Thursday, July 31, 2014

LOBOTOMY- Surviving The Ramones by Dee Dee Ramone with Legs McNeil

Finished Mo 7/28/14

Legs McNeil claims to have invented the term 'punk' as it applies to a musical genre. He founded PUNK MAGAZINE and now writes for VICE.

The book is well written, but does not provide a chronological of Dee Dee or the band, but is more of a lyrical snapshot of his life. It circles back and forth through time, but the style is compelling.

He has a wide ranging taste in music and much more varied than I expected.

He was definitely the most drug addled Ramone, the most 'dangerous/street', and the most psychologically damaged. Born in 1951 in Fort Lee Virginia and the family relocated to Germany. His father was an American soldier and his mother was a German citizen. The family moved numerous times when he was growing up. Obviously, this had a negative effect on Douglas Glenn Colvin.

In 1987 he began a rap career under the name 'Dee Dee King'.

The band's name derives from false names the Beatles took when they were on the road. John Lennon called himself 'Johnny Silver', George Harrison was 'George Perkins', and Paul McCartney was 'Paul Ramone'.

The book was written in 2000 and Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroin overdose in 2002.

LInk to Amazon books-

Monday, July 28, 2014


Finished Mo 7/28/14
(By the author of THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY)

1933-1937 US ambassador to Nazi Germany

Mild mannered professor William Dodd and his family. Wife-Mattie, daughter-Martha,  and son.
He wanted an easy post so that he could finish his multi-volumed history of the South.

He was one of the first American diplomats to recognize the true danger of the third reich. But most people thought that Hitler, Goering, and Himmler would fail due to their own ineptness.
It's amazing how much anti semitism existed in so called intelligent American people.

Martha will sleep with any good looking man. Has various affairs with Nazi king-pins including Rudolf Diels, head of the Gestapo.  Also, Soviet diplomat, Boris.

Link to William Dodd wikipedia-

Amazon books-

Thursday, July 24, 2014

HUSKER DU by Andrew Earles


Finished Th 7/24/14

Greg Norton and Grant Hart cooperated with the author, but Bob Mould did not.

Just about everything you would want to know about the band, and it's clear that Greg Norton was shafted when the band fell apart in the late 80's, but this is not detailed.  Most of the two-hundred thousand plus advance from Warner Bros. went into Massive Leasing which was a company formed by Mould/Hart to buy recording equipment and lease to other bands. Norton was not included, but they cleaned up. The details of this arrangement is not really covered, but interested me.

Husker Du's link at Wikipedia-

Amazon link to book-

Link to Wikipedia entry OUR BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE. I loved this book, and this author collaborated (2011) with Bob Mould on his biography.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

VERMILION DRIFT by William Kent Krueger

Finished Sa 7/19/14
A Cork O'Connor Mystery

Set in the Iron Mountain Range, Tamarack County, Minnesota. The area is near land controlled by the Ojibwe Indians.

Five bodies are found in an abandoned mine shaft ('drifts'-the horizontal sections of the shafts; 'shaft'-vertical sections). Four of the bodies have been there for almost fifty years, and the other body is only a week old. One of the older skeletons is the mother of the recent victim, and they were both killed by the same weapon. A 38 caliber handgun which belonged to Cork's father, Liam.

Lauren Cavanaugh and her mother, Monique were sexual deviants. Monique was involved with an evil Indian named Isaiah Broom. They preyed on women and children, and they tortured and sexually abused them.

Cork has issues about his father. He has a reoccurring dream that his father is falling and he can do nothing to help, and he might have pushed him.

Cork was actually present when Monique and Isaiah were murdered by the righteous Indians. A holy man, Henry Meloux, made him forget, and in the end of the novel, his memory is brought back.

Lauren was actually shot twice, by two different people. Grazed by Ophelia Stillday (granddaughter of Hattie) in a lovers quarrel. She flees, drops the gun, and later Lauren calls her brother. He comes and she threatens suicide and Max's hand is also on the gun when it fires.

Hattie is a world renown photographer and has been imprisoned for her passionate belief in human rights issues.

The Vermilion Mine is located in a very geological stable area and the department of energy is exploring the idea of storing nuclear waste in the area. This is how the abandoned 'killing ground' was discovered.

A satisfying read and I would definitely read another O'Connor Mystery. I picked this up at the library sidewalk sale in June of this year (2014).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Finished Mo 7/14/14
July 2014 selection the Contemporary Book Club

Simon and Karen- Husband and wife. He dies of a massive heart attack on the train from Brighton to London. He's a landscape architect, she has a five year old son, Luke, and a three year old daughter, Molly.

Phyllis- Karen's mother; helps with the childcare

Anna and Steve- Anna works as a writer in advertising. Steve a home decorator and although physically handsome, is unsure of himself and a developing alcoholic.  Anna was on the same train when the death occurs.

Lou- School counselor who also works with the Brighton homeless population. She was on the train and sitting near Karen and Simon and witnessed the death.

Vic is Lou's friend and she introduces Lou to her new lover, Sophia.

Lou's mother is a nag and is unaware that Lou is a lesbian. She lives in Hertfordshire, England which is 100 miles due north of Brighton. Brighton is 55 miles south of London.

Brighton was the site of the Mod and Rocker riots of  May,1964. QUADROPHENIA, the Who opera concerned this incident.

