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See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody Hardcover – June 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031604508X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316045087
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As a long time fan, I feel so grateful that Bob chose to share his life story in such a candid and open manner. See A Little Light stands tall with the greatest rock and roll memoirs of all time."
—Benjamin Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie

'Bob mould's incredible journey is an inspiring one. I hope to one day be able to write a book like this, to live like this, to rock like this, but in the meantime, I can read this. A poetic and devastating memoir from one of the greatest artists of all time. I love Bob Mould.'
—Margaret Cho

"Ultimately, it’s [Mould's] ongoing quest to transform himself from an isolated and work-obsessed individual into someone who’s actively involved with his community and lover on multiple levels that informs his life’s story—and which makes See a Little Light such a compelling and rewarding read."
ForeWord Reviews

"Bob Mould's revealing memoir written with Michael Azerrad, would make a great gift for the music-lover on your list. Mould, who played in groundbreaking bands such as Husker Du and Sugar, was that rare commodity in the alternative and college rock scene, an out gay man."
The Bay Area Reporter

"See a Little Light tells of Mould’s struggles with homosexuality, personal relationships and various addictions, but this is not just another titillating rock ’n’ roll memoir ... It’s a clear, plain account of one troubled musician’s life, with a lively and happy ending."
Chicago Sun-Times

" After all, if you take my word for it, See A Little Light is a treat, an absolutely-first-tier rock autobiography."
LA Weekly

"[A] brutally honest autobiography tour de force."
Village Voice

See A Little Light is not a memoir, it is an autobiography. Bob Mould’s story is an entertaining, funny, intensely-inspirational and perhaps the consummate tale of human spirit and willpower in the hands of a master. As well as a great narrative history for casual to fanatical fans of Bob’s myriad endeavors (Husker Du, Sugar, Bob Mould solo, etc), See A Little Light is also the story of one of our era’s great rugged individualists.”
-Andrew Earles, author of Husker Du

"More than just another punk rock memoir, See A Little Light”is an open-hearted testament to one self-made man’s undying, unflagging, undeniable voice, and an inspiring tale of spiritual and musical growth that deserves a spot on the shelf of any serious DIY or GLBT library. In the end, I read it mostly as a love letter of explanation to Mould’s alcoholic and angry father, and as an amazingly self-aware (and often deliciously good-humored) meditation on how son channeled dad’s shared rage into sobriety, music, catharsis, and redemption. Riveting stuff."
—Jim Walsh, author of The Replacements: All Over But The Shouting: An Oral History and The Replacements: Waxed Up Hair and Painted Shoes: The Photographic History

"The critic Lester Bangs used a phrase, “imperative groin thunder,” to describe the loud, raw music he loved most. Mr. Mould’s music brings that kind of thunder. Some of the time, and in surprising ways, so does his book."
— Dwight Garner, New York Times

"Any number of veterans of the punk and post-punk campaigns of the 1980s could pack a memoir with endless drives in the van, bad food and bad contracts, shoestring recording sessions, hellhole nightclubs, sleeping on floors and all the other genre touchstones. A select few could also explore the conflicts, rewards and drawbacks of wider popularity, and the challenges of sustaining a musical life into advanced adulthood. But there's only one who could do all that and also describe dealing with his unresolved homosexuality and, why not, going to work plotting the story lines in professional wrestling. Those last two elements definitely distinguish Bob Mould's autobiography from the predictable pack, and should keep readers from feeling they're on an endless van ride themselves."
— Richard Cromelin, LA Times

"Mould captures something of his terrific will, which is a great gift."
NPR

“A blunt, bracing and astonishingly confessional look back at a man who’s produced some of the best rock music of the last 20 years."
—Patrick Beach, Austin American Statesman

“Mould never fails to captivate and inspire.”
Publishers Weekly

“As satisfying as [Mould’s] best work...compulsively readable."
—Ben Westhoff, Washington City Paper

"Brisk and enjoyable...urgently personal."
—NPR's "Books We Like"

“Offers an emotional depth and level of insight absent from most musical biographies.”
—Biblioklept

"His story is one of persevering and becoming one of the forces that changed American music."
—Amos Lassen
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"A beautiful, painful, frank memoir." —The Wall Street Journal

From the start, Bob Mould wanted to make Hüsker Dü the greatest band in the world—fast and loud, but with melody and emotional depth. In See a Little Light, Mould finally tells the story of how the anger and passion of the early hardcore scene blended with his own formidable musicianship and irrepressible drive to produce some of the most important and influential music of the late twentieth century.

