A bit more scattered than the first book of the series. There are still some rather funny interactions throughout, but nothing as outright funny as in...moreA bit more scattered than the first book of the series. There are still some rather funny interactions throughout, but nothing as outright funny as in the first book. Basically it's a fairly well written piece of fiction that is fairly entertaining and nothing more. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, that is exactly what I was looking for when I started reading this book. It's something that you can read in a few days and you don't have to think too much about it. There is some social commentary scattered throughout, but nothing too scathing or damning. All in all an entertaining and quick read. I'll go on to the next two books soon enough I'm sure. (less)
I think that one could learn a lot from this book. There are plenty of exercises and translation assignments at the end of each chapter. Unfortunately...moreI think that one could learn a lot from this book. There are plenty of exercises and translation assignments at the end of each chapter. Unfortunately I was using this book for a class that needed to get through the entire thing in 4 weeks. Not even 4 weeks actually, rather in 15 days (4 days a week for 3 weeks and 3 days the final week). That's 15 hours. 15 hours of class time.
I read this book and went through the examples 6 to 8 hours a day, except on the weekends and after about the first week it became impossible to keep all of the information straight. I'm angry with my University for having the class organized this way.
Those are all problems with the class though. The book, if read over a much longer period of time, would get you from beginner level reading ability to expert if all of the exercises were carefully done. I would say a chapter a week would be fine. If you did that then you would have a pretty strong grasp of reading and translating pretty much any French text within about 20 weeks. (less)
I love nearly everything that Sarah Vowell has written. This is clearly a much different work than any of her books on American history. I don't think...moreI love nearly everything that Sarah Vowell has written. This is clearly a much different work than any of her books on American history. I don't think that that is a bad thing though, this book has everything that I love about Vowell's writing style, most importantly, it features her own voice right up front.
This work, more than any of her others is all about her experiences, just sorting through the information that she is given and commenting. And her commentary is often brilliant, sometimes angry, and always judgmental in the best ways possible.
The best part of this book for me was that I, being I think 13 years or so younger than Vowell, was at an age at the time of her writing this that I can remember vividly all of the events that she is talking about, but maybe I was too young at the time to understand the full gravity of them. It is great to get a perspective on things such as Kurt Cobain's death and the political goings on during the mid 1990s. I guess what I am trying to say is that I was able to connect with this book on much more of a personal level than any of her others could allow. It actually made me feel like if we were the same age and knew each other that we would become friends, complaining about the same things.
More than anything when reading this I could tell that she was just ready to make a name for herself. She's so cranky and forthright. Basically she just doesn't really care what anyone thinks and she is unfiltered in a way that I've never heard before. It just works for this book in particular and I don't think that it would in, say Assassination Vacation or The Wordy Shipmates.
I loved that it gives a glimpse into life just prior to the explosion of the internet. There's no way that she could have realized what a strange "in-between" time she was capturing as she wrote this journal. It'd be interesting to read this as someone in their 20s...I don't think that they would get it, but if you were alive and aware at this time of the music scene, then surely you too will connect and probably enjoy this book a great deal. (less)
The last book of hers that I read was The Wordy Shipmates, and I didn't really connect with it the way that I had with everything else that I had read. As I think most other people have noted, what makes Vowell's books so enjoyable and interesting are her personal interjections and insights, and I think that there was maybe a little less of that in The Wordy Shipmates.
Unfamiliar Fishes, on the other hand, seems to strike a better balance of historical, factual writing and personal interjections. The story is maybe the same as Wordy Shipmates: people come over from another land citing religion as an excuse for their inexcusable (to say the least) behavior. People violently destroying a land and its people in the name of "saving them." This story goes right up to modern times and is still relevant today as it was when Hawaii first experienced the haole coming to their land, unwelcomed.
It's amazing, as Vowell points out, how we never seem to learn from our mistakes. Either for the sake of "saving people" (a frame of mind that persists to this day) or for the sake of our own military's interest (another frame of mind that persists to this day, and another way of looking at "saving people"). It's heartbreaking to learn of the ways that America has worked toward the government's best interest against the will of it's own people and the people of other nations. This is a bit more of a powerful book than any of Vowell's previous writing, and I think that is worth reading. (less)
This is the best Tao Lin book by far. Though I think that my favorite will always be Eeeee Eee Eeee: A Novel because I feel like I connected to that b...moreThis is the best Tao Lin book by far. Though I think that my favorite will always be Eeeee Eee Eeee: A Novel because I feel like I connected to that book while I was reading it, but I digress.
