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I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard Paperback – May 17, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (May 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140130835X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401308353
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Full of premium trivia and pinpoint pomposity-pricking, Reynolds has made comedy gold from the full base metal of misery." -- New Musical Express

About the Author

Tom Reynolds started work as a country-western deejay in East Texas. He was fired for being unable to drawl. This made him depressed. He moved to Los Angeles where he worked as technical director for the famed Groundlings Comedy Theater. Four nights a week of sketch comedy made him really depressed. He went on to produce cable documentaries and reality shows featuring drunk 20-somethings making out in bars. He became bi-polar. Word spread and he was asked to write a book about depressing music. This was a cathartic experience and he's currently happy -- for now.

Customer Reviews

I've read this book several times since I bought it, and every time I have to laugh.
Cassandra
Of course, any reader is bound to think of many more songs that could have gone into the book, and there are a few unforgiveable omissions.
David A. Bede
Most of the songs I've heard before, but it really just helps to hear the songs too.
tiedyed69peace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on June 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Why do I say "paradoxically"? Well, while the songs profiled in the book live up to the subtitle, the book itself is laugh out loud funny. Reynolds has a gift for stating the obvious in a very amusing way. Nobody needs to be told that "Macarthur Park" is depressing, with that iconic image of the cake melting in the rain, but he goes into enough detail about why it's such a depressing song to make reading about it entertaining. Deadpan humor abounds ("He started working construction for the Johnstown company, but then got laid off because he was living in a Springsteen song"), as do little revelations you probably never stopped to think of because, really, who cares? Take "In the Year 2525" for example...as Reynolds points out, most of those horrific predictions of thousands of years in the future have come true after just 35 years.

Of course, any reader is bound to think of many more songs that could have gone into the book, and there are a few unforgiveable omissions. No chapter on teenage car crash songs should ever leave out the Everly Brothers' "Ebony Eyes," even if it is about a plane crash rather than a car crash. Unlike most purveyors of tragedy songs, after all, the Everlys were a serious act and didn't need to stoop to that bizarre novelty to have a hit. On the other hand, Reynolds' prediction of the aftermath of "Tell Laura I Love Her" if Tommy hadn't died is quite possibly the funniest paragraph in the book.

He also doesn't spare the occasional good song - notably "Strange Fruit" - from the book. After all, a song can be good and still be depressing. Then there's the problem of choosing the most depressing song by an act that specializes in them, such as The Cure.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. S. Kim on May 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This isn't just a simple countdown of the 52 most depressings songs but every song is neatly grouped into categories like "Teenage Car Crash" or "I'm Telling A Story Nobody Wants To Hear".

Each selection is then dissected and broken down (including chart position and the various incarnations) with plenty of interesting information and background on the lyrics, artist(s), and the song itself. The author has a sense of humor, the sarcastic kind I'm fond of, and injects plenty of wit throughout.. I couldn't get through the introduction without cracking up.

The accompanying illustrations, enchanting ink drawings by Stacey Earley, are perfectly melancholy and adorable.

I think you'll find this an enjoyable read, especially if you're a fan of pop music - and whether or not you agree with all of the song choices.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Hipster Girl on May 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Someone sent me this book from England and I read it on the plane back to the States -- hilarious! Could not stop laughing out loud at his sarcasm and wit. I agreed with Mr. Reynolds on his take of Carey and Dion's brain concussion modulations. He describes each song and puts it in a category, with details. You can open the book and read any song that interests you. Then, yesterday I heard him on a talk radio show and he's very well versed in all genres of music, not just rock but from the 50's until today. He even mentions Ben Folds' (one of my favorites). This is not a depressing book and I highly recommend it. Makes you think that by listening to lyrics you can dig deeper into the mind of the songwriter/vocalist.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth Altruda on May 24, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow!! Few authors can make me fall on the floor in hysterics, but Tom Reynolds has been extremely successful at it!! I was feeling a little down today, but fortunately my Amazon order arrived with this book in it. Because I grew up listening to many, way too many, of the songs Reynolds "analyzes," I too have been traumatized by them. I could even empathize with his introductory notes having been victimized by my parents' proclivity toward opera, Mantovani, and whoever chorused the notorious (please, put this in the sequel) "I hear the music from across the way!" Praise God, we both survived: Reynolds to write the book and me to thank him profusely for addressing this syndrome. I just hope he doesn't receive any death threats from the hordes of Neil Diamond/Barry Manilow fans. I'd even stand between him and them. I implore you, Mr. Reynolds, start the sequel now.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Francuz on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was a little skeptical when I first saw it, but decided to buy it anyway. I'm glad I did; this book is very, very funny. It's filled with wonderful turns of phrase and is generally all around witty. I don't agree with all of the choices; Love Will Tear Us Apart is depressing, but it's still a great song.

Agree or not though, this book was still excellent. I would highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on June 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
The only thing that lets this book down is the fact that if you weren't alive back in the 70s or years beforehand, due to the fact that a lot of the songs analysed inside haven't stood the test of time, and have not been replayed on mainstream radio, then like me if you grew up in a more recent decade then you have probably never heard of them. The author actually took this on board when writing his more relevant to all ages encore Touch Me, I'm Sick: The 52 Creepiest Love Songs You've Ever Heard which is a better read due to the fact you've actually heard of the majority of songs.

That fact aside though, this is still a brilliant book and Reynolds description of the songs you don't know is just as funny as the ones you do. Reynolds humorously dissects 52 songs which were successful in the charts at least when they first were released, and by analysing the lyrics opens the eyes of the reader as to why these lyrics or the way an artist sings them are so depressing.

Examples of the humour inside are (page 62 - Round Here by the Counting Crows) "Maria's a little odd. Not to bright either, since Duritz sings how she left Nashville and came all the way to the West Coast to find a guy who looks like Elvis (correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Memphis right down the road from Nashville).... No one notices the contrasts of white on white, he sings mournfully, not realising he doesn't know the definition of the word contrast."

On Celine Dion's version of all By Myself (p140) "She laments for long gone friends who are never home when she calls them (trust me Celine, they're home. It's just with caller ID, they know it's you calling).
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I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You've Ever Heard
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