Nick Hornby 31 Songs

ISBN 13: 9780241951095

31 Songs

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9780241951095: 31 Songs
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Paperback. Pub Date: 2011 Pages: 256 in Publisher: Penguin the I decided that I wanted to write a little book of essays about songs I loved ... Songs are what I the listen to. not told our to the exclusion of everything the else '. In his first non-fiction work since Fever Pitch. Nick Hornby writes about 31 songs that either have some great significance in his life - or are just songs that he loves. He discusses. among other things. guitar solos and losing your virginity to a Rod Stewart song and singers whose teeth whistle and the sort of music you hear in Body Shop. 'The soundtrack to his life ... a revealing insight into one of itain's most popular writers' - Evening Standard.

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Review:

There is nothing quite so incomprehensible as love: 31 Songs is Nick Hornby's account of a selection of the music that lives deep in his heart and it is beside the point that most of us would make radically different selections. He makes some useful distinctions--these are not songs he loves for their associations so much as particular songs through which he learned more about his capacity for loving songs in general. Along the way, he talks movingly and intelligently about other matters on which those songs impinge--his relationship with his autistic son, his limited but real capacity for spirituality--but the songs rather than Hornby and his life are his real subject. It would be almost impossible to read this book and not get caught up in at least some of Hornby's enthusiasms--where you read thrillers trying not to cheat by looking at the end, here you spend time hoping the discography will be as good as the rest of it, and of course it is. The book is a serious attempt to define what it is about rock and pop that speaks to us in ways other types of music might not; those who either do not share Hornby's tastes or who have more eclectic ones will find it a useful and enlightening explication of what rock and pop do. --Roz Kaveney

Review:

"A collection of music-as-metaphor essays...like a diary in mix-tape form."

"That whole subculture, all those mournful guys to whom the sound of record-store bin dividers clicking by is almost music enough, should love Songbook, yet so should anyone interested in great essays, or in the delicate art of being funny, or in how to write about one's feelings in such a way that other people will actually care." The San Francisco Chronicle

"Delivered in a hugely enjoyable, invisible prose that does in words what Hornby s tunesmiths do with sound. He writes good." Time Out London

"Quintessentially Hornby: an idiosyncratic and charming exploration of the meaning of music and how it changes as we grow up and grow old." SeattleWeekly.com

"A book about the joy of listening to great pop songs, about the elusive genius of a catchy chorus...what shines most is Hornby himself his wry self-awareness, his disarming honesty. Effortlessly readable, every chapter reminds us how special an observer of human behavior Hornby is" Heat

A small, singular, delightful collection [about] the power of songs to bind people culturally and to reach deeply into the human spirit, bending the heart into new shapes with new potential. The New York Times Book Review

"When Hornby writes about his enthusiasms and how they intertwine with his life, he's amusing and inspiring." Rolling Stone

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