Mark Oliver Everett, aka "E", is the front man of American rock band 'Eels'. This, his first book, is read by 'The Chet' (Jeffrey Lyster), sometime band-member of Eels, following his live performances of excerpts during the world tour of "An Evening with Eels". Mark Oliver Everett's upbringing was 'ridiculous, sometimes tragic and always unsteady'. His father - a quantum mechanic who worked for the Pentagon - was a genius who had corresponded with Einstein aged 13. He rarely spoke, and following his own miserable childhood had eccentric ideas of how children should be brought up. Mark - and his older sister Liz were raised in a house with no rules, with parents who had 'a kind of seventies swinging marriage'. Lacking any real sense of authority, E had to raise himself, not always with the greatest success. His love of music helped pull him through, and by his early 20s he was on the brink of stardom with his first album - Beautiful Freak. But then tragedy struck - having already lost his father to a heart attack, his sister and mother both died in short succession - Liz from an overdose, and his mother from cancer. It was the kind of brutal loss that could destroy someone, but somehow E survived, and channelled his experiences into his music. In THINGS THE GRANDCHILDREN SHOULD KNOW he tells his story - one that is surprisingly full of hope, humour and wry wisdom.More
"... personal history recounted drily and wittily in this somewhat unusual musical autobiography... This book isn't just for devotees. Even those unfamiliar with, or indifferent to, Everett's work will still vicariously enjoy meeting him, and getting sorted for Eels and wit." (The Independent)
"...Everett reports all of this in an exquisitely unhysterical voice. His prose has none of the tongue-twisting, peck-along-in-rhythm riffs of his song lyrics... On the page, he just speaks, and continues to speak, in a cleverly uninflected way, minimising the surface area of drama and pain, even when recalling how his father�s ashes were put out with the rubbish.
Crucially, Everett picks the right stories to tell. A rare skill in the writers of memoirs... the right story. The one that gives a perfectly small and clear snapshot of the turmoil within the subject and the condition of the world around him. It makes you trust every word coming off the end of Everett�s fingers. His book is a subtle, touching thing." (The Times)
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Okay, could have been better
not just a tale of a musician