at our library last week. I was surprised I hadn't heard of it because I tend to be all over any book with a rock music industry setting. After reading it, I think I know why I hadn't heard of it. It's one of those books you can enjoy while you're reading it and then promptly forget once you're done.

The Words of Every Song is more like a series of vignettes, with characters who might pop up every now and then, than a t
Oct 23, 2013 Renee rated it liked it
3.5 stars for sure! This novel takes the form of fourteen linked episodes, each centered on a character involved with the music industry in some fashion.
The characters are all believable and the vignettes range from depicting aspiring artists, hustling executives, the alternative underground and stage parents, to the debut by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Moore misses the high mark it aspires to.

My only complaint is it was very hard to keep track of all of the characters as they cleverly show the
Jul 20, 2007 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: music lovers, people who live or have lived in new york city
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this novel. It's basically 15 or so short vignettes regarding people who are involved in the music industry and are all somehow interrelated. The whole "interrelated" thing usually kind of annoys me (e.g. Magnolia) but I thought it worked really well in this book. Since the vignettes are short and are all written in the first person, you get to know about the background of a character in Part I who might end up being a bit character in Part 7, which enriches the entire book. It ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Tina rated it it was ok
Didn't like jumping around and not hearing more about the various people introduced. Unusual writing style
Aug 05, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, august-2012
After reading Heft, I immediately looked to see if Liz Moore had written anything else. Luckily I found The Words of Every Song.

This book was right up my alley. Fourteen short stories with linked characters in the music industry. Think A Visit from the Goon Squad but better. Felt connected to the characters and was happy to see them show up again in someone else's story learning more about them.

Can't wait to see what Liz Moore does next.
Nov 14, 2007 Shanna rated it really liked it
Overall, I really liked this book, even though it seems to try a little too hard at times. I like how each chapter, while being its own story, gives you information about the characters from previous chapters, making their stories richer, and more complex than initially presented.

My favorite chapter had to be "Mike Has Never Seen," where a boy's first girlfriend has recently killed herself. Mike then sees this girl wandering around his apartment, where he is immobilized, waiting for her funeral
Jun 13, 2008 Indra rated it really liked it
I love this book; I just reread it and noticed I didn't put a review with my rating the first time. This book is one of my favorite things--interconnected stories with different narrators, in this case all connected with the music industry (I believe on the same label). All the narrators are at different points in their careers and lives; the key moments are both full of heart and heartless at the same time. The writer is a musician, and her words also sing. I'm envious.
Apr 05, 2012 Miranda rated it did not like it
I loved "Heft," and enjoyed some aspects of this book (artful phrasing, some sock-you-in-the-gut sentences), but not enough to make it a good read. It's a collection of short stories, and while they all revolve around the same basic premise (record industry), every story feels incomplete. Shallow and superficial looks at characters you don't end up knowing or caring about. Without any real plot, any real conflict, or any real character development, what's the point?
Nov 11, 2010 C rated it did not like it
It's rare that I find myself unable to finish a book. I can usually push through, but I had to give up on this one. The concept of several connected vignettes certainly works, but I just couldn't help but feel like it was missing something. Also, the portrayal of many of the characters seemed a little too cliché for my taste. Perhaps I'll give it another try sometime soon, when I'm looking for a lighter read, but I've put it aside for now.
Aug 02, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing random find at a book fair. I picked it up on a whim but devoured it once I started. Of course it's lyrical; it was written by a songwriter. But it's also interesting - I really cared what happened to the characters and wondered what random link was going to tie the stories together. It didn't hurt that all the stories revolved around some aspect of the music business -- it defintely appealed to my music interest.
Oct 16, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
this is a collection of short stories about people in new york city who are somehow tied to the music business. each story stands alone, but also subtly intertwines the characters together. i enjoyed the writing style of liz moore (this is her first book, she's a musician by trade) and the character development was pretty satisfying. it's a quick, but enjoyable read.
Aug 17, 2007 Alissa rated it really liked it
I picked this book up because I like reading books that deal with music. (I think I was actually the first person to check this one out at the library!) It is actually a fun read because each of the 14 chapters is told from a different person's perspective, but all of the 14 people are connected to each other in some way or another. Pretty cool.
Sarah Swedberg
Dec 15, 2013 Sarah Swedberg rated it it was ok
I am being unfair in giving this book only two stars. I think I would have liked it better if I hadn't read her book, Heft, a couple of summers ago and loved it and wanted to read it again. The characters in this are interesting, but the writing isn't as mature as in Heft. I think it was a better conceived than orchestrated.
Aug 16, 2012 Marycycle rated it really liked it
Great novel w/ many characters connected to NYC music scene--record company reps, sound guy, aspiring DJ, bands who've made it, bands about to make it. Fun to read, makes you wonder about old timers who still tour with the band--what are they thinking about when they're playing this song for the 4,000th time?
Apr 04, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I got this first novel by Liz Moore based on how much I liked Heft, her latest novel. It's really a series of short stories about characters in the music business. The characters overlap in the stories, but sometimes they disappear. I found it less interesting as it went on, I wished there were less characters.
Darin Strachan
Jan 23, 2008 Darin Strachan rated it liked it
Shelves: music
Written by a musician, this book in intriguing, escpecially in style. Each chapter focuses on a different character and intertwines to tell the story of struggling musicians and inexperienced A&R reps. While I was impressed with the technique, the content struck me as too cliche.
Mar 24, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
As I was reading this book, I kept thinking of A Visit from the Goon Squad. However, this was written before Goon Squad and I actually thought it was much more enjoyable.

I'd highly recommend it to fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad and/or fans of the music business.
Apr 05, 2011 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
A collection of connected short stories about folks in various aspects of the music business. Some good stories - as always, some more memorable than others. Although I'm interested in the lives and work of artists, I don't find the business side of it very appealing.
Aug 20, 2008 aaron rated it really liked it
this is a good book. it contains shorts stories the are based in the music world somehow. many of the characters of these stories run into each other in some way. i highly recommend this book if you are a fan of music and the way lives run together.
This is the author's debut novel but it reads as though she is a seasoned pro :)
Apr 16, 2008 Randall rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
This was a semi decent collection of interwoven short stories pertaining to people working in the music industry at all it's myriad levels. If that kind of thing sounds interesting to you maybe give it a go.
Mar 14, 2010 pianogal rated it liked it
Pretty good set of stories. I liked how the characters were woven together, as well as the randomness of the Flash Forwards. Thought the ending was a little sneaky, but also a little predictable.
Jan 23, 2008 Meaghan rated it liked it
Shelves: muzak, nyc
Very easy read, about intersecting lives of people working in the music industry in New York. Not necessarily the most innovative book, but it kept me engaged.
Jan 12, 2008 Rob rated it it was amazing
I loved it. A series of short stories that link into a novel about a record company trying to make it in difficult times. Great characters and stories.
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Liz Moore is the author of the novels THE WORDS OF EVERY SONG (Broadway Books, 2007), HEFT (W.W. Norton, 2012), and THE UNSEEN WORLD (W.W. Norton, 2016). A winner of the 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Holy Family University.
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