Noah's Reviews > Rat Girl

Rat Girl by Kristin Hersh
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Oct 25, 2010

it was amazing
Read from September 20 to 26, 2010

In 1984 was supposed to go see Duran Duran play on the Seven and The Ragged Tiger tour with a group of my friends, but at the last minute my parents wouldn't let me go. So the first rock show I went to without parental supervision was in high school in 1989. I was seventeen and the club was eighteen and over only. I was a hopelessly good kid that didn't care about drinking (and never owned a fake ID), but I altered my driver’s license so that it looked like I was a year older just so I could see Throwing Muses play live.

I had become obsessed with them after hearing a track on the Lonely Is An Eyesore compilation put out by 4AD records. This weird jangly "alternative" rock with obtuse lyrics drilled into my head and I played their records endlessly and memorized and sang the words I didn't understand, but felt moved by nonetheless.

I went by myself and was scared to talk to the other people in the club, who I was certain would know I was underage. Still I made my way to the front of the stage and was transfixed by this spooky singer who apologized for the fact that she stared into the distance throughout her set. I managed to grab the set list and then waited outside watching the band load out and wishing I had the guts to go up to talk to them. If I had, perhaps I would've gotten a glimpse of the postscript to the amazing year described in lead singer Kristin Hersh's new memoir Rat Girl.

The book is a swirling, moving and deeply personal story of four seasons of dramatic transformation between 1985 and 1986. Hersh's beautifully told tale is unique and fantastic, yet should resonate deeply to anyone who lived through their confusing teenage years trying to make sense of a world that didn't seem made for them.

I tore through this gem of a book and can't recommend it enough. Even if you've never heard the music of Kristin or the Muses, you will enjoy this extraordinary, touching memoir. But if you are already a fan, this is necessary reading and throws the songs into such amazing dimension that you will never be able to listen to them the same way again.

I’m jealous of the folks who will be discovering her amazing music for the first time through this book (and I hope there will be many), but I am happy to say “Throwing Muses” whenever I’m asked about the first show I went to by myself.

Be sure to get this book soon as readers in the first year of publication are given access to live recordings of the songs mentioned throughout.

Also be sure to check out Kristin’s recent solo music and new Throwing Muses recordings, much of which is available for free/pay-what-you-like here:

p.s. Kristin is offering to talk to book clubs that choose to read Rat Girl. My book club had her call in and it was an amazing experience. She is such a wonderfully kind and giving artist and everyone was moved by the additional perspective she gave us on the book and her life. If you're interested you can get in touch with her through Twitter: @KristinHersh
24 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Rat Girl.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

07/24 marked as: read

No comments have been added yet.