Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This Book Will Change Your Life - B-Sides and Broken Hearts by Caryn Rose.

Work. Travel. Read. Repeat. And reading B-Sides and Broken Hearts by Caryn Rose got us thinking about what we project onto books as readers. There's just so much to love about this book, not the least of which is that the story itself is ultimately both a love story and a story about love. The love of the lower East side during the late seventies and eighties. The love of Seattle at the time grunge become something bigger than a bunch of scruffy dudes wailing in small bars. The love of anything New Jersey and Los Angeles, yes people love New Jersey and Los Angeles, they do, for real. And ultimately the love of music, more than love really fandom, intensive freakish loving fandom embodied here in all the real bands who played these scenes from the Ramones to Soundgarden, and one purely fabricated one for the sake of this story, Blue Electric. And it's funny about projection, because we do not love music like the protagonist of this story, nor can we necessarily relate to years lost to lost relationships, or even being quite so fully absorbed in something such as the birth of a band, and yet we found ourselves completely absorbed in the birth of Blue Electric, their fight for attention, their intensity to make it and be something, their fears and awe of what might if this or that were to break in such and such a way. In some ways in fact what we loved most about the book might be another book all together or even an alternate one, as we see all this through the protagonist's eyes and needs and not that of the band itself. It's her story, not theirs, but their story slayed us and her love for all it meant to them and her. We want that too, some of it, any of it, something of it, and rarely have we read something that so well captures that kind of want.   

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