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The King of Good Intentions Paperback – May 7, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Rich, bittersweet, uproarious, silly, profund--it's a wonderful book whose ending sets up a sequel. Can't wait for it!
Recommended if you like the following: J.D. Salinger, Philip Roth, David Foster Wallace, Martin Amis, David Sedaris.
This was one of those rare books that I didn't want to put down and found myself devouring---but as I got further into the book and more invested in the characters, I began intentionally pacing myself because I didn't want it to end. It was THAT good.
Record stores still held trash and treasure: if you too can account for not only the Verlaines but Look Blue Go Purple or the Able Tasmans, you're matched with this novel's milieu. College rock still beckoned literate slackers in gentrifying, faux-boho Hollywood. On trendy Melrose Avenue, "shop girls" posed, "endlessly puffing accessory cigarettes and wearing looks that dared you, just dared you to enter and browse without buying".
Meanwhile, John settles (where on his ungarnished pasta budget he stays mum that it's all but impossible to find a room) in rent-controlled Santa Monica. There--departing Santa Barbara's lotus-land surfer environs, after stints exhaustively detailed in near-David Foster Wallace recall at a sports-mad prep school, but barely mentioned at an English university--John settles down near the beach. Ennui appears to account for why he left his privileged upbringing, as he chooses to hunker down beside the strung-out and bong-bemused natives, even if nobody's truly from L.A., naturally.
After seventeen albums, The Black Watch's singer-songwriter-guitarist steps aside from his Los Angeles gigs and, in what must be at least semi-autobiographical, narrates the indie-rock predicaments of a certain John, who falls for musical prodigy Jenny. It's a brisk, bittersweet novel. A Ph.D. in English from U.C.Read more ›
One- the aspect that others have already brilliantly stated- is that he has an ear for dialogue. Wait. That doesn't properly say what I mean. Frederick's ear for dialogue is extraordinary. It defines his voice, his style, what sets him apart from other writers. As he publishes more frequently, one will soon be able to read two sentences, sit back, and say "Ahhh, I imagine John Andrew Frederick wrote that bit."
Also remarkable is the idea of novel melding with memoir to create what is now referred to as "creative nonfiction." I can't say I know where this story falls. Is entirely true? Entirely made up? A bit of both? (I'm guessing it is the last one.)
While I don't definitively know the answer, I do know that I like the story that falls on the spectrum between fiction and nonfiction. I will get to speculate forever on what is real and what is not in Frederick's world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! Witty, intelligent, bursting with description that is never dull. Fredrick's powers of observation and attention to detail are astounding. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A witty, very funny story narrated by a denizen of the early ‘90s LA indie-rock scene, 'The King of Good Intentions' knows its milieu quite well, since its author, John Andrew... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jeffrey J. Norman
Stumbled upon this book by chance at Stories book store/cafe in LA n am very glad I did. Thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through... can't wait to read part 2! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mayya
A hilarious MUST READ for any music lover! Or, if you love being entertained. It will have you running equally for your dictionary and your record collection... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jeanette Kaselak Sangston
This book introduced me to a completely new world of indie music, romance, and LA in its authentic self! Read morePublished 11 months ago by Thammanatda Maneewong
Hilarious book! Passages full of mockery and satyre paint an emersive potrailal of Los Angeles in the 90's.Published 12 months ago by shandie
This book captures the 1988-91 zeitgeist: it was cool to be smart and creative; to be sort of Weimar-cultural, to have a Man Ray poster one one's wall. Read morePublished 14 months ago by AlCoe
Vivid, somber, witty, vivaciously absurd, and wonderfully capturing of the L.A scene.Published 17 months ago by emiliano
As authors go, this guy has a remarkable command of the language; serves up an 8 course meal that goes down easy.Published 21 months ago by Steven Klayman