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Greil Marcus: The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs

The HIstory of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs, Griel Marcus, Book Review

I don’t know about you, but I read for many reasons. I read to become more knowledgeable and hopefully more interesting. I hope that books will open up the world a bit wider, and my incurable curiosity will be all too briefly satiated. “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs” is a unique and brilliant book by Greil Marcus that captures the profound and mysterious nature of music.

What’s so enthralling and lovely about Marcus’ writing is his ability to make familiar songs new. Mind you, these are not the usual iconic and cliché picks you’d expect. You are taken on a journey with Marcus as your guide. You see through fresh eyes, and listen with new ears, and come to understand Marcus’ perspective on the significance of these artists and their work. Perhaps you will widely disagree, but I challenge you to not leave with a better understanding and affection for music. No matter if you concur, or not, you may find yourself experiencing these songs and artists in a way you have never done in the past. As you turn the pages, you feel as if you are in a conversation with a charming, non-pretentious music expert at a cocktail party. Time slows and you feel as though you are in the moment, and in whatever song is being discussed.

The book is cleverly divided into delicious slices of insight. The only thing that would make this book better is if you were able to make your own musical accompaniment to enrich the reading experience. Both this book and a special playlist on your music device of choice are well worth the time.

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