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Archive for the ‘Vikram Chandra’ Category

I may be a hypocrite. In the short time that I’ve been keeping this blog, I have contradicted, or flip/flopped or undermined myself in almost everything I had originally stated! First I railed against the iPod, and then complained about getting screwned (see What I leaned… (5)) which is all but alleviated by the iPod. Next, I write a big post about not being able to leave a book unfinished, and less than a week later I leave one unfinished. Then I have a huge rant against memoirs, and, lo and behold, two of my last three books are memoirs. However, what I learned is that memoirs are a very different beast from novels. And I found while reading these two is that you really don’t have to pay attention when reading a memoir. When I was reading Sacred Games I had dozens of characters to try and keep straight, any of whom could pop up and do or say something meaningful at any time. When reading the Steve Martin memoir, the only character I had to keep in mind was Steve (since almost every time he would say My Mother or My Father or My Sister for the other important characters. In Daniel Tammet’s book he consistently explains who each person in his life is. So, I guess what it comes down to is that memoirs are much easier to read, and by extension, easier to pick up and put down. And in that respect, I really don’t like them. I enjoyed Martin’s because his career was funny and had an impact on my childhood, but in general, you won’t see too many more popping up here.

What’s interesting to me is that all of these changes of mind or opinion are a sign of growth for me. I said something, and then tried something else. Whether I liked the new way or not, there’s nothing wrong with admitting you were right or wrong. It’s funny how politicians are so fearful of changing their minds and being seen as flip-floppers. Whoever started that particular insult has pretty much condemned us to a group of leaders who can never change their minds. What a terrible display of leadership that is. How can you ever trust anyone who shows no sign of growth? So, hypocrite or open minded, you be the judge.

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martin.jpgSOUNDTRACK: TENACIOUS D-The Pick of Destiny (2006) & MUSE-Black Holes and Revelations (2006).

d.jpgTENACIOUS D-The Pick of Destiny: Let’s face it, The D are the greatest band in the world. However, this album, basically a soundtrack to their film, is not their greatest work. The interludes are pretty slight and while the tunes all rock, the lyrics are too much of an “advance the plot” rather than “just song” nature. Having said that, the opening song is awesome, and the rock-off with the devil is pretty amazing. My other gripe is how many “fuckings” there are on the record. It’s practically more than in Scarface! I’m no prude by any means, I just think it’s lazy writing.

SOUNDTRACK CONT.: MUSE-Black Holes and Revelations (2006).

When Muse firstmuse.jpg came out they were pegged as a Radiohead knock-off. But the thing was that they sounded like Radiohead USED to sound like circa OK Computer, and since Radiohead no longer sounded like that, we can be thankful for Muse for picking up that mantel. Now with this latest record they moved somewhat beyond Radiohead, although a voice is a voice after all (see DIGRESSION below), and are now verging into Queen territory. With a healthy dose of Philip Glass (or is that Michael Nyman?) thrown in. And it is filled with pretension, and overblown orchestration, and earth-saving geopolitical ideas, and it simply rocks! Not for everyone, that’s for sure (my friend’s wife cannot STAND this band), but if you like RadioheadmeetsRush, then check out Muse and be blown away.

[READ: June 2007] Born Standing Up.

I surprised myself, by actually reading this book very quickly and before it came out! I picked up an Advanced Copy at BEA. At a previous ALA I had picked up Sacred Games and it took me over a year to even look at it. This prepub attracted me immediately because the cover was Steve Martin in a b&w photo of him in a white suit with his bunny ears on. (more…)

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green.jpgSOUNDTRACK: TOM WAITS-Orphans (Bawlers) (2006).

orphans1.jpgThe thought of Tom Waits singing lullabies is a pretty scary one. The strange thing is that his lyrics and melodies are really quite beautiful, I’m just not sure I want that voice in my kid’s head at night.

[READ: May 2007] The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green.

After the heaviness and length (I’m sure Gaitonde would appreciate THAT beginning) of Sacred Games, it was nice to kick back with a comparatively light, and yet thoroughly enjoyable book like this one. (more…)

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sacred.jpgSOUNDTRACK: PRIMUS-They Can’t All Be Zingers (2006).

primus.jpgSuch a great name for a greatest hits album. I’m delighted to know that Primus is still fun after all these years. How on earth they were every popular is simply beyond my comprehension.

[READ: May 2007] Sacred Games.

Here’s a link to Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games blog.

Whew, I thought this day would never come, but I finished Sacred Games, and what a trip it was! (more…)

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sacred.jpgSOUNDTRACK: A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack (1997).

life-less.jpgFor those keeping score: at lunch, I have been listening to all of my CDs in order. This process started several years ago and really bespeaks my growing insanity. I had long since finished the A-Z bands, and have moved onto soundtracks. So, yesterday’s lunch had the great pleasure of listening to the Little Mermaid, Lock Stock and Two Smocking Barrels and A Life Less Ordinary at lunch, while reading this book!)

[READ: May 2007] Sacred Games.

MADERCHOD! MADERCHOD! MADERCHOD! ! (more…)

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