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Things the Grandchildren Should Know: A Memoir

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,692 Ratings  ·  376 Reviews
A heartbreaking, heartwarming and revelatory memoir from acclaimed Indie rock musician Mark Oliver Everett of the band Eels.
Audio CD
Published November 1st 2008 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published November 1st 2007)
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D. Pow
Aug 30, 2010 D. Pow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
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 GalaDali
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
Sep 20, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This is a lovely little memoir written in a relatively sparse, straight-forward style. Mark Oliver Everett - usually just referred to as E - is an interesting enough person that his writing doesn't really require much flourish, and he manages to make his self-effacing style of humor charming and relatable rather than grating or affected (not an easy task).

E is best-known as the frontman for eels, one of the first rock bands I "discovered" on my own. I remember picking up Blinking Lights and Othe
Jun 20, 2012 Sergsab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 02, 2008 RandomAnthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
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.
Dec 12, 2008 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 04, 2014 Jeroen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Can we kind of re-do my bio? I don’t want to keep being the sad sack whose house burned down.
- Timothy Showalter, of Strand of Oaks

Reading Mark Oliver Everett's Things the Grandchildren Should Know gives me the very opposite feeling of what Showalter expresses here. Everett, who goes by the stage name E and is best known as the singer of rock band Eels, seems totally fine and comfortable with being the sad sack. This is his right, of course. He mentions in the introduction here that people who w
Paul ZombieVintage
Dec 01, 2008 Paul ZombieVintage rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 05, 2009 Hinch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 07, 2012 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 24, 2013 Gaby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 18, 2015 Ignacio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quizás literariamente no sea la mejor autobiografía pero tampoco es que me haya hecho mucha falta. La manera en que Mr. E relata los avatares a los que se ha enfrentado y cómo ha esquivado el precipicio a pesar de lo fácil que hubiera sido caer por él me ha atrapado. Con humor, cruel o tierno según toca, es un canto a la creatividad y la fidelidad a una visión propia como resorte para salir adelante. Además, si gusta su música, ayuda a entenderla mucho mejor.
Nov 30, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Don Gorman
(2 1/2) First of all, this is a memoir, not any kind of self help or instructional book. A weird memoir as well, mostly because Mark Everett has lived a weird life and certainly came from a seriously weird family. I got turned onto this one by Judd Apatow's one page interview in the Sunday NY Times book review a couple of weeks ago. Everett is the founder and head of an indie rock band called Eels and most of the content here is about his struggle to make it as a musician. I am not familiar with ...more
Gaia Tempesta
Feb 26, 2016 Gaia Tempesta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cinco estrellas.
Ni idea de quién era Mark Oliver Everett antes de leer este libro.
En cuanto acabe de escribir esta review buscaré en internet Blinking Lights para escucharlo (si el señor Everett ha escrito el libro con la secreta intención de que nos interesemos por su música, lo ha conseguido).
No suelo leer biografías, pero esta venía recomendada por dos personas que saben bastante de buenos libros, así que no podía decir que no a leerla. Y menuda biografía. No voy a comentar nada específico
Gabriel Moncrieff
Oct 18, 2014 Gabriel Moncrieff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Personas no intensas en busqueda de algo sencillo y real
Mark Oliver Everett (The Eels o Mr. E si eres muy 90's) y su obra prima en el mundo de la no-ficción, es un relato de su vida (no de su carrera) y muy digno de su ya conocida lírica a nivel musical, la cual no les detallaré pues la pueden googlear, sin dejar atrás su don como innato storyteller, Mr. E nos regala su autobiografía ambientada entre finales de los 80 y a comienzos de los 00's, y sin ser muy spoiler, les cuento que el libro gira alrededor de los traumas emocionales que van generando ...more
Feb 16, 2012 Vasileios rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-spanish

Το καλύτερο βιβλίο αυτοβοήθειας που δεν θέλει να βοηθήσει κανέναν αλλά το πετυχαίνει αυτόματα χωρίς να το προτείνει. Είναι το σχόλιο του Rodrigo Fresán για την αυτοβιογραφία του Mark Oliver Everett. Πολλοί δεν τον ξέρουν, μέσα σε αυτούς ήμουν και εγώ, αν και εκ των υστέρων ήξερα κάποια σκόρπια τραγούδια του.

