- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Art Issues Press; 1st edition (August 2, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0963726455
- ISBN-13: 978-0963726452
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy Paperback – August 2, 1997
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Dave Hickey's twenty-three "love songs," which make up Air Guitar, fly off the page to offer the reader a vista beyond the wasteland. In Hickey's "vast, invisible underground empire" of pleasure--record stores, honky-tonks, hot-rod shops, art galleries, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops and the like--joy abounds and truth speaks. -- The Nation, Margaret Juhae Lee
Finally obliged to theorize his impolite tastes, judgments and ideas, Hickey lays his prejudices a little barer than altogether becomes them. Even caught in that old trap, however, he's as good as it gets, starting with his prose. Although his diction is often highfalutin (he was doing a doctoral thesis about Foucault and Derrida way back in 1967), his rhythms aren't, and he's more than fluent in colloquial English--I mean, the guy can flat-out write. -- Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, Robert Christgau
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Hickey is also a great deal of fun to read. I consumed these essays like a box of chocolates.
I am a little bit skeptical of the theme; "Art and Democracy" is far too broad a topic, and the seemingly random pop culture grab-bag represented here lacks unity. Air Guitar has some fantastic content, but as a collection, it never justifies its own necessity. Still, it has its worth as a course on how to write fluid, optimistic criticism (certainly absent from today's polemical internet media); or, simply, as an expertly-rendered nostalgia trip.