The prose is really developed past what came out of Richard Yates: A Novel. The really simple sentences and regular pacing (that tended to get a little tedious) is mostly gone, or used only for certain effect. The emotional content is heavier, more relatable (even though the characters seem to be completely disinterested in relating). The use of returning motives, and constant circular thinking of Paul, the main character (Tao) provides a depth that I haven't really experienced in any of Tao's other books.
It's really great to read this book after having read all of Lin's previous work and spent the past several years following him on the internet. If you have always been curious about this author then I think this would be the perfect place to start. (less)
I learned so much from reading this. Straus' writing style is so conducive to just reading cover to cover, allowing the reader to make connections in...moreI learned so much from reading this. Straus' writing style is so conducive to just reading cover to cover, allowing the reader to make connections in a historical perspective across the 20th century. It was great to read about the myriad ways that composers have applied aspects of 12-tone composition to suit their own styles and also their individual developments and methods. Even composers that have been overlooked, or even forgotten over the years are treated to in-depth analyses.
The analyses at the end of each chapter help to illustrate the points made in the discussions and the final section of the book is of great value, getting to the heart of 12-tone composition by debunking myths that accumulated around serial music and 12-tone composition. Though not necessarily written for non-musician readers I do think that everyone that may be interested in 12-tone music would be able to get something out of this, even as just a guide to music appreciation and a way to seek out new composers and little known pieces. The writing style goes right down the middle, not quite dense and difficult reading, but not beginner level. A great read for anyone interested in American music and developments of 12-tone music up to present day. (less)
I have enjoyed everything that Mark Haskell Smith has written. His books are always filled with humor, sarcasm and characters that are relatable and r...moreI have enjoyed everything that Mark Haskell Smith has written. His books are always filled with humor, sarcasm and characters that are relatable and real. The structure of the books, with constant changes in scene, shifting from one character to the next in the beginning as each character is introduced really helps to pace things in the beginning, and I always find myself saying "just one more chapter" until within a week I've read the entire thing (which is fast for me because while I'm in school I often don't find myself with time to read anything that is not related to school. Smith's books often come as a nice break from the 100+ pages of scholarly articles that I have to slog through every week.)
Raw adds a few elements to his usual style of writing with, if I'm not mistaken, a few more characters than usual, while sticking with the fact that someone has to die and the seemingly innocent bystander is pulled into situations that they couldn't have possibly imagined. What is a little different is the high degree of cultural commentary involved as Smith finds time to turn the mirror on every angle of culture, reality tv, the internet and even writing culture - his own bread and butter. There were a couple of moments where he even points the finger at himself, in a hilarious moment where he mentions in an aside "an author that had a series of novels with one word titles" and that the latest review was one word as well "toast." Double points for ribbing himself while making what sounds like a Spinal Tap reference.
The fake reality shows mentioned are mixed with actual shows, though the fake ones could have easily been real, which is the point. And connecting those crappy, useless shows with novels that are equally trashy and horrible is an interesting and meaningful juxtaposition. I like that degree of cultural context and commentary that is inserted into the narrative of this book. It gives the story line more relevance, drawing the reader close to the story than his previous works.
All in all, another very entertaining read from author Mark Haskell Smith, and once again I'm already bummed that I finished it so quickly. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book. (less)
I can't say enough good things about this book. I burned through it in only a few days. My suggestion would be to read this first if you were thinking about reading any of Vowell's other books.
Though all of the stories are insightful this one quote, the last paragraph from the essay titled "The Nerd Voice", really struck me as something I so emphatically agree with:
"I wish it were different. I wish that we privileged knowledge in politicians, that the ones who know things didn't have to hide it behind brown pants, and that the know-not-enoughs were laughed all the way to the Maine border on their first New Hampshire meet and greet. I wish that in order to secure his party's nomination, a presidential candidate would be required to point at the sky and name all the stars; have the periodic table of the elements memorized; rattle off the kings and queens of Spain; define the significance of the Gatling gun; joke around in Latin; interpret the symbolism in seventeenth-century Dutch painting; explain photosynthesis to a six-year-old; recite Emily Dickinson; bake a perfect popover; build a shortwave radio out of a coconut; and know all the words to Hoagy Carmichael's "Two Sleepy People," Johnny Cash's "Five Feet High and Rising," and "You Got the Silver" by the Rolling Stones. After all, the United States is the greatest country on earth dealing with the most complicated problems in the history of the world--poverty, pollution, justice, Jerusalem. What we need is a president who is at least twelve kinds of nerd, a nerd messiah to come along every four years, acquire the Secret Service code name Poindexter, install a Revenge of the Nerds screen saver on the Oval Office computer, and one by one decrypt our woes."(less)
I have yet to read a Murakami novel that I didn't manage to tear through in a matter of days. This is the shortest work of his that I have read, but t...moreI have yet to read a Murakami novel that I didn't manage to tear through in a matter of days. This is the shortest work of his that I have read, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't any less packed with all of the devices that make his novels so special.
