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Talking Heads' Fear of Music (33 1/3) Paperback – April 26, 2012
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About the Author
Jonathan Lethem is one of the most acclaimed American novelists of his generation. His books include Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude, and Chronic City. His essays about James Brown and Bob Dylan have appeared in Rolling Stone. He is Roy Edward Disney Professor in Creative Writing at Pomona College, US.
Top Customer Reviews
I'm sorry to pan this, but I consider it a public service. Upped a star because of how much I respect Lethem's fiction and other brilliant essays. I can't hang with this man intellectually, but I also can't hang with this book.
The only cohesion on offer in this zippy little book is a continual reference to the author's pre- teenage years when he first heard the album. He refers to this as, "the boy in the room," era of his development. It was nifty the first couple of times he used the term, and then it wore out its welcome as a structural point in his meta essay. And honestly, we don't know very much about this boy in the room. Did he also play with G.I. Joe? Why was this album his only friend, and possibly a substitute for something lacking? He might have explored that a little. He mentions having a college girlfriend, and sitting on a mattress on the floor in a student's apartment with this friend, listening to Al Green, and attempting to explain why Al Green is a luminary, not only in R and B circles, but in the wider American popular culture during the Vietnam years. I enjoyed reading about his college years, and I wanted to hear more, but that sort of content was meager.
The only thing I seem to be getting from this romp through experimentalism, and I'm not sure if I'll try again to pick it up to make sense of it (Oh, I get it, Stop Making Sense!Read more ›
If you want to know the specific microphones Eno used to record the album, or what sorts of things the band members were fighting about when the album was produced, this may not be the 33 1/3 you are looking for. I actually love that sort of thing too, but this book is about more than that. The book covers Talking Heads, but it also covers Jonathan Lethem...and there are shades of Lionel Essrog and Perkus Tooth thrown in for good measure. It's a privilege to watch this guy's mind at work, and it's also a pretty wild ride.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i wanted to love this more than i did, but still glad i read it.Published 7 days ago by Elizabeth P.
I have not read the book, however I noticed this factual error in Amazon's description:
"Jonathan Lethem treats Fear of Music; (the third album by the Talking Heads,... Read more
The best thing about the 33 1/3rd series is the variety of styles and approaches that the writer's take. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Trace Reddell
Bought one of these books for each of my family members and one for myself. Thus far all positive reviews.Published on January 14, 2014 by Charlie Yon
I was surprised to see so many negative reviews of this book. What's not to like? At one point Lethem remarks that his identification with Fear of Music as a teenager was so strong... Read morePublished on November 1, 2013 by Jasun Horsley
I think the reason I enjoyed this book as much as I did is that I share much in common with the author: we both were in our teens when the album came out, we both listened to it a... Read morePublished on October 22, 2013 by Steve K. Oliver II
I haven't read this book, but the description, presumably provided by the author himself, gets one critical fact wrong: It is not the first Talking Heads album produced by Brian... Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by Kristopher Spencer
i have to agree with most of the other reviewers here; this book is mostly nonsense. (which i wouldn't really mind if it was entertaining which sadly, it is not). Read morePublished on August 13, 2013 by monkeycatt