Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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"Love is a Mix Tape", Rod Sheffield

July 14th, 2009 · No Comments · Trash

music_phases8Synopsis: Autobiographical account of Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy and girl live happily until girl dies of pulmonary embolism. Boy spirals into depression before loving again etc etc.

My Take: Hmmm. I was rooting for this one to come off. The subject matter has great potential – very emotionally rich.

Unfortunately, the author can’t quite pull it off. I felt like the book couldn’t decide whether to be serious literature or a magazine feature (the author is a writer for Rolling Stone) and ended up as a not particularly good hybrid. The whole idea of framing the relationship through 15 mix tapes the couple made for each other I’m sure sounded like a good idea at the time didn’t really work in my opinion.

It’s a shame because it’s a horrific thing to happen to someone and he clearly loved this woman so much, but just wasn’t able to convey this in an engaging way. It was a NYT best seller though so lots of people clearly disagree with me.

Highlight:

Renée and I met at a bar called the Eastern Standard in Charlottesville, Virginia. I had just moved there to study English in grad school. Renée was a fiction writer in the MFA program. I was sitting with my poet friend Chris in a table in the back, when I fell under the spell of Renée’s bourbon-baked voice. The bartender put on Big Star’s Radio City. Renée was the only other person in the room who perked up. We started talking about how much we loved Big Star. It turned out we had the same favorite Big Star song – the acoustic ballad Thirteen. She’d never heard their third album, Sister Lovers. So naturally, I told her the same thing I’d told every other woman I’d ever fallen for: “I’ll make you a tape!”


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