The three lives that come together in this book illuminate different facets about the other's lives. K is infatuated with Sumire, who is infatuated with Miu. When Sumire turns up missing K and Miu are left to discover things about themselves and their relationships with other people. This really is, like the reviews on the back of the book describe, Murakami's most emotional novel. The vast majority of the action takes place in the thoughts of K while he tries to piece together how everything is related in the world around him, and throughout the course of the novel K and Miu transform in some pretty drastic ways while Sumire remains outside of everything, and perhaps unchanged due to her disappearance.
What I like about Murakami's narrative style is that, at least in the beginning of this book, he manages to shift time back and forth flawlessly, leaving subtle clues that guide the reader through the story in a non-chronological fashion.
I think this is my favorite of his books so far. I read it incredibly fast, finishing it in a period of 24 hours. (less)
The minimalist writing style and first person, matter of fact presentation of the narrative helped to make the story seem a little bit closer to home....moreThe minimalist writing style and first person, matter of fact presentation of the narrative helped to make the story seem a little bit closer to home. Even though I can't relate to any of things that happen to any of the characters, or any of the specific things that they are dealing with (drug addiction, sexual abuse, amorality etc. ) the underlying feelings of feeling distant from reality, detached and depressed and wondering how we are supposed to fit into things is something that I think everyone can relate to. When these ideas and emotions are placed within the realm of 1980's excess and the monied youth of Los Angeles at that time I think the existential dread is multiplied.
The surface level tension of the blatant drug use, the complete detachment of the barely visible parents adds complexity to the issues below the surface that are more universal. That tension builds continually until nearly the end of the work where Clay, one senses, begins to realize that he does not like the way that things are going, that he longs for some sort of change, and that he longs to return to the way that things once were, in his childhood that was not too long ago. Clay feels like he is on a ride that he can't get off, and can't even figure out if he even wants to get off anymore. It's so much easier to continue going on with things the way that they are right now, and perhaps begins to realize, through a series of flashbacks that grow in detail as we near the conclusion of the book, that everything in his life may be growing a bit out of control and that perhaps he isn't comfortable with it and he begins to allow his emotions to show little by little as he slowly comes to realizations.
As readers we never know if he allows these realizations to shape him and to propel him into changing his behavior and his life or if he will allow himself to continue his semi-nihilist behavior. Though, he never does partake in any of the truly gruesome activities of those around him, in many respects he is a spectator; a spectator in his own life, never willing to take a stand and make a change. Clay never comes across as happy, or satisfied, he just keeps on trudging through his life, failing to see the point or meaning of it all. I'm sure that we can all relate to this book on some level or another, it's quite haunting and disturbing and powerful. (less)
This was the 2nd book by Sarah Vowell that I've read this summer, the first being "Assassination Vacation". Though I did enjoy this one, I did not fee...moreThis was the 2nd book by Sarah Vowell that I've read this summer, the first being "Assassination Vacation". Though I did enjoy this one, I did not feel as compelled to read it as I did "Assassination Vacation".
This is through no fault of the author. Vowell does a terrific job presenting this vastly undiscussed time in America's history with wit and humor, and she has a very elegant way of seamlessly tying all of her information back to current events such that the time of the events in the book start to feel as though they are happening all over again. History does have a way of repeating itself and Sarah Vowell possesses the uncanny ability of being able draw all of those parallels. I read this with the hopes that I would force myself to begin to take an interest in early American history, something that I am woefully ignorant of. Sadly, I still couldn't get excited, and sometimes my mind wandered while reading.
