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Outsider: John Rockwell on the Arts, 1967-2006 First Edition Edition

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0879103330
ISBN-10: 0879103337
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight Editions; First Edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879103337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879103330
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,795,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on December 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Reviewing classical music has to be one of the hardest jobs around. How would you keep thinking up words to describe something that is almost undescribable? How much of your critism has to come from your own likes or dislikes. Or is it maybe that your likes or dislikes is what people really want to read.

OK, so people want to read what Dr. Rockwell writes. They want to badly enough that for forty years he has been writing for a several newspapers and a string of magazines. And not unheard of publications but the New York Times, High Fidelity, Opera and more.

The essays in this book are selected from his full career. Having some opinions on the arts myself, I find some exactly right (of course that means that they agree with my own views), most of the time he is talking of performers, performances that I haven't seen and find merely interesting, some of the time I find myself wondering if we attended the same play (Webber's The Woman in White).

But what I do find is that the essays themselves are great. They are simply a delight to read - even when we went to a different play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LBWheels457 on November 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was unsure of what to think of Outsider when I first began reading the book, already having my own strong opinions on music, dance, and the arts. However, Outsider covers all different genres, whether music of the US or around the world. Rockwell's analysis doesn't beat around the bush, but is very straight-forward. He draws interesting parallels between the various forms of art, which is something that I haven't thought of before. One of the most interesting parallels for me personally was Rockwell's statement "The Nutcracker is ballet's Messiah", as a music person, this statement was very strong to me. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Rockwell's collected reviews are a tour of music over the past 30 years. With eclectic interests and wide knowledge of and enthusiasms for music of all kinds and levels, this New York Times' critic has written about Elvis Presley, Kurt Weill, Martha Graham, Marianne Faithful, Shania Twain, Bela Bartok, and Bruce Springsteen, among numerous others. While always accessible and informative for music lovers, Rockwell's reviews, critiques, and commentaries regularly put the music and performances in context, surmise their place in their genre, ground them in contemporary culture, and view them in relation to broader artistic movements and ideas. Thus, one finds in the "Index of Names" running 16 pages citations to Marshall McLuhan, Nietzsche, Vladimir Nabokov, Karl Marx, Jackson Pollock, and Mae West. Such unlikely references evince the liveliness and revealing perspectives of the reviews, as well as their lasting value as something more than spontaneous, off-the-cuff remarks which have a part in the history and assessment of the music of recent times and the playing of music from past times in these years.
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By Robin Dobson on April 24, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must for every music lover. All music.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Davis on April 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
John Rockwell spent his whole life laughing at people who disobeyed him. His life is nearly over.
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