James Fearnley’s “Here Comes Everybody” is an energetic, involving story of the accordionist’s days with the Pogues

book cover - here comes everybodyIt’s always with fear and trepidation that I crack open a musician’s memoir. For every Keith Richards autobiography, there are several dozen tomes that collapse under the weight of their own self-import and overwrought prose.

James Fearnley‘s new book, Here Comes Everybody: The Story of the Pogues is as enrapturing as any I’ve read. It starts off shakily, discussing as it does Fearnley’s youth with a bit of a gloss to his upbringing.

After that, however, it’s a fascinating, rollicking series of stories. Fearnley’s time with Shane McGowan begins with the Nips, prior to the Pogues, and those stories are wonderful, giving a little-seen glimpse at the early days of McGowan’s infamous carousing.
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“The Best Films You’ve Never Seen” a mixed bag

book cover - best film you've never seenRobert Elder‘s The Best Film You’ve Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love (out now via Chicago Review Press) is a mixed bag. The interviews are, categorically, excellent. Elder presents everything as a dialogue between himself and the director to which he’s speaking, allowing for reaction to what’s being said, and questions that dig deeper than something like an essay would.

That being said, while the directors’ candid comments regarding their films — some of which are more than obscure, they’re outright unknown — are illuminating, the value to some of the interviews in terms of what they offer are debatable. The best films seem to be the ones that offer up something from which the director later drew, be it language, style, or something intangible.
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“The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars” rather more pretty than morbid

cover-encyclopedia-of-dead-rock-starsWhen The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars (second edition) was pitched to me as a “another hefty read,” I assumed hyperbole. Such was not that case — this 800-page tome looks like the most morbid phone book in the world sitting on my coffee table or the book stack next to my side of the bed. It’s out now from Chicago Review Press, and despite having received it a good half month ago, it’s taken a while to get through enough to feel comfortable summing it up for you all.
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Kerswell’s “Slasher Movie Book” great for fans of the genre, if a little superficial

book-cover-slasher-movie-bookJ.A. Kerswell‘s The Slasher Movie Book is, quite literally, a colorful affair. In addition to the myriad posters, lobby cards, and advertisements presented in loving detail, the different sections come in assorted background colors. The rather hefty tome, out now from Chicago Review Press, is a wonderfully illustrated and compiled love letter to the slasher genre.
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