The book is fantastically well written and I love Sarah Vowell's voice as a writer. This is a must-read for anyone interested in politics and American history. (less)
Sarah Vowell's style of writing is very conversational and this book makes it especially clear that she is taking the reader on a journey. Her obsessi...moreSarah Vowell's style of writing is very conversational and this book makes it especially clear that she is taking the reader on a journey. Her obsessive knowledge comes out in her multi-faceted approach to research that stretches out in every conceivable direction. Sometimes it seems that she may be going too far afield, only to tie it all together eventually in some pretty surprising ways.
I also enjoyed the way that Vowell has no problem interjecting her own opinions and commentary on the things that she has found and the people that she meets along the way. This is a very well written book that is not only extremely entertaining to read but also quite informative. She has a way of presenting all of the information that none of us learned in school, and correcting some of the things that we did learn in the process.
Great introduction and endnotes that clearly and directly describe all of the symbolism and backstory behind all of the Idylls that are collected here...moreGreat introduction and endnotes that clearly and directly describe all of the symbolism and backstory behind all of the Idylls that are collected here. The translation is clear and readable. Great for reference. (less)
This is probably the strangest book that I have ever read. There is no real plot to speak of, but that, in and of itself, does not mean anything. Bein...moreThis is probably the strangest book that I have ever read. There is no real plot to speak of, but that, in and of itself, does not mean anything. Being that Georges Bataille is primarily a philosopher the purpose of this book was not, I don't think, meant to "tell a story". The narrative is completely centered on the symbolism of certain objects: an egg, a bull's testicle, and an eye. The strange, surreal and disturbing scenes that take place in the interim between coming into contact with these objects are disturbing sometimes, but happen so often as to become the new normal. As the tale goes on the wild sexual exploits are not quite as shocking.
It's a very short novella, that can probably be read in the space of a few hours. It might be worth reading more than once. (less)
This is another one of those books that I've been meaning to read for quite some time. While in the Portland, OR Goodwill (one of them...the biggest o...moreThis is another one of those books that I've been meaning to read for quite some time. While in the Portland, OR Goodwill (one of them...the biggest one, with an amazingly large and well stocked, well organized, book section) I picked up the first 4 books in this series, or rather my girlfriend stacked them in my hands as she was highly suggesting that I read them.
I'm glad that I bought the books though because I usually start off reading some complicated and lengthy philosophical novel that takes months to finish and this novel was much more direct, funny and easy to devour in a few hours of reading. I appreciated all of the satire and cultural commentary and despite the book being written over 30 years ago of course much of the sarcasm still rings very true today. I have never seen the movie, and I don't plan to, but I do plan on reading the rest of this series.
If you haven't picked up these books, but enjoy novels that are fast-paced, funny and satirical, then you will most-likely enjoy these. Also, if you are worried about them being "too science-fictiony" (if that is such a thing) I wouldn't worry about it too much. Though there is obviously a lot of talk of space-travel and things of that nature, it is nothing off putting or in nearly the same realm as, say, Star Wars or Star Trek or something like that. Check these books out, you won't be disappointed. (less)
I was initially only going to read a chapter or two as research for a paper that I was writing, but after that paper was done I got completely immerse...moreI was initially only going to read a chapter or two as research for a paper that I was writing, but after that paper was done I got completely immersed. Each chapter is set up like a research paper in and of itself, but obviously relating back to the overarching topic of "Noise" - either as music, in music etc.
Several chapters in the beginning actually begin as a very in depth study into the history of rock music and "other" music and where other histories of "rock" follow that branch from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones and on to pop music, Hegarty takes a sharp left turn exploring all of the music that didn't get its due, or didn't seek the same kind of popularity as other acts.
This work is philosophical, analytical and goes into a high degree of detail citing the works of Bataille, Derrida, Foucault and countless others Hegerty plunges the depths of noise in all of its forms whether they are political, sound oriented, as revolt, as sound-art, as philosophical statement. Basically I doubt there there is a better book out there that serves as an overview of the pop music that takes its cues more from John Cage and Stockhausen than from the blues.
The text is dense with ample footnotes, but the chapters are a forgiving length and Hegarty writes in a style that is easy to read and familiar. Though I'm a grad student, and reading it as such, I would suggest this book to anyone interested in contemporary "difficult" music as it provides scores of insights. (less)
I have enjoyed everything that I have read by Mark Haskell Smith, which is to say that I've read everything he's written. Despite this book being non-...moreI have enjoyed everything that I have read by Mark Haskell Smith, which is to say that I've read everything he's written. Despite this book being non-fiction he has a way of writing characters that seem fictional. This could be in large part due to the fact that a lot of the people that he met while on his stoner-sojourn needed to protect their identities so that they weren't picked up by the Feds.
