Sunday, April 25, 2010

What is Joe Bonomo reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Joe Bonomo, author of AC/DC's Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series, 2010).

His entry begins:
Here are a few books I can’t shake:

Larry Brown, A Miracle Of Catfish

Apart from a few early stories and one self-consciously experimental miss (The Rabbit Factory), Brown’s work is uniformly strong. I love Joe, Fay, and Father and Son, but his last novel indicates how far he’d come as a storyteller and what he might have produced had he not died of a heart attack in 2004. A Miracle of Catfish is unfinished, but the world Brown creates is so full, the characters so round and naturalistic, the rolling, tense, verdant Mississippi landscape so sensually rendered, that the lack of a conventional resolution feels more realistic than not: this world is alive, unending. Brown’s final-draft notes included at the end of the book offer a glimpse of fates and possibilities, but they’re superfluous. Loneliness, alienation, aimless driving, splintered families, beers on ice in a cooler in a truck’s floorboards, and sticky heat and human anxieties and drama: it’s all here in a book that I...[read on]
About AC/DC's Highway To Hell, from the publisher:
Released in 1979, AC/DC’s Highway To Hell was the infamous last album recorded with singer Bon Scott, who died of alcohol poisoning in London in February of 1980. Officially chalked up to “Death by Misadventure,” Scott’s demise has forever secured the album’s reputation as a partying primer and a bible for lethal behavior, branding the album with the fun chaos of alcoholic excess and its flip side, early death. The best songs on Highway To Hell achieve Sonic Platonism, translating rock & roll’s transcendent ideals in stomping, dual-guitar and eighth-note bass riffing, a Paleolithic drum bed, and insanely, recklessly odd but fun vocals.

Joe Bonomo strikes a three-chord essay on the power of adolescence, the durability of rock & roll fandom, and the transformative properties of memory. Why does Highway To Hell matter to anyone beyond non-ironic teenagers? Blending interviews, analysis, and memoir with a fan’s perspective, Highway To Hell dramatizes and celebrates a timeless album that one critic said makes “disaster sound like the best fun in the world.”
Joe Bonomo is also the author of Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found (2009), Installations (National Poetry Series, 2008), Sweat: The Story of The Fleshtones, America's Garage Band (2007), and numerous essays and prose poems. He teaches in the English Department at Northern Illinois University.

Visit Joe Bonomo's blog.

Writers Read: Joe Bonomo.

--Marshal Zeringue