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To Air is Human: One Man's Quest to Become the World's Greatest Air Guitarist Paperback – August 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Actual musician and New York Times writer Crane created his alter ego, Björn Türoque, as part of a heated but unsuccessful attempt to win the 2003 Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland, a yearly competition—usually attended by thousands of fans—to see who can best mime the movements of guitar solos in songs by actual rock gods such as Led Zeppelin and Guns N' Roses. With hilarious detail, Türoque/Crane recounts what became a three-year, nearly full-time immersion into the cutthroat, usually drunken, but always serious world of air guitar competitors, who choreograph detailed 60-second routines of air-jumping, air-fretting, air–power-chording and air-soloing in order to be "transposed from insignificance into supernatural supershredding superheroes." Crane often veers into stoned philosophizing—he sees air guitar as "creating a reality in which the audience can place themselves"—but overall he easily and accurately captures the telling elements of what is uniquely a visual event: one participant is described as looking "as if he's repeatedly trying to pull-start a lawnmower with a great deal of frustration," while another—sporting "a Hello Kitty breastplate fastened to his chest with binder clips" has hands that move "like twin Tasmanian devils." (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Dan "Björn Türoque" Crane has been playing competitive air guitar for over two years. He has also written for Slate, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
Top customer reviews
Turoque explores the "beautiful" dynamic of air guitar in Finland, home to the Air Guitar World Championships, in which he has competed twice. The scenes in Finland focus on the unity of the human spirit--from the inspiring words of two-time former world champ Zac "The Magnet" Monro to the air guitar competitions for the "differently abled." Turoque's quest in life and with this book is to introduce America, which should be the leader of air guitar rock-stardom, to this concept. Turoque, a true Nietzche buff, analyzes air guitar with philosophy, pop-culture references, laugh-out-loud humor, and writing skills that have gotten his works published in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
This book might not inspire you to air guitar competitively, but you will laugh. And you will embrace the rock star that resides within. Two thumbs up--or better yet, double devil-horns way up with a C-Diddy-sized tongue sticking way out.
In "To Air Is Human: One Man's Quest To Become The World's Greatest Air Guitarist" (304 pages), author Dan Crane brings the improbable tale of how he decided on a whim to enter the 2003 NY regionals and subsequently the world championships, and what happened next. The book is "co-authored" by Crane's alter-ego, the air guitarist Bjorn Turoque (get it?). With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Crane tells of his encounters with (semi)celebraties like Carson Daly and others along his way to try and become the world champ. Most of the tales are quite funny, which is what kept me turning the pages. Some of his observations are so off-kilter (such as "Air guitar, I had learned, is about commitment. It's not unlike love, really") that I just couldn't stop smiling as I was reading. Many of the better moments in the book are about the many side-characters that pop up.
In the end, this book was much better than I expected it. Of course, I had low expectations to begin with. But this book is funny and irreverent from begin to end. If you are in the mood for that, this book is for you.
Most recent customer reviews
referring to the rise of public air guitar competitions, not unselfconscious, instinctive...Read more