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Rum, Sodomy & The Lash (33⅓ #60)

2.77 of 5 stars 2.77  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  9 reviews
To absorb Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash is to be taken on a wild voyage with a cast of downtrodden revolutionaries. Despite this notion, the epic themes of the Pogues' second full length record have been overlooked by both critics and biographers in favor of two things: the band's penchant for combining Celtic folk with punk rhythms ("the sound") and the excesses of Shane MacG ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published September 19th 2008 by Continuum
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12th out of 113 books — 41 voters

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Paul Bryant
Update :

Alas, it's a miss. Two thirds of it is some half-assed fantasy about the events leading up to the tragedy of the Medusa in 1816 with the Pogues all stirred into the story as their phizzogs are photoshopped onto Gericault's masterpiece on the cover - what a yawn. The third that's left is pretty interesting but a third of a very short book to begin with is nought but a tiny spoonful.


Blimey, who the hell is Jeffrey T Roesgen? For his shoulders bear the heavy weight of writing the defini
In its efforts to branch out beyond the routine idol worship of rock criticism, 33 1/3 continues to supply the field with its smartest and most creative expositions on popular music. Taking chances has its fair share of causalities however, one of its most recent being Tiny Mix Tapes writer Jeff Roesgen’s interpretation of The Pogues’ 1985 classic Rum, Sodomy and The Lash. A fictional narrative built around the album’s iconic cover, that of which features the band’s faces superimposed on Théodor ...more
Patrick McCoy
The 33 1/3 series has taken on the classic Pogues album Rum, Sodomy & The Lash by Jeffery T. Roesgen. There have been many different approaches in this series-some that are traditional critical discussions others are more artistic. For example, Joe Pernice wrote a very entertaining novella about The Smith’s album Meat Is Murder. Colin Meloy, of the Decemberists, wrote a compelling personal memoir about The Replacements’ seminal album Let It Be. Roesgen tried to combine the two styles by writ ...more
Andy Gyurisin
I am new to the Pogues, so I thought reading a book about their seminal album, "Rum, Sodomy & The Lash" would provide insight to their style, then band itself, the impact of producer Elvis Costello, and the discovery of Irish folk music. The 33 1/3 series is known for great authors diving deep into their favorite albums and providing the reader with that level of insight. Alas, author Jeffrey T. Roesgen loves the Pogues, but obviously loves history a bit more. His 33 1/3 entry will take the ...more
This is the fourth 33 1/3 book that I have read. I'm not sure that any other volume will fall perfectly into place like Kim Cooper's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, but each volume has still had it's moments.

Jeffrey Roesgen's exploration of Rum, Sodomy & the Lash is divided between a song-by-song exploration and a fictional narrative about the album's cover art, where our players board and survive the wreck of the Medusa. I enjoy a good sea tale now and then, so didn't mind the Medusa section
AJ Dehany
Not as bad as "Waiting for Kate Bush" by John Mendelssohn, which shares the same failed format; two thirds of the book made up of a nautical narrative set in 1816 featuring the Pogues and many of the characters populating the songs of the classic album, to learn more about which was the reason you bought this book, and the dearth of text about which is the reason why you regret doing so. Gradually more interminable stretches of this narrative are punctuated by a brief sections devoted to each of ...more

I liked the idea of incorporating a fictional narrative into the behind-the-scenes information on a particularly great record.

But I ended up skipping over it to get the real story of making the record instead.

So maybe I didn't, not really...
Nov 25, 2009 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gericault
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
This book lost me at the beginning, and I had a difficult time finding a point of insertion, mentally. Alas, the story itself took hold, and I was gripped, oddly. Albeit, the fictional accounts garnered much more interest than the actual information on the Pogues, but I felt they both came together fittingly, wrapped up nicely at the end.
Ian Mathers
I admit, I preferred the fictional narrative to the music criticism (I would absolutely read another, longer novel about anachronistic Pogues by Roesgen, for sure), but the latter isn't bad, just a little pro forma and the former takes up most of this slim volume anyway.
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