Ironically, it was one of the interviews that Mr. Dillon confesses he could not acquire that says it all, to paraphrase, "we're getting away from Beach Boys Q&As." I'll give credit to Dillon for telling us not only who he did interview, but more importantly who declined. That's honest and Dillon is obviously a huge fan, but fandom is not nearly enough to save the book. The idea seemed a good one, tell us some insider details about some of their songs, but once again, Dillon was honest and told us which songs did not make the cut and frustratedly, most of my favorite songs could not be in the book. I got very annoyed with his recollections of other books and of other interviews, not very original and quite boring. Dillon has a good voice for narration, smooth and even, but it felt rushed and never nuanced or enthusiastic. I really wanted this book to work, but it simply does not.
When the principal member dies in a band, it's very sad and tragic and the great ones know when to bury the band with the member. Kurt Cobain and Freddy Mercury of Nirvana and Queen respectively immediately come to mind. When they died, the surviving members allowed Nirvana and Queen to cease to exist. The Beach Boys survived the death of Dennis in 1983, but for me the band ceased to exist in 1998 with Carl's tragic end by cancer. Brian Wilson is still around, but he moved on personally and professionally, the rest of the cut and paste meaningless pseudo-BB bands should do the same.
Just a few of the words I would use to describe the life of Samuel Steward, the object of Justin Spring's amazing work, Secret Historian. Just as some today use blogs and emails to nowadays reveal, communicate, inform and archive, folk used to write letters on real paper with real ink. It's a breeze to collect data now compared to then. Mr. Spring's extensive research, compilation and final literary revelation of Mr. Steward's obsessive life and writings is a thing of beauty unto itself. No matter what else you think of Mr. Steward's life, it was his and his alone and one gawks at the man's dedication to be and do what he was and what he did. Incredible and yes, inspiring on all fronts. Mr. Runnette's narration was perfect, unerring and smooth as glass, a pleasure to listen to.
Whatever else this book is, it's at the least an accounting of the odd but intimate lifelong friendship between two gay men from adolescence in the 50's until Alistair's untimely demise in the 90's. Picano uses historical facts and pop culture along the way to bring the story forward in a very entertaining fashion, especially using their time on Fire Island to highlight the 70's. One might easily suggest that he uses the two men and their many friends and acquaintances to illustrate gay history through five decades. That's fine, but in the end, for me, it was indeed all about Roger and Alistair. By the way, the narration was superb and spot on.
Leave it to NPH to do it differently and why not? The only question I have is why now? NPH is not that old and he obviously has decades left of not only life, but career. The other tiny niggle is that NPH's life is kind of perfect and difficult to relate to. Many if not most celebrity autobiographies (my two favs. being Shirley Jones and Willliam Shatner) describe the not so nice things most people have in their lives, tragedy and heartache in one form or another. NPH has none of that. Maybe I'm just envious. I'll give him one thing, he's unabashedly humble and thankful and has always presented his public self in that manner. Refreshing is a good word. The autobiog. style was refreshing and it even worked well as an Audible. The narration was iffy. JUST kidding. It was pitch prefect, just like the author of the book.
If hot frequent male/male sexual dominance, submission with both romantic and violent intent is what you are looking for, look no further. It's all there in this two volume masterpiece complete with a believable good and evil plot of magical world domination. The whip, the lash, a spanking and more mixed with magic, soldiers, generals and mages around the center story of a Prince and his whipping boy. If you are into BDSM themes in a "Camelot"-like setting, run, don't walk to get to this tale!
Yes, this book should be required reading for any medical professional of any kind who may ever have to help any patient make good decisions for themselves and their families against terminal or very debilitating illness. It should otherwise be read by well, anyone. We are all going to die. We either need to know what expectations to give those around us for those end times, either family or medical professionals or we need to know how best to guide our loved ones through the process of the end of their lives, because it will happen for all of us. Past that, this is a remarkably entertaining read. Oh, the parts about the history of nursing homes and assisted living made me yawn, but the rest had me spell bound. Dr. Gawnde's accounting of his own father's illness and death left me awash in emotion and even tears. The narration was perfect.
This story is all about tragedy, what could have been but was not. Bring a box of Kleenex. Even knowing from the prior two seasons what happens to Jace, you cannot be prepared. I am not certain where Jay Bell got the courage to write this one, but he did and it was amazingly good. Oh, and Kevin Free? Fantastic narration.
A thoroughly engaging story of self-discovery for all involved, well, almost all. There is a considerable attention given to the plight of older but still underage children who must live with an uncovered alcoholic parent; but an equal amount given to the benefits of a dedicated sober alcoholic who is now responsible. It was for that reason, a bit preachy for my tastes, but the overall effect is still a gripping and heartwarming tale that will not disappoint and just flew by quickly. The narration was spot on!
I did not even pay attention to the fact that this is a young adult title as one would find at the Harmony Ink site until I realized that the writing was not exactly aimed at older adults. Nonetheless the story was still compelling even if the outcome was going to be obvious. I still liked the warmth and thoughtfulness put into the well worth-while message and can appreciate that young gay teens need these kind of titles to represent their needs. The narration was spot on. Well done!
Fun characters, good drama and excellent narration. Do I wish it were longer? No, not really. Less is sometimes more, just like this review.
The only imperfection in this book is the cover art. It betrays what is really inside, an epic love story that you don't want to miss. The angst, the pure agony of what Tim and Ben go through until they finally find each other will keep you enthralled to the very end; but don't stop there. You must read Something Like Winter. It is the perfect companion, a must read and will complete the saga in a way seldom seen in the gay romance genre. Oh, yes, bring Kleenex, you'll need it!
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