Chris's Reviews > Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste

Let's Talk About Love by Carl Wilson
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Jan 12, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2009
Read in January, 2009

Have you ever laughed at someone who claimed to actually enjoy Celine Dion's music? Have you ever felt like you were better than those people who love The Kite Runner or Mitch Albom's books? Have you ever forced all of your friends and family to watch a movie you loved because you were convinced that they needed to see it for their own good? My answers a few weeks ago would have been absolutely, of course, and who hasn't? but after reading this book, I would most likely nod sheepishly.

Wilson decided to write a book about Celine Dion after watching the Academy Awards the year that Celine and the Titanic juggernaut steamrolled over one of Wilson's favorite singers, Elliott Smith (who sang "Miss Misery" from Good Will Hunting). What started as an attempt to grasp how human beings could actually like Celine ("her music struck me as bland monotony raised to a pitch of obnoxious bombast -- R&B with the sex and slyness surgically removed ... Oprah Winfrey–approved chicken soup for the consumerist soul, a neverending crescendo of personal affirmation deaf to social conflict and context.") turned into a interesting exploration of the nature of taste, "coolness," cultural capital, sentimentality, and musical criticism without devolving into some ironic hipster switcheroo where Wilson (a music critic) becomes even more hip by championing the cause of someone as unhip as Celine Dion.

My former self would have been inclined to guarantee that this is the best book about Celine Dion that you'll ever read, but now I'm hesitant. Maybe one of Celine's fans has written (or will write) a wonderful biography about her life. Maybe Celine herself will write a moving memoir. Who knows, right? I guess, for now, I'm hesitant to declare that anything is better than anything else. I'm sure I'll get over it soon enough, but for now I'll just say that this was a delightful little book that at least belongs on the same shelf as the best books about Celine Dion.
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I have watched the Eurovision song contest for about 4 years running now. It is utterly fascinating to me. Celine Dion and Lordi are the same thing. It is best to not think - why.


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