Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading (Paperback)
  • Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading (Paperback)
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Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading (Paperback)

(author)
£25.99
Paperback 416 Pages
Published: 03/05/2019
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In this generous collection of book reviews and literary essays, legendary Village Voice rock critic Robert Christgau showcases the passion that made him a critic-his love for the written word. Many selections address music, from blackface minstrelsy to punk and hip-hop, artists from Lead Belly to Patti Smith, and fellow critics from Ellen Willis and Lester Bangs to Nelson George and Jessica Hopper. But Book Reports also teases out the popular in the Bible and 1984 as well as pornography and science fiction, and analyzes at length the cultural theory of Raymond Williams, the detective novels of Walter Mosley, the history of bohemia, and the 2008 financial crisis. It establishes Christgau as not just the Dean of American Rock Critics, but one of America's most insightful cultural critics as well.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9781478000303
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"[A] substantial collection of nearly 100 eclectic, thought-provoking, and idea-laden book reviews. . . . [Christgau's] range of topics is impressive, and his references are prolific. These sprightly, highly opinionated 'adventures of an autodidact' reveal Christgau to be a highly literate, astute, and discerning book critic." * Kirkus Reviews *
"Christgau mostly writes on books by or about notable musicians, though he hits other cultural touchstones too, such as George Orwell's 1984. It's in these nonmusic pieces that Christgau is most successful, shifting focus from his encyclopedic music-industry knowledge to the nuances of language. His essay on books about the 2008 financial crisis is a highlight." * Publishers Weekly *
"There are few critics working today with the life-long commitment, focus, and curiosity of Robert Christgau. Book Reports doesn't scan the over half-century of the man's work, and that's what makes it all the more impressive. He's still searching, still pulling volumes from the shelves, looking at new or old ideas, cracking open the spines of preconceived notions all in the service of taking just one more look before walking away with the promise of yet another return." -- Christopher John Stephens * Popmatters *
"For Christgau fans and anyone seeking thought-provoking musings on books and music." -- Melissa Engleman * Library Journal *
"One reads Christgau for Christgau as much as for the subject of his work." -- Jeff Tamarkin * Mojo *
"Though Christgau partisans have the most to gain from this collection, it's also good for anyone looking for an accessible way into his extensive oeuvre." -- Chad Comello * Booklist *
"Christgau is . . . one of America's sharper public intellectuals of the past half century, and certainly one of its most influential-not to mention one of the better stylists in that cohort. Fun is a big part of why." -- David Cantwell * The New Yorker *
"Though not everyone will agree with Christgau's views (this reader certainly did not), all readers will likely appreciate his style and approach and the depth of his knowledge about a broad range of popular music. Those curious about popular music may find Christgau's style aggressive at times, but that is exactly the point; Christgau pushes the reader to think. Seasoned readers will discover that Christgau questions authors in a way that encourages one to evaluate a book at a deeper level. In short, this is a great read for fans, critics, and scholars alike." -- T. R. Harrison * Choice *

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