From Publishers Weekly
In a varied collection of lucid, colorful pieces, journalist Touré, author of the novel Soul City and the story collection The Portable Promised Land, takes readers from the inner sanctum of Prince's Paisley Park to Jennifer Capriati's practice court, Lauryn Hill's Christmas party and beyond. Deftly organized by theme, the book comprises mainly magazine articles dating from 2005 to the mid-'90s, and its title refers to the author's insistence that he never bought into the philosophies of the people he profiled but rather aimed "to understand who they were beyond the image they want us to think they were." He succeeds with meteoric personalities, like Eminem and Al Sharpton, and with people like junior-tennis phenom and eventual professional bust Al Parker Jr. Touré has a knack for putting his subjects at ease, and he blends their intriguing candor with apt observations on the nature of their careers. He describes his own place in events without overshadowing the story itself. He's just interested in bringing us along for the ride, even if that means sitting shotgun while DMX pulls a full-speed 180 in a Cadillac Escalade on Sunset Boulevard. (Mar.)
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Touré's an exceptional journalist. . . . He is--if you can imagine it--Oscar Wilde as a street thug. This is the marvelous tone he's been able to achieve. (Tom Wolfe, author of I Am Charlotte Simmons and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
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Touré is one of our nation's most astute and witty observers of the American scene. Not only is he one of the most gifted writers of his generation, but his sharp insight, poetic phrasing, and biting humor--and his brilliant command of so many aspects of pop culture--make his dazzling performance on page a sheer joy to read. Never Drank the Kool-Aid is a Touré-de-force! (Michael Eric Dyson, author of Holler if You Hear Me and I May Not Get There with You)
Touré came to Rolling Stone as an intern in 1992. He was a lousy intern--we fired him--but a great writer and we soon hired him back. From 50 Cent to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., we sent Touré out on stories and he got it, whatever it was, every time. His work is like his subjects: stylish, vivid, and burning with energy. (Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone magazine)