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Adult/High School—Everett, also known as E, front man for the alt-rock EELS, has written a compelling memoir in which it is easy to see the songwriter in the author. The songs often feature catchy melodies and lyrics that are variously dark, witty, or just quirky, while the book is a quick read, both funny and tragic, with a distinctive voice: honest, self-deprecating, wistful. The author tells a few stories from his youth—his first drum set, a humiliating teacher, his obsession with Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, a plane crash, his sullen teenage years. At 18, he discovered the dead body of his father, the quantum physicist Hugh Everett. Not long after, he headed for Los Angeles, where he worked a succession of nothing jobs while writing and recording songs on a four-track tape recorder. As he was gaining fame as an alternative rocker, tragedies continued to haunt him. His sister and mother died within months of one another, and friends and fellow musicians followed. Despite the title (also an EELS song), Everett has no children, much less grandchildren, but he says, "it only takes a second for your life to change in huge ways." Fans will certainly want to read this, but so will anyone interested in the music business or just in how one interesting guy lives life from day to day, trying to understand who he is and how he got there.—Sarah Flowers, Santa Clara County Library, CA
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The songwriter and lead singer of indie rock band the Eels relates his dysfunctional family’s tragedies—father’s death from heart failure at 51, sister Liz’s suicide, and mother’s demise from lung cancer—as well as his own trials with suicidal tendencies, dissolute teen years, and times when he didn’t know what to do with himself. His outlook is often bleak but not without hope since “some of the most horrible moments of my life have led to some of the best.” Growing up, he realized his real passion was for music but hadn’t a clue how that would work out in the real world. One day, on a whim, he left his Virginia home and headed to Los Angeles, where he knew no one and nothing about the music industry. A big chunk of the book covers his various musical experiences and the people he met through them. Quite funny about his often absurd life as an independent musician, Everett gives readers a fly-on-the-wall’s view of the music business that anyone interested in it will enjoy. --June SawyersSee all Editorial Reviews
Amazing read for anyone even remotely interested in Eels or E's father Hugh Everett.Published 9 months ago by M. Anderson
Wow, what a great book. I read this bad boy in 2 days and boy was it a good time! This is one of those books that you struggle to put down, and when you finally do, you keep... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jake
Love this book. Bought it as a gift for my girlfriend which it may not be a wise thing to do.Published 14 months ago by Ricardo Ruiz Mesa
I just finished this book as I was going to see The Eels in concert and my dad and brother recommended this book. I'm so glad they did. The book - his life - is really interesting. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Katherine
I am a huge Eels fan, and Things the Grandchildren Should Know is my favorite song, so it was just natural that I'd read this. I was not disappointed. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Martina Ziegenfuss
This is a wonderful book. Hard but at the same time funny and honest. You won't want it to finishPublished 21 months ago by Gemma