November 26, 2013
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, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.
Sean Beaudoin's YA novel Wise Young Fool is a witty coming-of-age story that resonates with the authenticity of teenage life.
School Library Journal wrote of the book:
"This is not a typical rock band story; it is actually interesting. The author does a brilliant job getting into the head of a troubled teen and does not shy away from racy topics."
My new novel, Wise Young Fool, is a rude punk rock black comedy. But also a love story. I think. It's told in alternating viewpoints, half of which come in the form of a journal kept by the main character, Ritchie Sudden, while serving 90 days in a juvenile detention center. The other half spools out the year leading up to Ritchie's arrest, so that by the final chapter he's going in and getting out at the same time. The soundtrack of Ritchie's life infuses the narrative, coming in the form of songs, poems, ring tones, albums, cassettes, CDs, and shower-singing. His taste spans from The Misfits to Mastodon, from Cheap Trick to Carcass to Chuck Berry and back.
With this in mind, I've chosen a dozen bands/albums that are mentioned in Wise Young Fool, and then have paired each, like a fine wine or craft cocktail, with a perfectly suited novel. Plus a drink.
My advice? Turn it up very, very loud, crack a paperback spine, and pour yourself some refreshment.
1. What you're listening to: Brian Eno "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More." Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). Island, 1974
What you're reading: Bobcat by Rebecca Lee
What you're drinking: strained absinthe with a Campari chaser
2. What you're listening to: Fear "New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones." The Record. Slash, 1982
What you're reading: The Quick and The Dead by Joy Williamson
What you're drinking: kerosene
3. What you're listening to: Sweet "Teenage Rampage." Desolation Boulevard. RCA, 1974
What you're reading: Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
What you're drinking: a cherry vanilla Coke
4. What you're listening to: New York Dolls "Lonely Planet Boy." New York Dolls. Mercury, 1973
What you're reading: Runaway by Alice Munro
What you're drinking: blood
5. What you're listening to: Sly and the Family Stone "Stand." Stand! Epic, 1969.
What you're reading: The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia Davis
What you're drinking: a canteen full of Dago Red
6. What you're listening to: ZZ Top "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers." Tres Hombres. London,1973.
What you're reading: A bar napkin scribbled upon by Emmylou Harris
What you're drinking: a can of Lone Star
7. What you're listening to: Agnostic Front. Cause for Alarm. Relativity/Combat Records, 1986.
What you're reading: Near To The Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector
What you're drinking: sweaty bandana squeezings into a shot glass
8. What you're listening to: Siouxsie and the Banshees. Tinderbox. Polydor (UK)/ Geffen/Warner Bros. (USA), 1986.
What you're reading: Poor George by Paula Fox
What you're drinking: a '73 Malbec
9. What you're listening to: Johnny Thunders. So Alone. Real (UK)/ Sire (US), 1996.
What you're reading: Everything You Know by Zoe Heller
What you're drinking: warm tap water and paregoric
10. What you're listening to: Pavement. Slanted and Enchanted. Matador, 1992
What you're reading: Cruddy by Lynda Barry
What you're drinking: mescal, no ice.
11. What you're listening to: Stiff Little Fingers. "Suspect Device." Inflammable Material. Rough Trade, 1979.
What you're reading: The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy by Martha Brockenbrough
What you're drinking: half a case of Ensure
12. What you're listening to: Roxy Music. For Your Pleasure. Island, 1973
What you're reading: Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker
What you're drinking: redemption
Sean Beaudoin and Wise Young Fool links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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)
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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