Fathers and Sons: Blackguard, Book One by Edward R. Morris; 2011; 240 pages; Wildside Book; LaVergne, TN; Checked out from Multnomah County Library; 9/14-9/16
Why did I pick this up? Because the author Edward R. Morris is going to be at Wordstock. I am trying to read as many of them as I can before the event.
What is the story? I have no flamin’ idea what the story is. There are elements of sci fi, romance, father-son bonding, crime story and a couple of other things. However none of them are done well. The story is set in Portland, Oregon in the 2050 decade but there is too much nostalgia paid to the late 20th century. At one point, as an exclamation, someone yells out the full names of the original Supremes, I can’t even do that.
Did I like it? No, there were passages that were ok. I finished it for two reasons, the author will be at Wordstock and it is set in Portland.
What is with the title of the review? You know when you drive by a wreck you don’t really want to look but there is a something that causes us to slow down and look, this was like that.
Recovery Road by Blake Nelson; 2011; $17.99; 310 pages; Scholastic Press, New York, NY; 978-0-545-10729-7; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Sellwood; 9/12-9/14
Why did I pick this up? The author Blake Nelson is going to be at Wordstock and I am trying to read things that are written by authors who are going to be there. I am choosing by reading the summations that the sites have about them.
What is the story? Maddie and Stewart meet while they are both in rehab, they make plans to reunite on the outside. Things don’t always go the way you plan or the way you want. The story is told from Maddie’s point of view and is told in short chapters.
Did I like it? Not right away but it drew me in and I ultimately liked it. It is not something that I would have read generally but it is very good.
What is with the title of the review? What Maddie and Stewart want when they meet in rehab is to move in together and live happily ever after. That doesn’t happen, but things work out for Maddie, eventually. Like the Glimmer Twins once said, “You can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometimes well you might find,You get what you need.”
Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life by Steve Almond; 2010; $23.00; 222 pages; Random House, New York, NY; 978-1-4000-6620-9; Checked out from West Linn Public Library by Amanda Banker; 9/13-9/15
A series of essays that concern rock music and mostly about the way it makes us feel. Almond decries rock critics and their high handedness and superior feeling, however he transmits some of that also. He like most people who write about music demean what most people like and goes for the obscure, although he does admit to a fondness for Styx and AC/DC. I think the most telling passage in the book is the following.
“There is no sin in the realm of taste. This will come as a shock to a critical establishment that prides itself on haughty judgment. But you can’t tell someone his or her ears are wrong. You can’t rescind the pleasure they derive from a particular piece of music.”
I am looking forward to hearing Steve Almond read and speak at Wordstock next month. Grade-B