I did not go into this with great expectations. When I tell you this book is good I should be clear that I'm saying “it's good” not “it's good because...moreI did not go into this with great expectations. When I tell you this book is good I should be clear that I'm saying “it's good” not “it's good because it defied my expectations.” I have read a few terrible books written by people in bands. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath is able to tell his story in a coherent and often amusing way. He manages to not come off unlikable even after setting drummer Bill Ward on fire several times, spray painting him gold so they had to call an ambulance, and dropping him off repeatedly at the wrong house.
I must admit that I merely skimmed the last few chapters of the book because I was primarily interested in the years when Black Sabbath made the albums I liked– a period that ends sometime around 1984 with the breakup of the version of the band that recorded “Born Again.” It turns out the albums I like the best from the group all include drummer Bill Ward in the lineup. I like the first three singers and the original band.
Tony Iommi inspired me to learn how to play the guitar when I was in high school but not so much that I would do anything crazy, like chop off two fingers in order to imitate his style properly as one fan feigned to do.
I have read some complaints that the style of this book is off-putting because it is written without a lot of emotion. I think that's a strength. My impression of him is– here's a guy who just likes to play the guitar.(less)
JG Ballard's "The Atrocity Exhibition” would, perhaps, be best enjoyed by fans of William Burroughs. Ballard was a great fan of Burroughs and Burrough...moreJG Ballard's "The Atrocity Exhibition” would, perhaps, be best enjoyed by fans of William Burroughs. Ballard was a great fan of Burroughs and Burroughs here provides the preface. My dirty secret is that I have never been a great fan of Burroughs. I like his voice (and I mean his verbal, performing voice) and sometimes I like his poetry, but his work as a whole simply does not resonate with me. Unfortunately the same can be said with The Atrocity Exhibition. I wanted very much to like this book more than I did, if for no other reason than because of the splendid chapter titles and subheads like “tolerances of the human face” or “you and me and the continuum.” But most of the book just didn't do it for me and I ended up skimming. I did feel the book turned around toward the end, starting with chapter 12: “Crash!” I also enjoyed the annotations at the end of each chapter.(less)
A collection of one panel cartoons from the year following WWII. Bill Mauldin was a cartoonist for the US Army newspaper Stars and Stripes and was als...moreA collection of one panel cartoons from the year following WWII. Bill Mauldin was a cartoonist for the US Army newspaper Stars and Stripes and was also syndicated in civilian newspapers. Once the war was over he faced more censorship by the syndicates and the newspapers than he ever had from the military. At the height of his problem his comic was being dropped by a paper a day for his work addressing race relations, free speech, and politics. His syndicate started regularly censoring him. When they complained about his cartoons about racism he would respond by doing an additional 8-10 in a row on the same subject. Most of the cartoons featured still retain their humor and poignancy after 65 years. These uncensored versions are also an insightful look into history. (less)