For the first time, Mould tells his dramatic story, opening up to describe life inside that furnace and beyond. Revealing the struggles with his own homosexuality, the complexities of his intimate relationships, and his own drug and alcohol addiction, Mould takes us on a whirlwind ride through achieving sobriety, his acclaimed solo career, creating the hit band Sugar, a surprising detour into the world of pro wrestling, and most of all, finally finding his place in the world.

A classic story of individualism and persistence, Mould's autobiography is an open account of the rich history of one of the most revered figures of punk, whose driving force altered the shape of American music.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Great book well written and very heart on your sleeve stuff.
Bas
While reading the book I listened to all the albums and truly enjoyed my weekend with Bob.
Rick D. Evans
Unfortunately, his ego gets in the way of his story a bit too often for my taste.
The Kid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By USA Student on August 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Yes, I'm a Husker Du fan, and yes, Bob comes off like a jerk. Some people are not meant to write their autobiographies I guess because if there's brilliance and wisdom in Bob Mould, he didn't get it on paper. He has no perspective on himself, no insight, and his platitudes of warmth are contradicted by his actions. He proudly recounts how he runs into his ex-boyfriend in a coffee shop and actually turns his back on him--then says, half a page later, "I don't have any animosity toward Kevin. I wish him the best and hope that he is able to find his own inner peace." Sure, fine, whatever, you robot. Maybe your actions won't count if you follow them with greeting card sentiments.

Is it just me, or didn't we once think Bob Mould was smart? It's not in this book. His tone is flat and didactic and he piles on detail like he's transcribing from his day planner (and this is with a co-writer). To be fair, the early music stuff is fascinating--how he was writing songs, trying to get a certain sound, the feeling in the early days of underground music, how bands were creating a network, sleeping on people's floors--but when he gets to the more ordinary parts of his life, he treats them as though they're similarly exotic. Aren't his readers, you know, hipsters? Does anyone need gay culture explained to them anymore? A quote: "There's a very specific time-honored dynamic with some gay men, not necessarily the daddy/son dynamic but more of a bear/cub dynamic." Thanks for clearing that up for us, Bob.

I had this dream while reading this book: I was in my college radio station, looking at old Husker Du albums, and suddenly it occured to me: This is so middle-aged. This is the most middle-aged thing I've ever done.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Chip Millard on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After creating many excellent songs and albums while a member of Husker Du, Sugar, and as a solo artist, Bob Mould comes through with another winner in his 2011 autobiography, "See a Little Light: The Trail or Rage and Melody", co-written with Michael Azerrad (author of the widely praised "Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991"). Bob recounts his own history, both personal and professional, in a mostly chronological, easy-to-read manner. On the personal (non-music) side, Bob explains his struggles with growing up as a gay person in a dysfunctional family in a small, rural town, his three primary, long-term romantic relationships, his quitting cold turkey both drinking and cigarettes about a decade apart, his body image issues, his 7 month foray as a creative consultant with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1999-2000, and his coming of age and full self-acceptance as gay man that gradually increased in the late 1990s and fully bloomed in the mid-2000s.Read more ›
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SciFi Mama on June 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came to Mould's work later in his professional life; in fact, until 18 months ago I hadn't heard anything he had ever done. A "you might also like" serial click session on a downloadable music service site (that started with a purchase from The Smiths,) eventually landed me at Bob Mould's Workbook. It had been over 20 years since I had fallen this hard for a music collection. Just like a teenager, I listened to four of his albums everyday for months and then ventured out late last year (on a work night no less!) to see him perform live. His show at Iron Horse in Northampton, MA was energetic, generous, and mature. In between some songs, his interaction with the audience got me interested in his life. I wondered how a man who started his musical career in Husker Du got to the point of telling a small New England crowd a charming little story about a neighborhood co-op grappling with how to politely and inclusively handle nudists at a farmer's market.

As one reviewer already points out, Mould does a good job balancing discussing the evolution of his musical career with sharing personal recollections. As I'm not a Husker Du acolyte (in fact, my 80s underground rock-loving husband had to inform me that Bob Mould was not my own personal discovery,)the discussion of those paricular songs and albums does not have intimate meaning for me. And while some fans may feel deflated when they read The Real Reason Why Husker Du Will Never Get Back Together, it fits perfectly into the narrative and is consistent with the kind of person Mould presents himself to be. No matter what phase of his musical career or personal life he shares about, emotions come through well.
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