And that right there is the beautiful thing that is brought out in the book: the fact that it is completely ridiculous that our government spends so much time, energy and money hunting down these people and squashing their business without any thought. Smith goes into great detail about not only the people behind the marijuana industry, their expertise and passion, but also into the mind-boggling laws that criss-cross the medical-marijuana debate. As he travels from Amsterdam to California and back again Smith meets up with lawyers, doctors, growers, activists and hobbyists, and they all have one thing in common: passion. Passion for uncovering the truth, passion for a job well done, craftsmanship, and enthusiasm. He manages to show these people in an honest light, every single one of them, and in the end we really are left with the feeling that there is an unfortunate and uncalled for stigma placed on these people as fringe characters or people that are operating outside of society. The truth is that, sure, they are operating outside of society to a certain degree, but that is only because the government is preventing them, at every step of the way, from operating within society. These are counterculture figures, all of them, fighting for sensibility to take the place of absurd laws that are stifling an entire subset of talented, passionate and creative people.
This book is a quick read and very engaging. Mark takes us on the journey with him and at the beginning he is just as clueless about everything as we most likely are as passive readers. It really is like the gonzo-journalism of Hunter S. Thompson, entertaining, inviting, enlightening and often hilarious. (less)
This is the 2nd Murakami book that I have finished, the first being "Wild Sheep Chase". I can't get enough of his direct writing style that is complex...moreThis is the 2nd Murakami book that I have finished, the first being "Wild Sheep Chase". I can't get enough of his direct writing style that is complex, but doesn't allow itself to become convoluted or confusing.
Murakami creates a depth of characters in such a natural way, not taking the entire book, while not separating from the narrative. The development of this story is coming almost directly out of "Wild Sheep Chase", though it is not entirely necessary to read that book prior to this one.
It's interesting how the story moves from the real world to a meta-world and back again, hinting at a mythical space that may or may not exist. This mythical space, the realm of the Sheep-Man, is hidden and dark and could possibly be Murakami's way of representing our inner desires or possibly "fate", though the main character does seem to have some control over his own actions, and though he is just "dancing", seemingly powered by those around him in some aspects, he is in control the entire time, guided by his own intuition that got him into these situations in the first place.
It's a solid story line that never veers off course, while hinting at what is to come, sliding focus across different times, but not leaving the point of view of the main character, in contrast to perhaps the style of Thomas Pynchon whose poetic, meticulously detailed and descriptive narratives tend to slow the pace or change perspective altogether. Also to be noted as something that I greatly enjoy is the way that Murakami always incorporates music into his stories. The great variety of genres of music help to set the scene and describe the character of Yuki, forming a common bond between the main character and the young semi-clairvoyant teenager.
It takes a unique mind to be able to take even the most basic thought and decide that it needs to be looked at from another angle. This entire book is...moreIt takes a unique mind to be able to take even the most basic thought and decide that it needs to be looked at from another angle. This entire book is filled with further examinations of things that we previously, in education, took for granted.
The book is filled with examples for teachers to utilize to more effectively present ideas to their students. Rogers describes effective curriculum planning, ear training, and studying tools to help anyone get the most out of their music training. More important than those specifics though is the idea that nothing should be taken for granted, even in education. It becomes apparent after reading this book that we have been doing things much the same way for much too long, and why?
I think that this is a good place to start for anyone that is looking for more effective ways of implementing a lesson into a music theory curriculum. Obviously, being that this is an overview, a lot of work needs to be done on the part of the teacher to implement these things, but I think Rogers points out that it is our duty as teachers and in our, and our students' best interests.(less)
I have read all of Tao Lin's books and it's really interesting to follow his trajectory. The writing in Eeeee Eee Eeee got me hooked with all of its h...moreI have read all of Tao Lin's books and it's really interesting to follow his trajectory. The writing in Eeeee Eee Eeee got me hooked with all of its hallucinatory, dreamlike imagery and abstraction, while the writing in the stories in Bed was a little bit more straightforward. Even comparing this to Shoplifting from American Apparel one can sense a change.
