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Things the Grandchildren Should Know Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 14, 2008
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
I can honestly say I've never heard of Mark Oliver Everett (sorry, Mark) or the music group he founded, the EELS. But when I received this book in the mail and read the praise on the back and the first page that proclaims, "The following is a true story. Some names and hair colors have been changed.", I was all in.
Before going further, I did make myself a promise that I wouldn't use the power of the Internet to find out ANYTHING about Everett...I would only learn about him through his own words. (Although once his career started to take off and he started to meet more and more famous people - I was sorely tempted.)
And so I learned about this very thoughtful and very funny man through the lens with which he sees his life and world.
I say funny even though much that I found funny was in a sort of startled, shocked way...words that caught me off guard, forcing me to go back and confirm that I'd read what I thought I had. The first part of many of his anecdotes lull you into thinking all is well...and then his last few words practically grab on to your eyeballs.
"It's weird hanging out and sleeping in the same room with two people you've never spoken to and aren't allowed to speak to, but I was trained pretty well for this by being in the same room with my father all those years."
And: "At the end of the summer, which I had already started referring to as The Summer of Love, I drove my gold '71 Chevy Nova away from home for the first time.Read more ›
E (Mark) writes about death, music and how he has been able to find satisfaction in life. He has a dry but very funny sense of humor about his life and the world at large.
I gave it to my wife to read and she was hooked in a few pages.
Do yourself a favor and pick this book up.
When I found out that Mark Everett had written a book, I was intrigued to say the least. With such scattered & quirky musical ambitions, I was sure that he would have some interesting things to say. I underestimated how interesting!! I'm sure there had to be a certain amount of disconnect inherent in the writing of this book, as it would be more than difficult to explore the events throughout his life without it. That said, I definitely appreciate the witty sense of humour and sarcasm throughout the book, a sort of tongue-in-cheek walk through a man's life as he explores all of the ups & downs & absurdities that life has to offer.
I walked into this book an Eels fan. I walked out with a deep appreciation of the author and all that he has had to endure to bring us something real, both in his personal life and as a musician.
If you're into Eels at all, you'll be glad you picked up the book.
A somewhat rambly memoir, it represents a chronological description of Mark Everett's very interesting life. From his childhood, and his relationship with his family (including his detached father, genius physicist Hugh Everett) through to his touring life and inspiration for his band, the Eels, this book represents a fascinating insight into E's experiences. His self-reflection is thought-provoking and allows us just a small peek into what it's like inside his world.
As a long-time Eels fan I found this book particularly engaging due to Everett's discussion of inspiration for song-writing and arrangement. As I read through the chapters, I could remember hearing songs for the first time, or seeing new arrangements at the shows. This gave the book an added dimension which I honestly hadn't expected.
This is a very honest, well-written book that I think will appeal to music fans and others alike.
Everett's family was the typical nuclear family of the times, but with an undercurrent of tragedy -- his withdrawn father died early, his mother didn't truly involve herself in raising her kids, and his sister got a head start on her downward spiral.
Everett himself got into trouble, acquired a rotten reputation and dated some incredibly weird girls ("my sister Liz came back from an AA meeting one day and told me that my first girlfriend was now a suicidal, alcoholic lesbian"), even as making music in his closet became the private passion of his life. When he could think of no other way of getting somewhere else, he chose to turn his music into a career.
Unsurprisingly, he struggled during the days of hair-metal. But as more raw, real music became big, Everett's unique brand of rock began to force its way into alt-stardom. But this couldn't bring him love -- and it couldn't save his sister from her copious inner demons, or his mother from lung cancer.
Reading "Things the Grandchildren Should Know" is not much like reading a straight biography.It's more like having a long, rambling, multifaceted conversation with Everett in a coffee shop, where he attempts to tell you his life story, but sometimes he keeps getting sidetracked by his tales of crazy girlfriends and meditations on life in general.
And he comes across well here -- a guy who has known plenty of tragedy, but still has his wry sense of humour intact.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love EELS, so felt obligated to read this book. Mark Everett writes about his life in a way that is relatable and gives a new perspective of the bad things that happen in life.Published 1 month ago by Vanessie
You'll find more meaning in the music after reading this. If you're considering getting really into Eels, you need it.Published 3 months ago by Nathan
I struggle to write a short summary of this book simply because its incredible. This man lost his entire immediate family, and though dealing with all the consequences of a life... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
A well-written, thoughtful memoir. Although it's very sad, I enjoyed learning of the background behind the author's music. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Carolinee06
Amazing read for anyone even remotely interested in Eels or E's father Hugh Everett.Published 20 months ago by M. Anderson