Monday, July 15, 2013

New Book: Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke by Peter Guralnick

A few weeks ago, I finished reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  As I mentioned when I started reading it, I may or may not have read it when it was assigned in high school.  After reading it now, I am pretty sure there's no way I read it in high school because I would have remembered the weird shit that went on in the book.  I think the book holds up relatively well.  Who can't relate to getting shitfaced during the summer, hating philanderers, and creating a fake persona and buying a mansion on Long Island Sound so that you can stalk some chick you knew five years ago?  Of course, the book takes a dark turn at the end, with a Meet Joe Black-esque car accident (although not nearly as hilarious) and a resulting murder-suicide.  No wonder Nick Carraway, a smart and humble Midwestern boy, becomes so disillusioned with the East Coast.  I would too, old sport.

I have since started reading Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke by Peter Guralnick.  In my opinion, Sam Cooke has one of the greatest voices in the history of recorded music, and his influence can be heard from Otis Redding to Steve Perry to Cee-Lo Green.  He also had a pretty interesting life, growing up as the son of a minister on Chicago's South Side, becoming a gospel music star, making the switch to -– gasp -– secular music, and becoming a pop superstar and civil rights advocate, before being shot and killed in 1964 under mysterious circumstances by a motel manager.  I am definitely interested to see what the book says about his death.

Books read in 2013:
The Beatles by Bob Spitz
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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