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Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous owner's name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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Lit Riffs Paperback – June 15, 2004

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School - This book reinterprets songs, using the words, structure, and/or mood to create works that are influenced by the source but are wholly unique. Lester Bangs, famed critic of '70s and '80s rock music, opens with "Maggie May," a story spun out from the Rod Stewart hit of the same name. Through inflamed Kerouac-tinged prose, this tale of an up-and-coming rock star having a relationship with an older woman is an interesting commentary on the life of a music idol. The anthology continues with many different approaches, 24 in all. Touré's "I Shot the Sheriff" transforms the Bob Marley anthem into a wonderful fable about standing up for oneself. Neal Pollack's "Death in the Alt-Country," inspired by Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," is about a musician's wake, but also criticizes much of the country and alt-country music of today. "The National Anthem" by Jonathan Lethem is written as a letter to a friend describing a failing love life and is based more on the general mood of Yo La Tengo's "Speeding Motorcycle" than on anything specifically mentioned in the lyrics. This literate, highly readable collection creates wonderful experiences for music lovers. - Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Thematic anthologies can be a mixed bag. The short stories collected here, based on popular songs and featuring some of the trendier authors of the day (most of them seem to have some affiliation with Dave Eggers), range from inspired to mediocre and tackle songs by such artists as Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits, and the Foo Fighters. Acclaimed late rock critic Lester Bangs, dead two decades now, launches the compilation with a "found" work that probably should have remained lost. Based on Rod Stewart's "Maggie Mae," this opener leaves a bad taste marring much of the work that follows. Heidi Julavitz sets the bar much higher with her comical take on Cat Power's cover of "I Found a Reason," and Neal Pollack uses Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" to reveal posers in the alt-country scene. Contributor Zev Borow's comment on this venture hits the nail on the head: "I always thought Dylan songs were short stories, only better." Also included are stories by Jonathan Lethem, Aimee Bender, and J. T. Leroy. Benjamin Segedin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: MTV Books; Original ed. edition (June 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743470265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743470261
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,607,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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I had to have this book for a literature class. This came in time for my class and is an excellent book. I still have it and the class has been over. Has some really cool/interesting stories in it. Highly recommend it.
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By A Customer on June 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Lit Riffs is a unique concept, one so obvious you'd smack yourself on the forehead for not having considered it: stories based on songs, when the reverse is quite common. The choices of songs to base a tale on is wildly disparate, which is cool. Thankfully this collection didn't go down the route of all easily recognizable pop songs.
More interesting than the book is the companion recording of cover versions of the songs that inspired Lit Riffs, soon to be released by S.A.M. records; My favorite track is the rendering of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah by the band Teenage Girls. Covers of Cohen songs tend toward the slavishly faithful; it's refreshing to hear a group make it seem new.
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