Book Reports: A Music Critic on His First Love, Which Was Reading

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Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 0.9 X 9.0 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author

Robert Christgau wrote for and edited at The Village Voice from 1969 to 2006 and currently contributes a weekly record column at Noisey. His books include Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017, also published by Duke University Press, and Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man.


"[A] substantial collection of nearly 100 eclectic, thought-provoking, and idea-laden book reviews. . . . [Christgau's] range of topics is impressive, and his references are prolific. These sprightly, highly opinionated 'adventures of an autodidact' reveal Christgau to be a highly literate, astute, and discerning book critic."-- (12/22/2018)
"Christgau mostly writes on books by or about notable musicians, though he hits other cultural touchstones too, such as George Orwell's 1984. It's in these nonmusic pieces that Christgau is most successful, shifting focus from his encyclopedic music-industry knowledge to the nuances of language. His essay on books about the 2008 financial crisis is a highlight."-- (01/07/2019)
"There are few critics working today with the life-long commitment, focus, and curiosity of Robert Christgau. Book Reports doesn't scan the over half-century of the man's work, and that's what makes it all the more impressive. He's still searching, still pulling volumes from the shelves, looking at new or old ideas, cracking open the spines of preconceived notions all in the service of taking just one more look before walking away with the promise of yet another return."-- (03/26/2019)
"For Christgau fans and anyone seeking thought-provoking musings on books and music."--Melissa Engleman"Library Journal" (02/01/2019)
"One reads Christgau for Christgau as much as for the subject of his work."--Jeff Tamarkin"Mojo" (05/01/2019)
"Though Christgau partisans have the most to gain from this collection, it's also good for anyone looking for an accessible way into his extensive oeuvre."--Chad Comello"Booklist" (04/19/2019)
"Christgau is . . . one of America's sharper public intellectuals of the past half century, and certainly one of its most influential--not to mention one of the better stylists in that cohort. Fun is a big part of why."-- (05/22/2019)
"Though not everyone will agree with Christgau's views (this reader certainly did not), all readers will likely appreciate his style and approach and the depth of his knowledge about a broad range of popular music. Those curious about popular music may find Christgau's style aggressive at times, but that is exactly the point; Christgau pushes the reader to think. Seasoned readers will discover that Christgau questions authors in a way that encourages one to evaluate a book at a deeper level. In short, this is a great read for fans, critics, and scholars alike."-- (10/01/2019)