I have wanted to read this book for a while and for whatever reason never did. It was picked for this year's One Book One Philadelphia program so I fiI have wanted to read this book for a while and for whatever reason never did. It was picked for this year's One Book One Philadelphia program so I figured it was time I read it. I really enjoyed it, even though it often gave me the balloon pain in my chest that Christopher talks about. ...more
Edit: My first review was absolutely gushing about Brian Wilson. Then I felt weird so I edited it. But now I feel like it sounds like I didn't reallyEdit: My first review was absolutely gushing about Brian Wilson. Then I felt weird so I edited it. But now I feel like it sounds like I didn't really like the book. Quite the opposite, I loved the book. So keep that in mind.
I read a review of this book a few months ago and found this line really profound. "...the Beach Boys are the most iconic band of their era whose story centers around mental illness—whose mythos has evolved in relation to how our culture has typically treated sickness without a physical manifestation. Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison drank themselves to death, and were held up as rock gods. Brian Wilson, on the other hand, lost his mind, and was a punchline for years." (http://www.spin.com/featured/brian-wi...)
There are so many books, articles, interviews about Brian Wilson and his life and what happened with him. It's so refreshing to finally hear it from himself.
However, that being said, I found it easier to read this book and really understand what he went through because of the other books and articles I've read, and interviews I've seen, and also from having seen the movie Love & Mercy. He doesn't present his life's story in a linear timeline, so knowing his story beforehand helped me. Though that could just be me, others may find it fine. The style of the writing is truly Brian Wilson. If you don't know what that means, watch some interviews with him. I was a little nervous at the beginning of the book. The first few chapters flit from thought to thought, and it didn't feel cohesive to me. But then, in the chapter entitled Foundations, where he finally really starts talking about recording and making music, he finally seemed to find his groove in writing this book. From that chapter on, it was just a wonderful read. He's not a fabulous writer. If you're looking for an amazing literary read, this isn't it. But it's definitely an honest read. It's moving, and sad, and also really funny. Brian Wilson is apparently an incredibly funny guy, and it comes through in this book. He's also really snarky. Especially when he talks about Mike Love, who can "make any song about 25% better." But he's also incredibly gracious, and that's why he's one of my favorite musicians. He is blown away by the fact that people love his music, and he really appreciates that people listen to it.
I suggest reading "Catch a Wave" by Peter Ames Carlin, or seeing the movie "Love & Mercy" either before or right after reading this book. I also really love a documentary about SMiLE that you can find on YouTube called "Beautiful Dreamer- Brian Wilson and and the Story of SMiLE."
I don't really know if this review is any good, it went a lot differently in my head when I was trying to plan it out. But oh well! Great first read of 2017!
I would have finished this book much quicker if I hadn't had to listen to every song as I read about it. But it probably wouldn't have been as much fuI would have finished this book much quicker if I hadn't had to listen to every song as I read about it. But it probably wouldn't have been as much fun.
XTC is one of my most favorite bands in the whole world. Some of the best lyrics in pop music were written by Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, as well as some of the best melodies and arrangements. It was a lot of fun reading about the history of each song. Some more info about the actual music would have been great, but that would have turned into a giant 1000000+ page book I'm sure. ...more
Trump already started his presidency with lying about the size of the inauguration, and then got his prThis can be your handbook for the next 4 years.
Trump already started his presidency with lying about the size of the inauguration, and then got his press secretary to lie, too. Feeling overwhelmed, and it's only Day 2? Read this incredibly insightful and helpful book and have fun checking off all the fallacies used throughout the next 4 years!
Did you know that Trump declared the site of his country club as the setting of a Civil War battle, even though historians declare it is not true? But who can argue with the argument of, "How do they know? Were they there?" (Chapter 1) Or so you want to know more about Trump University? Check out Chapter 15.
Everyone is angry that Trump's 10 year old son has been joked about by comedians. I too am angry. Want to get outraged about other former Presidents' children being mocked? How about when Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton "the White House dog," or when Glenn Beck criticized the Obama girls for "not better understanding the BP oil spill? Or how about when politicians use their OWN children for their selfish gains? (Chapter 7)
There's also some great stories about our new vice-president, Pence. Chapter 4; Chapter 11; Chapter 16. Boy is he an asshole.
However, be warned that there's some pretty heavy stuff in this book. Such as the chapter that talks about CIA torture tactics. (Chapter 15.) This section made me feel physically sick, but sometimes that's what knowledge does to you.
I don't really think the author was hoping to write a sequel to this book when it was published in late October, but I'm hoping that'll change once he stops being so jaded about politics. Well-written, thought-provoking, and so scary it'll make you laugh. ...more