There is a direct approach with a lot of subtleties, most of which I'm sure were lost on me. The main thing is that the characters are easy to relate to. I enjoyed reading Richard Yates even if I can't quite put my finger on why. (less)
I began excitedly devouring this book as I am quite a huge fan of the music of Gustav Mahler. I have been known to listen to his complete works in the...moreI began excitedly devouring this book as I am quite a huge fan of the music of Gustav Mahler. I have been known to listen to his complete works in the course of 4 or 5 days. I never get sick of his music. There is just so much to grab onto and so much to delve into. After all these years of listening to his music I have managed to, somehow, avoided learning very much more than cursory details about his life.
This book delivered in that fashion, providing me with a good biography of the man and his music and world in which he worked. Though as the book went on I began to question Lebrecht's intent. Mahler died in 1911, yet the entirety of this work is written in the present tense. It seems as though the author is so entrenched in everything Mahler that he is attempting to place himself into the timeline, as if he was a silent observer in the rooms where the composer was writing and studying. Some of the details delve into what would be included in a novel, things that are clearly not included in any scholarly writing about Mahler. I understand that as an author he needs to paint a picture, but sometimes it seems as though he just gets a little carried away in this.
It seems to be extraordinarily researched and a labor of love to a certain extent, but another problem that I have with the book is the title. He called the book "Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symhonies Changed the World". That's quite the title. It certainly grabbed my attention. I immediately figured that the book was going to place Mahler into terms of today, and how his music is now reaching a state of relevance unlike when it was first written. I was hoping that the book would show how Mahler was ahead of his time and how now his time has finally come, and everyone is embracing him as a musical master.
I suppose that he did do that to some success, but only in a cursory manner. He casts down so many broad generalities. Right in the beginning I should have gotten the hint when it is stated, "...when we listen to Mahler we are learning about ourselves". After I finished cringing at the cheeseball sentiment, I took a step back and realized that Mahler's name could have easily been replaced with just about ANY other composer, writer, playwright, actor, etc. from just about any time. Broad generalities such as this one beg for acceptance but at the same time prevent any serious musician from gaining much from this book. A scholarly study of the man and the music it is not. A labor of love, yes, but more so a mishmash of biographical information that jumps from past to present with the latter 1/5 or so of the book a broad overview of as many recordings of every Mahler work. The reviews are quite pithy and shows that Lebrecht has listened to a lot of Mahler and owns a thesaurus, but it gets redundant quite quick and still does not answer the question proposed by the title.
I would suggest this book if you are just beginning to listen to Mahler. Maybe not even that, as the narrative style is quite fuddled and confusing at times. I'm glad I read it, but instead of going for this book I would suggest a straight up, hard line biography of the composer. (less)
I really like Chippendale's creative energy. His personality really seems to come out in his drawings and his drumming and everything that he does. It...moreI really like Chippendale's creative energy. His personality really seems to come out in his drawings and his drumming and everything that he does. It's really interesting to see his style evolve in subtle ways throughout this book.
Ninja isn't really the kind of thing that one would sit and read cover to cover, it's more of a work of art, like a coffee table book. It's kind of staggering in the amount of minute detail in each drawing and page. There is a combination of collage, pointillism and comic book style that utilizes every square millimeter of space on each and every page. I love having this in my collection. (less)
This book was 'ok'. Now, this is where I end up sounding like a complete music snob, and I understand if you think I'm a total jerk as you read this,...moreThis book was 'ok'. Now, this is where I end up sounding like a complete music snob, and I understand if you think I'm a total jerk as you read this, but I have studied many of these composers in school and on my own, and I understand that (not only is this a run on sentence but...) a writer, in order to connect with the maximum audience possible, can't possible go into too much detail, but that shouldn't mean that the author needs to leave out necessary information.
I suppose the anecdotes in the book are entertaining enough and I should just be happy with that but sometimes there is just so much more to a story and it's all in those details.
What REALLY bothered me though were the MANY typographical errors throughout. Did anyone read this book over before it hit the press? I mean, some sentences are so mangled that they don't make much sense, words are spelled wrong, quotes are missing words and rendered meaningless, "composers" and "conductors" are used interchangeably (and that's not being nitpicky, they are 2 VERY different things).
If you are not a musician you will probably get a lot more joy and entertainment out of this book than I did. I mean it was "alright", and some of the anecdotes are funny enough, but what it really comes down to is that this book wasn't really written that well at all. (less)