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Empty The Sun by Joseph Mattson
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Jan 12, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction
Read in January, 2010

I think I would have enjoyed this book more if some discussion on Goodreads hadn't happened right before I started the book. I forget which book it was for, but MFSO and I started talking about Zweig, and his indulgent novel. MFSO mentioned some things that would always make him think of Zweig, and with that thought kind of fresh in my head I went into this book.

The main character is a down and out guitar player who no longer plays guitar because he lost his left index finger, the one that most guitar players would use for forming a barre chord, and probably the most dominant finger on the fretting hand. He now wallows in an alcoholic haze living in a seedy motel, that sounds more like a glorified shooting gallery where he mourns the loss of himself and his guitar playing. Unfair, but I can't help thinking of Zweig and his own 'wah, I won't play my guitar, wah I'm sad, wah no one understands me'. Yeah, the character isn't a crybaby about it, but I couldn't get Zweig out of my goddamn mind.

Trying to push Zweig aside, this book was good, and I imagine lots of people really liking it, but it wasn't for me. It was a little too beat for me, a little too mystical in a rock n' roll kind of way (that makes no sense, it's not like hippy-ish, more like the transcendent wisdom of people who have (ab)used too many substances in their day). I think if I had read this when I was younger I would have liked it more, like back when I eagerly consumed every Bukowski book... but then as I said this is more rock n' roll than I ever was, I liked my 'road' reading to be more punk, a la Aaron Cometbus.

When Karen succeeds in getting this into to the store I will definitely recommend it to certain customers, maybe it will even move one day to my default recommendations shelf.

I have no idea what the CD sounds like yet, I have been on a total non-music kick for the last couple of weeks, but I'll give it a listen when I once again return to the world of sound entertainment.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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karen if i ever get it into the store.
baker and taylor are being a bunch of bitches.


message 2: by David (new)

David I bought this book in L.A. Then I met the author at Jumbo's. (Hi, if you're out there.) And now I can't find the thing... Bummer. It's gotta be around here somewhere.


karen greg can mail you my copy after he is done with the cd...


message 4: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Jan 12, 2010 06:23PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Why do I (possessed by Zweig) have to go and ruin everything? Damn you, Zweeeeeiiiiiggggg!!!!

At least this character gets fucked up while being a self-involved sad sack. Somehow that seems to make it better. Juicer (?) at least. I don't know why. But I think Zweig's sobriety was half of what annoyed me about his whiny bullshit. No, it was more than that. Zweeeeiiiiig!


Greg This book could eat Zweig for breakfast.


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