» » 31 Songs

Download 31 Songs epub

by Nick Hornby

Download 31 Songs epub
ISBN: 0670914266
ISBN13: 978-0670914265
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Nick Hornby
Language: English
Publisher: Viking (2003)
Pages: 196 pages
ePUB size: 1472 kb
FB2 size: 1143 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 437
Other Formats: azw lrf doc lrf

I thought this book was outstanding. It was very interesting to hear about Mr. Hornby's relationship to music and certain songs in particular. It was fascinating to get inside the head of someone who wanted to be a musician, but decided to become a writer because it was the closest he could get to writing songs. These aren't necessarily Mr. Hornby's favorite songs; they are songs with which he has a special relationship; not necessarily because of certain memories that the songs summon up, but because the song themselves, the music and the lyrics together, give him something to think about.

If you enjoy reading about the impact music has had on the lives and thoughts of other people, I would suggest reading this book. It is well-written, and personally, I always find Mr. Hornby can make me laugh, even while he's discussing a serious topic. Definitely worth the price of admission!
I bought this book, sight unseen, simply because of the description, which was: Nick Hornby, one of my favorite writers, had written a book about a bunch of his favorite songs. That's all I needed to know, that sounded great to me, I was sold.
I've been a Hornby fan since Fever Pitch. When High Fidelity (the book) came out, I was amazed: it felt like Hornby had been eavesdropping on my mind, because I tend to agree with a lot of his opinions about music and music lovers. Similarly, I'm a big fan of the reviews he wrote for The New Yorker a few years ago.
So I ordered the book and it showed up in my box and I immediately turned to the table of contents to see: which songs did he write about??? And I was surprised, and a bit disappointed, to see that I only recognized about a dozen of the titles. And there wasn't one song in the bunch that I considered a personal favorite. And when I listened to the songs I didn't know (included on a handy-dandy CD)... they didn't blow me away. But that's the beauty of a mix tape and, despite the fact that it's printed on paper, this is a mix tape.
And this one comes with great liner notes. Hornby's a smart, entertaining, intuitive writer. I may sound like a disappointed fan trying to make the best of a book that didn't satisfy me 100%, but even when Hornby's writing about music I haven't heard, it's still enjoyable, it's still worthwhile, it's still exposing me to things I previously didn't know about.
Even when he's confessing to not being a huge Dylan fan and confesses to preferring a Rod Stewart cover of one of my favorite Dylan songs to the original (which is, of course, the true road to enternal damnation), he does so in a way that's completely relatable even to a Dylan fanatic.
Even when he's extolling the virtues of a song I find to be "sad bastard" music (like he does in his essay about Mark Mulcahy's "Hey Self Defeater") he manages to include a great, conversational subtext about the virtues of small, privately owned, slowly-becomming-extinct record stores with a personal touch.
This is also a beautifully designed McSweeny book, with a beautiful "Maxell XL-II" mix-tape cover and with clever illustrations by Marcel Dzama. The book also benefits Treehouse Trust and 826 Valencia, organizations that are extremely worthy of the extra money.
Hornby should do one of these a year, I think. And next time, it'd be nice if he'd touch on his favorite Stones songs, his favorite Stax songs, his favorite Steve Earle songs, his favorite blues, his favorite jazz, his favorite Clash songs, etc, etc. If he'll write it, I'll read it.
Hawk Flying
I used to work for a rather small company that suffered from pretensions of greatness. The company had attempted to develop a new software package that - had development gone smoothly - would have allowed it to gain a massive share of one of those esoteric niches that are the stars in the software galaxy.
Instead, the project foundered and the company almost went bankrupt. At a shareholders' meeting (the company had 50 people; that we held shareholders' meeting showed the pretension), I asked the Presdient, what he was doing to prevent the problem from recurring. His response: "What would you do?"
My response began with "Hey, I ain't no hero, that's understood..."
What does one do when the cliche 'The Soundtrack of Our Lives" applies?
You become Nick Hornby. And, you write a marvelous treatise on just how and why (and, above all, how much) you love what I am afraid has no better name than 'Pop Music".
Mr. Hornby has always been an introspective character worthy of inclusion in his own novels, "About a Boy", and "High Fidelity". In fact, that came to pass in his autobiographical "Fever Pitch". But, where Arsenal (Go Gunners!) was the cloth on which the tapestry of his life (loss of father, doubts about himself, selfishness, and other varied and sundry passions) was sewn, here, it is thrity one songs that serve that purpose.
But, please be aware this is not an anthology of music reviews. This is an anthology of Mr. Hornby's life. You'll understand if you are one of us, those people who carry a jukebox in their, in their soul. He shares his soul with us, using an intimacy that is normally saved for confessions to the closest of friends. It's akin to sitting in the back of your local over that one last pint, when the alcohol has freed you from the demons of self-consciousness. It's in that state that you will speak the truth about yourself and what you feel. That Mr. Hornby does it with background music makes it all the more perfect.
Buy this book. Read this book. Live this book. Savor the moods, the feelings, the emotions, the wins and losses, the very life of being alive.