Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us” as Want to Read:
Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  983 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Drooling fanatic, n. 1. One who drools in the presence of beloved rock stars. 2. Any of a genus of rock-and-roll wannabes/geeks who walk around with songs constantly ringing in their ears, own more than 3,000 albums, and fall in love with at least one record per week.
With a life that’s spanned the phonographic era and the digital age, Steve Almond lives to Rawk. Like you,
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Random House (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
I know guys like Steve Almond. They kind of wear me out. These guys go to concerts on weeknights and read Pitchfork every morning. I do not, under any circumstances, want to engage in conversation with Steve Almond and his brethren about anything but especially not about music. I’d rather read the book he wrote about the topic and enjoy the freedom to hit the pause button whenever I want rather than pretend I have to pee when his beery breakdown of why Captain Beefheart is more important than Pe ...more
Ed Wagemann
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Here is a letter I recently sent to the publisher of a book called Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life:

Hi, I just finished reading your book Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life and I’d like to review it for my blog: Rockism101. Before I write my review I’d like to share some of my thoughts about your book with you and give you a chance to comment on these thoughts.

For the first 100 plus pages or so I had a hard time trying to figure out what the point of this book was. Maybe I was confused by the t
Tyler Jones
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pop-music
Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life (Which, for the sake of brevity, shall be henceforth referred to here as RRWSYL) is Steve Almonds' highly personal account of being a musical "drooling fanatic" - a person to whom the soundtrack of life is so important that life itself often has to pause until the right tune is found. What makes RRWSYL so much better than merely a passionate, heartfelt examination of the power of music is that Almond examines his feelings with such exactitude and honesty that he ...more
Oct 31, 2010 rated it liked it
This started off so well...

Almond writes hilariously in defining the Drooling Fanatic, the obsessive rock music nut. He breaks down the lyrics of famous songs like Toto's Africa and Air Supply's All Out of Love, showing their stunning silliness. I loved the section where he talks about being moved by songs that you know are tripe. I loved his chronology of the different music formats and how they have affected the DF. I loved the section about music that you love one day, hate later. The early l
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, music
Steve Almond is a good writer. He chooses his words and his images carefully. And I wouldn't care about it one bit if he hadn't also managed to squeeze such truthy truth into this book. It's a pretty introspective book. Even though the title says save your life, the examples he uses are highly personal. A lot of the bands and musicians he name-checks are people who never reached the type of fame that would make them accessible as examples. For that reason, the online soundtrack is an excellent a ...more
Peri Dotty
Mar 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed-books

I wish I'd realized that this was more of a ~memoir. I'd read Almond's Candy Freak and enjoyed it enough to seek out his other books. I was expecting something like that. Oops!

Apparently women who like music are all sex-starved groupies and men who like music are the 'true' fans. Taste in music is realized through older brothers and if you don't have one, you're SOL. Only teenage boys can be the genuine arbiters of which sorts of music are "good."

In the few chapters I managed to get thro
Apparently all my contemporaries are writing right now. I just found out, for example, that Carrie Bradshaw (and, one assumes, Candace Bushnell) is/are just about exactly my age. In her book "The Carrie Diaries," she references Jimmy Carter and the Gremlin.

But Carrie Bradshaw listens to Aztec Two-Step, and right then and there I knew she could never be my friend.

Steve Almond knows what I'm saying here. Steve Almond gave up on a woman after a weekend of bananas sex because she listened to Air Sup
May 23, 2010 rated it liked it
If you're going to use a promise as your title, you'd better deliver. In his sixth book, " Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us (With Bitchin' Soundtrack)," Steve Almond presents a memoir wrapped in a collection of observations about music and packaged as a source of salvation. The book is a rock fan bildungsroman in which Almond offers personal anecdotes related to his lifelong love of music. His story is interwoven with some cultural analysis of what it me ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lars
I'm stuck (again) between three and four stars: on the one hand, I'd give four stars for the writer's funny self-deprecating voice, which he employs at the same time as writing some very beautiful, literary descriptions (he's also an accomplished fiction writer); for the subject matter itself (because I, too, am the kind of Drooling Fanatic he describes in the book); and for the painfully hilarious relatability of certain specific sections (such as the Chapter 4, which details the span of musica ...more
Superstition Review
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“This is what songs do, even dumb pop songs: they remind us that emotions are not an inconvenient and vaguely embarrassing aspect of the human enterprise but its central purpose. They make us feel specific things we might never have felt otherwise.”

Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life is a book that targets the fanatical love each person has inside them, regardless of whether the love is for music, like Almond’s, or for movies, knitting, cooking, or anything really. Tied together with humorous, en
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music
  • Perfect from Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life
  • Cassette From My Ex: Stories and Soundtracks of Lost Loves
  • Out of the Vinyl Deeps: On Rock Music
  • Gimme Something Better: The Profound, Progressive, and Occasionally Pointless History of Bay Area Punk from Dead Kennedys to Green Day
  • See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody
  • From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World
  • Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America
  • I Slept With Joey Ramone
  • Let's Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies
  • The Pixies' Doolittle
  • Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music
  • Rock On: An Office Power Ballad
  • Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever
  • Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance
  • Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground
  • The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History
  • When I Grow Up
Steve Almond is the author of two story collections, My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, the non-fiction book Candyfreak, and the novel Which Brings Me to You, co-written with Julianna Baggott. He lives outside Boston with his wife and baby daughter Josephine.
More about Steve Almond...
“It's like this when you fall hard for a musician. It's a crush with religious overtones. You listen to the songs and you memorize the words and the notes and this is a form of prayer. You attend the shows and this is the liturgy. You're interested in relics -- guitar picks, set lists, the sweaty napkin applied to His brow. You set up shrines in your room. It's not just about the music. It's about who you are when you listen to the music and who you wish to be and the way a particular song can bridge that gap, can make you feel the abrupt thrill of absolute faith.” 21 likes
“This is what songs do, even dumb pop songs: they remind us that emotions are not an inconvenient and vaguely embarrassing aspect of the human enterprise but its central purpose. They make us feel specific things we might never have felt otherwise. Every time I listen to "Sunday Bloody Sunday," for instance, I feel a pugnacious righteousness about the fate of the Irish people. I hear that thwacking military drumbeat and Bono starts wailing about the news he heard today and I'm basically ready to enlist in the IRA and stomp some British Protestant Imperialist Ass, hell yes, bring on the fucking bangers and mash and let's get this McJihad started.” 9 likes
More quotes…