If you’re a fan of rock music of whatever flavor, you needthis book.



Longtime Patti Smith Group guitarist and music journalist Kaye delivers an idiosyncratic, impassioned paean to rock ’n’ roll.

“You can’t be everywhere at once,” writes the author. True enough, but if he missed the Beatles at the Cavern Club or the first performances of Nirvana, Kaye has seen more than his share of shows. More, he has a Marcus-ian (Greil, that is, and not Herbert) depth of historical knowledge that enables him to enumerate the sightings of the very phrase rock ’n’ roll: one, perhaps improbably, in a gospel recording from 1910, a more secular one from 1922. Though a scholar of the many lightning-in-the-bottle moments of which he writes, Kaye is nothing if not an enthusiast; he hails the introduction to Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” rightly, as one of the most iconic guitar licks in history, adding, “please learn should you be in the vicinity of a C chord.” The author engagingly chronicles his wide travels, visiting New Orleans, London, Memphis, and many other places in search of lost and otherwise magical chords. He was there for some historically important moments, too, from the decline of the Sex Pistols to the rise of the Clash and the earliest stirrings of CBGB. Here, the writing turns distinctly autobiographical as Kaye recalls taking the stage with Patti Smith after grooving to the Ramones, “emulsifying rock and roll down to its primate, all downstrokes and lyrics one step removed from the asylum.” Frankie Avalon has a moment, as does skiffle, the latter of which begat the Beatles, which begat everything else—including, after 1964 and the Ed Sullivan Show, the magical moment when Kaye “bought a cherry red Gibson Les Paul Special and a Magnatone 280 amp (true vibrato, the same kind Buddy Holly played) from a kid down the street who had given up the calling” and jumped into the fray.

If you’re a fan of rock music of whatever flavor, you needthis book.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-244920-7

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.



The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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