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December 22, 2011

Book Notes - John Jodzio ("Get In If You Want To Live")

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, David Peace, Myla Goldberg, and many others.

John Jodzio's short fiction collection Get In If You Want To Live is one of the most gorgeously produced books of the year, pairing a different illustrators with each of the often bawdy and always well-written and impressively weird 19 stories.

The Tangential wrote of the book:

"The opening pages are full of interesting textural overlays, and each story has its own illustration, making it feel like a McSweeney's book for those of us with poor attention spans, wanting the stories shorter, snappier, each accompanied by a picture to sit and analyze."

Stream a Spotify playlist of these tunes. If you don't have Spotify yet, sign up for the free service.

In his own words, here is John Jodzio's Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection, Get In If You Want To Live:

My latest book, Get In If You Want To Live is a collection of 19 short stories with 19 different artists interpreting them with illustrations. The book is insanely pretty – printed in full color and on very sensual paper by the lovely ladies of Paper Darts Press. The stories are largely comedic – with such classic titles as "Hookers In My Neighborhood Really Love My Chili" and "My Codpiece Smells Like Soup". Here's a playlist that I think would go quite well with the book.

"Promises, Promises" - Naked Eyes

Since it is very in vogue nowadays to write stories about alcoholic bears who like to eat out of White Castle dumpsters and have sex with pretty wolves, I wrote a story about that too. While the bear in this story usually sings Lionel Richie's "Hello" for karaoke, he also loves to sing "Promises, Promises". Fine, fine, enough with all this pretense, this drunk fictional bear is actually me.

"Desire Lines" - Deerhunter

This song is perfect for the narrator of my story "My Kidnapper Gives A Really Good Backrub" who keeps getting kidnapped because she loves the feeling of Stockholm Syndrome so damn much. Okay, maybe this song isn't the exact perfect song for her, but it is certainly a song that most people would love to hear while being housed in earthen pit in someone's sub-basement.

"Heavy Artillery" - Mr. Lif

While the narrator in the title story "Get In If You Want To Live" kicks some zombie ass while listening to some Zeppelin, this banger from Mr. Lif would have worked just as well.

"Dark Allies" - Light Asylum

In my story "Javier," a man uses honey mustard pretzels to train a wolf to help in his pursuit of a woman. On a personal note, I used to date a girl who had a dog that really looked like a wolf. After about two weeks of going out she broke up with me to date this other guy who also had a dog that really looked like a wolf. I wanted to get angry about it, but they had two goddamn wolf dogs, so I kept my mouth shut.

"Urgent" - Foreigner

A fog machine plays a prominent role in my story "Hookers Really Love My Chili" and I think any Foreigner song sounds better when there is a fog machine around. Try this at your next party – rent a fog machine and then put "Urgent" on and then step out from behind a huge wall of fog with your tenor saxophone and play the sax solo in this song perfectly and then disappear right behind the wall of fog and then come back like 10 seconds later with a plate of nachos for everyone to share -- I absolutely guarantee you will get laid.

"Goodbye Victoria" – Chubby Checker

In every playlist I make lately, I always include a song from Chubby Checker's psychedelic album, Chequered. It's always a tough choice between this song and the classic "Stoned in the Bathroom", but this one wins out today.

25 Dollars Worth – James Howard Newton

As most of you know from the numerous times I've faked my own death, this is the song that I always like to be played at my funeral. I mean, even though all of you have heard it like ten times by now, I still never get tired of seeing how much this song makes you sob.

"Panic Attack" - Atmosphere

This one totally goes out to the narrator in "I Am So Sorry My Homing Device Is Chafing Your Ankle".

"Things Fall Apart" – Built to Spill

Did you place a lot of importance on what song that was going to be playing when you lost virginity? I sure did. I really thought "Hells Bells" by AC/DC was a wonderful choice, but my high school girlfriend wanted to listen to the totally stupid "More than Words" by Extreme. In the end, through the magic of our Sony Discmans and separate headphones, we both got our wish.

John Jodzio and Get In If You Want To Live links:

the author's website
video trailer for the book

Hazel & Wren review
HelloGiggles review
Mill City Bibliophile review
The Tangential review

A.V. Club Twin Cities interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for If You Lived Here You's Already Be Home
MN Daily profile of the author
PANK interview with the author
Paper Darts interview with the author
We Who Are About to Die interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

other Book Notes playlists (authors create music playlists for their book)

List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
List of 2011 Year-End Online Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
52 Books, 52 Weeks (weekly book reviews)
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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