As I’m sure y’all have noticed, I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. But you can bet yer sweet bloggin’ patooties I’ve been doing plenty of reading. Here’s what I think about my two most-recently completed books.
Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society by Thomas Frank
I rated it 2 of 5 stars, “it was o.k.”, on Goodreads and shelved it as American, Essays, Government, Nonfiction, & Political Issues. You can read the synopsis by clicking the linked title above.
If Goodreads allowed it, I’d rate Rendezvous with Oblivion 2.5 stars.
The 12 chapters comprising the first three parts of the book are reprinted essays first published between 2011 – 2016. Some of the issues discussed are a bit dated, but the essays serve as a decent introduction to Thomas Franks’ thinking and politics. I would rate Parts 1 through 3 as 2 stars.
The 5 chapters comprising Part 4 are a solid 3 stars, though. This is where Frank finally gets around to offering some profound insights about how America got into its current political mess (and what’s likely to happen in the near future if we don’t figure an acceptable way out of it) and offers some interesting and creative (though challenging) proposals for righting our foundering ship of state.
If you consider yourself to be progressive or even farther left politically, you’ll probably like Rendezvous with Oblivion. But if you’re a moderate liberal or a conservative, it’ll probably make you more angry than intrigued.
This is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl by Paul Brannigan
I rated it 3 of 5 stars, “liked it”, on Goodreads and shelved it as Biography, Cultural studies, History, Music, Nonfiction, and Rock & Roll. You can read the synopsis by clicking the linked title above.
Paul Brannigan states early in the book that it is not an authorized biography of Dave Grohl, and he means it. If you’re looking for an actual biography of Dave Grohl, look elsewhere or wait for the authorized bio.
This Is a Call is the history of the rise of punk/hardcore/metal rock music as only a journalist who’s spent a lifetime chronicling it can tell it. It just happens to have plenty of quotes from and biographical anecdotes about the gifted, hard-working, and highly talented Dave Grohl and the parts that he and the various bands of which he’s been a member have played in that history.
I checked This Is a Call out because I thought it was a Dave Grohl biography; I have been a fan of his since the first Foo Fighters album came out and have only grown to like and respect him more as his career developed. I so like Dave & the Foo Fighters that I recently took my 12-year old daughter to see them in concert, her first, and it was a wonderful evening for us.
Despite it not being a real biography, though, I was not at all disappointed in the book. It is well-written, interesting, entertaining, and compelling, at times even hard to put down. And I found very few typos & grammatical errors, which always makes me happy. If you’re into punk/metal/hardcore music and are interested in its history, you’ll definitely like This Is a Call. The Dave Grohl bits are simply a bonus.
Have y’all read Rendezvous with Oblivion or This is a Call? What did you think about them?