Monday, February 12, 2007

Valentine's Day Massacre

This book has been out a while, but it makes for a great Valentine's Day present for just about anyone you know, beloved or otherwise. Here's my lengthy review of "Love is a Mix Tape," a heart-blistering memoir by Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield. It's the V-Day special at's superb Contemporary Literature room, hosted in earnest by my friend Mark Flanagan.

For Rolling Stone scribe Rob Sheffield, love was reduced to a box of dusty cassette tapes, a passion requited but nevertheless unfulfilled, and the ghost of "a real cool hell-raising Appalachian punk-rock girl." Love, in his fractured world, is delivered with unflinching honesty through an uneven but unusually satisfying concoction of equal parts nostalgia, profound sorrow, terrible insight and the haunting meaning buried in half-forgotten tunes from the alternative era....If you're coming along, better slip on a Rolling Stones b-side or a Johnny Thunders solo record, partake of whatever substance eases your load, and we'll continue. This is going to hurt...