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Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s [Kindle Edition]

Marc Spitz
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Marc Spitz assumed that if he lived like his literary and rock ’n’ roll heroes, he would become a great artist, too. He conveniently overlooked the fact that many of them died young, broke, and miserable. In his candid, wistful, touching, and hilarious memoir, Poseur, the music journalist, playwright, author, and blogger recounts his misspent years as a suburban kid searching for authenticity, dangerous fun, and druggy, downtown glory: first during New York’s last era of risk and edge, the pre-gentrification ’90s, and finally as a flamboyant and notorious rock writer, partying and posing during the music industry’s heady, decadent last gasp.

Part profane, confidential tell-all and part sweetly frank coming-of-age tale, this dirty, witty memoir finds Spitz careening through the scene, meeting and sometimes clashing with cultural icons like Courtney Love, Jeff Buckley, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Chloë Sevigny, Kim Deal, The Dandy Warhols, Guns N’ Roses, Ryan Adams, Paul Rudd, Coldplay, Pavement, Peter Dinklage, Julie Bowen, The Strokes, Trent Reznor, Chuck Klosterman, Interpol, and Franz Ferdinand, as well as meeting heroes like Allen Ginsberg, Shirley Clarke, Joe Strummer, and Morrissey. Along the way he finds literary guru Gordon Lish is a long-lost relative, and erstwhile pal and sensation JT LeRoy is an even bigger poseur.

Spitz refuses to give up the romantic ghost until a post–9/11 breakdown and an improbable new love (fellow music writer Lizzy Goodman) finally help him strike the hardest pose of all: his true self.

Editorial Reviews


Buffalo News, 2/10/13
Poseur is a marvelous spin through 90s New York…It is a truly moving study of a disappeared New York…[Spitz] is a needle-sharp, self-deprecating writer with pop culture coursing through his veins…This is criticism and memory merged, and it’s funny, beautiful and wise…It is the music memoir as art.”, 2/22/13
“Think of Spitz’s Poseur as the Life of rock memoirs, with less Stones and more typewriters. Spitz is a rare find: the self-aware bad boy, the articulate addict, the earnest punk, the wastoid with an excellent memory…This is an entertaining read for music lovers and ’90s fetishists and fans of addiction narratives, sure, but it’s also meant for those who enjoy learning everything about a person without expecting anything more. It’s a portrait, masterly and self-contained, and you have to be satisfied with the portrait alone.”, 3/5/13
“[A] fascinating piece of history…It’s reflective, funny, thought-provoking and at times sophomoric in its use of dick humor, and it works.”, 3/6/13
“A fun read…[with] amusing behind-the-scenes anecdotes.”

Village Voice, 3/12
“Part Gen-X love letter, part snapshot of the final glory days and collapse of the record industry and old media…in a tone that falls somewhere between Philip Roth and Lena Dunham.”

You’re Beautiful New York
“It's a riveting, bleak tale, exactly like the late nineties.” 

Time Out New York, 5/13/13
“Spitz captures the Lower East Side in its last days of authentic grittiness in this memoir.”

About the Author

Marc Spitz has written and produced numerous novels, plays, and biographies, including We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of LA Punk (with Brendan Mullen), How Soon Is Never: A Novel, Bowie: A Biography, and Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue. His writing on rock ’n’ roll and popular culture has appeared in Spin, Rolling Stone, Maxim, Uncut, Nylon, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. He blogs at Spitz lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 728 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0306821745
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (February 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B77AF00
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,509 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Names February 18, 2014
By Alannah
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this based on the author's engaging interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast. I was intrigued by the subject matter, having been one of those young people obsessed with NYC in the 80s. I also lived briefly in Bennington VT at the same time as the author so I was looking forward to reading things I might relate to or recognize. Wrong. There is only the flimsiest of narratives...lots and lots of name-dropping but without being interesting. I mean, Andy Warhol's diaries are just one long name-drop but at least he had funny asides and snarky comments. This is not an engaging or interesting read, but a slog through the "underbelly" of NYC. I hate to say it...but I was bored.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another dopehead ramblings June 15, 2013
By Drizzo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I miss this NYC but its been gone a long time. He's a good writer, this def leans more on junkie personal memoir than 90's NYC remembrances.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cool read April 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
a very good writer, at one point a struggling artist. However, personally, he seems to be another middle class kid living off his parent's money for much of the book. Sure, he was hungry a lot in "the struggle," but it is one thing to live frugally from the money given to you than to actually have no support whatever. And to do heroine simply because you are a sucker for idoltry...I can relate to a young man's desire to walk in the footsteps of his heroes, but there is something about this I don't buy. I have too much of a NYC-based, 3-D-like education.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars self-indulgent, repetitive April 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I understand that a memoir is self-indulgent by nature, but by the 5th or 6th relapse into heroin use I was pretty bored. Even though Spitz constantly tries to impress upon the reader that he's aware of his foibles, the self-absorbed brattiness was just a little too precious, and ultimately too much for me to handle after about 2/3s of the book.

I picked this up after listening to an interview (on the Marc Maron podcast) with the author, whose personality I found to be much more engaging and bearable when live.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Real Diamonds to be Found November 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book more than I did and I can't be sure whether I'm rating the person or the book 3 stars. It started fairly strong but I felt like I was learning from the author's mistakes faster than he was and as a result felt increasingly dissatisfied as the book went on. It was also a bit long and probably would have been more potent had he left out some of the slower parts. I suppose with the memoir form he can only tell us what happened and not what I (or he) might wish had happened, so my argument might be moot - still for all the navel gazing that occurs in this book, I feel like the author could be slightly more critical of his own thinking and come away with a work that might have been more satisfying. All that said there's a lot of good stuff in here, you just have to swim through a lot of less remarkable material to get to it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Marc Spitz is a waste of time. December 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If I could only give no stars. I am an avid reader. I read constantly. I love real stories. I like struggling writers, comedians, actors and anyone who really pays their dues and makes it. I love stories about New York. This book has all that. However, the amount of whining and self serving," poor poor pitiful me" in this story of a young precocious writer who received a very expensive free education from his grandparents at Bennington College then proceeded to get purposely f'd up on heroin, alcohol and whatever else is available repeatedly to have something to write about is more than tiresome it's pathetic. It is amazing to me that anyone could love this book much less give this whiner a job writing! He brags about stealing from friends for drugs, running out on a bill at The Chelsea, and all kinds of other deviant and offensive behavior. I don't understand the loyally of his friends. This book is tiresome, repetitive, full of unwarranted braggadocio and makes you want to take a long shower. Don't bother.
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More About the Author

Marc Spitz is the author of the novels, How Soon Is Never and Too Much, Too Late and the biographies We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of LA Punk (with Brendan Mullen), Nobody Likes You: Inside the Turbulent Life, Times and Music of Green Day, Bowie: A Biography and Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue, as well as Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown Manhattan in the 90s and Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion and Film . His writing has appeared in Spin, The New York Times, Uncut Magazine in the U.K, New York, Maxim, Nylon, and Vanity Fair.

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