Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What is Steve Almond reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Steve Almond, author of Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life.

His entry begins:
I've been on a short story jag recently, the best sort. Anthony Doerr's new collection, The Memory Wall is astonishing. I don't think there's anyone writing better realistic fiction at the moment. He manages to write about a dazzling variety of characters -- Chinese villagers, Kansas orphans, South African fossil pimps -- in a way that makes their struggles riveting. His sentences shimmer and echo. He's the sort of writer who makes me lament my own lazy, slightly heartless decisions at the keyboard. Which is what I want, and what we should all want.

The same is true of...[read on]
Among the praise for Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life:
"For some of us, music is true religion, and Catholic to boot. Steve Almond comes off as devout —and divided—as any altar boy. His strange and funny book should be required reading for all of us fans and musicians who belong to the Church of Rock and Roll."
—Aimee Mann

"Almond deftly straddles the line between intellectual and fan. He veers smoothly between funny, cruel takedowns of rock fatuity while registering its emotional impact ... a hilarious riff on the power of music."
—Publishers Weekly

"Whether he’s writing about the depressing beauty of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ or stalking a favorite musician in the men’s room, there’s observational sharpness, unflinching honesty and biting humor. You’re compelled to read to see how music and love and life intersect for him. The result is the nonfiction equivalent of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, a knowing and exhilarating look at how one man dove headfirst into rock music and emerged on the other side intact."
Steve Almond is the author the story collections My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow, the novel Which Brings Me to You (with Julianna Baggott), and the non-fiction books Candyfreak and (Not That You Asked). Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life was published this spring. He is also, crazily, self-publishing a book called This Won't Take But a Minute, Honey, which is composed of 30 very brief stories, and 30 very brief essays on the psychology and practice of writing.

Writers Read: Steve Almond.

--Marshal Zeringue