Είναι το «Things the Grandchildren Should Know» του Mark Oliver Everett γνωστός και ως Eels από το ευρύ μουσικό κοινό ή αλλιώς ο Kurt Vonnegut του ροκ
Jesús Santana
Jun 30, 2013 Jesús Santana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me gustan las autobiografías, me gustan las historias de los que suelen ser considerados outsiders por la sociedad, dos que saltan a mi memoria de inmediato son “Cash – La autobiografía de Johnny Cash” y “Como si tuviera alas – Las Memorias perdidas” de Chet Baker, ambas hablan con un honesto dolor de lo que hicieron en sus vidas y que marcaron todo su entorno para finalmente gracias a su música ver el infierno / paraíso.

Debo decir que me sorprendió mucho que los amigos de Ediciones Puntocero a
Leah Fitzgerald
Jan 30, 2009 Leah Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, favourites
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
Raül De Tena
Oct 13, 2010 Raül De Tena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
¿Existe absurdo más delicioso que titular tu autobiografía como “Cosas Que Los Nietos Deberían Saber” cuando todavía no tienes hijos (y, al parecer, tampoco hay planes de tenerlos)? Mark Oliver Everett, líder de los ya míticos Eels, escribe su autobiografía espoleado por la necesidad: la muerte prematura ha estado tan presente en el historial de su familia que no deja de escuchar un incesante tic-tac, un reloj biológico en versión sórdida (y muy diferente a la de las mujeres al llegar a los 30). ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Diego rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No me sorprende que haya devorado el libro en un puñado de horas. La verdad es que llevo escuchando a Eels desde hace relativamente poco, 2010 o así (por recomendación de una amiga investigué su discografía a fondo). Y aunque me gustó mucho lo que escuché, no ha sido hasta leer este libro que he podido ver con una perspectiva más acertada todo el significado que hay detrás de su música.

Éste es el libro de Mr. E y su vida. Algunos pensarán que está repleto de muerte, pero está lleno de vida.
Matthew Alexander
Sep 12, 2014 Matthew Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Bought in Union Square, NY, and on my book shelf for at least two years, possibly three, before I got round to reading it because I wasn't sure I wanted to be a post-reader of the book - being a pre-reader usually helps avoid disappointment.

Not your usual 'rock star' (or whatever) crappy book. This guy has some serious stuff to say, not only here but in his music, and is way more articulate and interesting than many of his contemporaries. An easy going everyday prose makes it a light read, whils
Sep 26, 2009 Kelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Teijo Aflecht
More good parts than in Eels songs (of which they have at least a few). The stories about making albums and touring are the most boring, as usual with books of this type. Doesn't quite compare to the Lemmy interview-autobiography, but it was a good read.
Jul 07, 2015 Britt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I think about how my life has had a lot of terrible moments but also so many great moments, like little lights that blink on and off on a Christmas tree."
Chelsea Owens
Jan 13, 2009 Chelsea Owens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Patrick Dhollander
Publicity on the cover reads "Rock music! Death! Crazy people! Love!" and that sums up well what this book is about. Everett so brilliantly and emotionally writes about how music saved his life while and after losing his entire family, that you feel like giving him a big hug, telling him how well he is doing. And next time I listen to Eels, I know I will feel Everett's music along with him.
Thanks to my daughter who recommended this book to me!
Charly Fitzpatrick
This is a marvellous book by Mark Oliver Everett otherwise known as E and leader of the band, Eels. It is not a rock autobiography - or at least one you would expect. This is a book about death and its impact on the author. Everett's father was a genius - he proposed the many worlds interpretation of Quantum Physics for which he was derided, but is now pretty much accepted. Hugh Everett died at the age of 51 and while he hardly communicated with his son, this had a profound affect on the young M ...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.” 154 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.” 35 likes
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