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A Simple Kind Mirror: The Lyrical Vision of Rush Paperback – January 7, 2002


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Frequently Bought Together

A Simple Kind Mirror: The Lyrical Vision of Rush + Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown (Profiles in Popular Music) + Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse Star (January 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595213626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595213627
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,552,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Len Roberto has read everything available on Rush in print and online. This book is a personal and open attempt to record honestly what this music has meant to him and to share it with other fans.Len resides in Connecticut and is married to a wonderful companion. No doubt his daughter will be exposed to Rush?s music from an early age!

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Customer Reviews

I am a die-hard Rush fan and I still could hardly get through it.
J. D. Brooks
At eighty pages total, "A Simple Kind Mirror" allots less than a page (and sometimes only a few sentences) to each song discussed.
Mark C. Daniels
I can't believe I bought the back cover hype, and purchased this book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mark C. Daniels on March 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This "book" began it's life as an e-Book, available as a download for a small fee. It reads like something you'd find on a Rush fan's personal website... especially the passages in which the author tells us "when I'm in (x) mood, I like to listen to (x) song." Furthermore, his observations about the meaning of Rush's songs are always obvious in nature.
Roberto's "book" of song interpretations includes EVERY song that Rush released from "PERMANENT WAVES" (1980) to "TEST FOR ECHO" (1996). In this respect - the sheer quantity of songs discussed - it surpasses Carol Selby Price's book on Rush lyrical analysis "Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush." Price only analyzes a handful of songs in her book, and none of them are post-1990 ("PRESTO").
In every other consideration, this book is dramatically inferior to Price's book. At eighty pages total, "A Simple Kind Mirror" allots less than a page (and sometimes only a few sentences) to each song discussed. Len Roberto doesn't dig very deeply into the songs, and only scratches the surface when it comes to the depth of meaning in Neil Peart's lyrics. There's really nothing here that Rush fans haven't grokked themselves from listening to the songs. Price, with her background in Philosophy, offers us much more.
Regarding the writing STYLE, I'm pleased to report that "Simple Kind Mirror" isn't riddled with spelling, grammatic, and syntax errors like so many Rush-related books. Roberto seems to possess an above-average vocabulary, and each sentence is well constructed. HOWEVER... throughout the book's 80 pages, one finds many sentences which seem like non-sequitirs given the sentences that precede them.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By esroberto on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
For anyone who can barely speak English, this is a great book -- it's so oversimplified and generalized and structured for the average 8 yr old that it's the most unreadable waste of paper that trees have ever given life for. It's just awful. It's actually too terrible to be funny. Avoid it like the plague.
Here's some of the author's brilliance paraphrased: "So like, the song's like Spirit of Radio, you know, like the Radio has a spirit, like it's alive, but everybody knows a radio can't have a spirit, right? Or maybe it can if you think about it!"
Plainly stated, if you're of the mindset and level of intellect that Rush's work appeals to you, then you're way overqualified to bother with this tragic waste of ink. Get Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush if you're that into the lyrics; if you're that into the band, Robert Telleria's Rush: Merely Players is about THE best thing I've ever read. If you want further insight into the mind behind the lyrics, read either Masked Rider or Ghost Rider by Neil himself -- THOSE are both literary masterpieces.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nate Prudhon on June 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
While the writing style of this book is very simple, it also seems the author knew it was sparse on content by the way he used so many filler words. If there were more complex ideas he could have been more straightforward with the writing, but as it is he's lucky he got so many pages out of the few ideas he discusses. I literally could have written a better book with deeper discussion without further research, which the author claims to have done. (How is it possible to read everything about Rush online? Does that now include this review?)
If you're writing a book about lyrics, don't even mention the instrumentals (more filler). About "Where's My Thing?" Roberto claims: "Continuing the Rush tradition of incuding an instrumental track on every album" (46). Aside from the English problems of that phrase, I could only find instrumentals on 5 of thier 16 (at the time) studio albums. If I was writing a book about the lyrics of a band that's something I probably woudn't get wrong. There are also other errors and weak filler observations. I hope an editor got fired.
I consider myself a hard-core fan. Maybe check this out if you're a very casual fan or just getting into Rush lyrics and you're young. Otherwise, try Mystic Rhythms if you want to read about their lyrics on a more meaningful level.
A couple things I liked about the book: (1) it's short, so less painful, and (2) I'm finished with it, so less painful.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't believe I bought the back cover hype, and purchased this book. Mr. Roberto should have begun most sentences with, "Uh...". Lacking confidence, he speculates on the shallow, obvious sides of Neal's brilliant lyrics. I can only surmise that a Writers Club Press saw dollar signs, conspired with a bogus editer, and convinced Mr. Roberto that his internet thoughts would make a good book. But, c'mon Len, this book is in your name, and your reputation. How could you have not fleshed out this manuscript to make it readable? Skip this book, and read Mystic Rythums.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have not read any other Rush related books, so my rating of this book is not a relative one. The author (and I'm being kind when I call him that) misses a lot of the meaning of the songs and, in my opinion sees things that I do not think Peart intended. I do not mind the latter since the reason we read books, poetry, or lyrics is to gain our own interpretation. My problem here is total lack of credibility. In the "About the Author" passage at the back of the book, there are two sentences which state about four facts: 1. He lives in Connecticut, 2. He works for a business media company, 3. He is a progressive music fan, and 4. He has been a Rush fan since the late 80's. Who cares where he lives, and his job could be a paper boy based on the vague description. So the only thing we are left with is the author is a progressive music and Rush fan. Since when does that make him an authority? But that's not all- It says he has been a fan since the late 80's. In the introduction the author tells about his life changing experience after hearing Tom Sawyer on the radio for the first time, presumably in 1981. To quote the author, "Listening to that song on the way to work was the start of my appreciation for and devotion to Rush and their music." So how devoted did he become to Rush in 1981? He attended his first Rush concert during the Presto Tour in 1989 or 1990. Now there is nothing wrong with all that, except that in my book that makes you a casual fan...definitely not an authority figure.
Putting aside credibility, I find the writing to be simplistic. This is great if English is not your first language and you want to gain literal interpretation of the songs. This book reads like a high school or junior college book report.
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