First reading: solve the mystery, solve the mystery, solve the mystery (White Tower, heh heh WPA injoke) solve the mystery. Second reading: read the bFirst reading: solve the mystery, solve the mystery, solve the mystery (White Tower, heh heh WPA injoke) solve the mystery. Second reading: read the book, read the book, read the book ...
Shelley is one of my all time favorite characters, haven't come across a character as original in a long,long time. Hope for a sequel jusst to find out her fate.
Clever without being precious and some really good prose....more
Okay, I admit that, when I started reading this, I had h1n1. I got better; the book didn't. I finally stopped reading when, after about 300 pages, weOkay, I admit that, when I started reading this, I had h1n1. I got better; the book didn't. I finally stopped reading when, after about 300 pages, we still weren't out of the seventies. This bio is boring and repetitive, full of inane minutiae that only the most die hard Young fan could find interesting. It's not just that McDonough has absolutely no objectivity about Young and his work. Dave Marsh's bios of Springsteen are readable and informative, despite his obvious man crush on the subject. The worst thing about this doorstop of a tome is not just the bad writing (it's written with all the flair of a video store clerk still living in his mom's basement), but the fact that McDonough feels the need to insert himself into the narrative, so that the reader is subjected to inane and awkward moments in the author's life, which he obviously believes are made seminal bacause this or that Neil Young song was playing in the background.
Don't get me wrong, I'm an admirer of Young's rich and varied body of work. I was looking forward to seeing his life and work placed into the context of the times and his peers. But other than the obvious and much publicized bickering of CSN&Y and some references to Young's relationship with Dylan, the only other artist's mentioned to any degree as Young's peers are Joni Mitchell and Charles Manson.
Mostly the book seems to be some kind of misguided apologia for Young's sometime backing band, Crazy Horse.
The only good sections in the book are chunks of verbatim interviews with Young. He at least seems to understand what is and is not significant about his work.
The book didn't even make we want to close it and listen to Neil Young. Although I did find myself listening to a lot of Gram Parsons. One can only hope that McDonough doesn't decide to chronicle his life! ...more
I've always maintained that nobody writes about NYC and its environs as well as Richard Price. That being said, Lethem is absolutely Price's heir appaI've always maintained that nobody writes about NYC and its environs as well as Richard Price. That being said, Lethem is absolutely Price's heir apparent. I read The Fortress of Solitude and Chronic City (both very good books) before reading this, but this book is in a class by itself. Lionel Essrog is one of the most unique fictional characters I've run into in ages: an orphaned would-be hard-boiled detective for a unlicensed agency disguised as a car service, struggling with Tourettes syndrome and grieving for his only father figure, a small time hood named Frank Minna. Oddly enough, this book is really about family and place, and how families and places are not always what we think they are. ...more