Jim- An ex-alcoholic who lived near Anna and Karen who ate cottage cheese sandwiches and committed suicide by walking into the sea the day after Simon's death.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Finished Fr 7/11/14

One of my all time faves by Anne Tyler. I didn't want it to end. A very unusual story and expertly told.

It was such a shock to learn that Pauline had died, but I guess that's the point....Life Goes On, Regardless. And the last paragraph of the novel almost made me cry. And, that's a first!

Wikipedia link-

Great Review-

Friday, July 11, 2014

MEMORIAL DAY by Vince Flynn

Finished Tu 7/8/14

This was one of the books that I picked up at the library sidewalk sale this June.

Not much character development and things are portrayed as 'all black' or 'all white'. It perfectly encapsulates the Bush Years, and is a gung-ho endorsement that we are 'the good guys' and 'they' are in league with Satan.


Riveting plotline and obviously just begs to be made into a movie. There's probably a bidding war to determine who will play Mitch Rapp going on as I type this line.

Pakistani nuclear scientist enters the US and has an unexploded (dud) nuclear weapon extracted from an abandoned Soviet firing range.
He and his comrades get the bomb onto a boat and they sail up the Chesapeake in an attempt to explode the bomb at a Memorial Day dedication ceremony.
Mitch and his team are able to fly the device via helicopter and deposit in a super US bomb shelter. When the bomb explodes, the shelter withstands the blast, and the day is saved.

Another draft of the same review. So happy that Blogger kept my first attempt as a draft. A very dandy little feature.

The book is an encapsulation of The Bush Years. Everything is portrayed in black and white. We are 'the good guys' and they are in league with Satan. Negotiation with 'them' is deemed impossible and the time for rational behavior has ended. Mitch Rapp's behavior is so violent, yet never (not even ironically) is it portrayed as anything even close to terrorism, yet it clearly is.

A Pakistani nuclear scientist pilots a boat up the Chesapeake that contains an unexploded nuclear device that was mined from an old Soviet shooting range. He, and many compatriots, have been destroyed by exposure to radiation and this is his last act in his personal holy war against the decadent west.

Rapp and his team (Navy Seals working with HRT of the FBI) take the nuclear bomb via helicopter to a secret (outdated) bomb shelter where the explosion is contained by the shelter.

Obviously this begs to be made into a movie and I'll bet there's a bidding war as to who will play Mitch Rapp going on as I type this.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bill Wyman, Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock 'n' Roll Band by Bill Wyman (with Ray Coleman)

Finished Su 7/6/14
(Borrowed from the library)

Weighing in at 600 pages you can definitely understand that Wyman is the band's archivist.

Chock full of interesting facts and figures, and I was really surprised at how little money that the band members were making after the band had 'made it big'. Up until the Beggar's Banquet era Wyman claims to only have a couple of thousand (or less) in the family checking account.

Interesting insight on Brian Jones. He might have been really suffering from a mild form of epilepsy and much of his 'druggie persona' might have been due to this affliction. Wyman contacts one of Jones's illegitimate daughters and she complains of these same symptoms.

The book was written in 1990, and obviously ends far too short in their career. And, the biggest 'reveal' is that he was born in 1936! And, I don't think that I'm alone in (falsely) believing that Charlie was the oldest Stone. Not by a long shot.

Wyman's Wikipedia entry-

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Finished Fr 7/4/14

The author is a magazine writer from Brisbane, Australia and was pegged as a hot new author (born 1982). This was his first novel and is also known as SUSHI CENTRAL.

Calvin is a sixteen year old, gay teen and his personal philosophy involves having as much sex as possible and taking an inordinate amount of drugs because soon he will be old, ugly, and unloved.

The first twenty pages were fairly interesting, but his outlook was so shallow and superficial that it just became annoying.

I read about a third of the book, and then skimmed through it. I picked it up at the library sidewalk sale where I got a big bag of books for five dollars, so I wasn't out much.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Finished Tu 7/1/14

The ending leaves you hanging because you don't get a resolution of Brian's relationship with Dr. Eugene Landy.  Carl Wilson and the rest of the family continues their suit to become Brian's conservator and he had just signed a separation agreement with Dr. Landy. The book was written in 1991 so it's very dated, however the majority of the book offers an interesting insight into the inner workings of the band. It seems Brian basically stayed in the studio and the band members toured on the 'old songs'.

In his Wikipedia entry Wilson says that he doesn't even remember his 'Landy Years', and didn't even read the final galley of this book.

Strange love relationship with his wife, Marilyn and her two sisters.

Wikipedia link to Eugene Landy

Wikipedia link to Brian Wilson

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

MR. MURDER by Dean Koontz

Finished Mo 6/30/14

(On the day both PC's were attacked by malware, and I bought a new laptop at BLH)

A mystery writer and his family becomes the victim of a genetically modified clone. The clone is his 'evil twin' and the novel is basically a chronicle of a 'long attack' by the clone, and the reasons for the governmental agency's involvement is wrapped up in just a few paragraphs, but the novel is nonetheless, a wonderful 'action/adventure' tale that rips right along.

Marty Stillwater
Paige- his wife
Emily and Charlotte- The Stillwater's two daughters

Drew Oslett and Karl Clocker- The government agents working for 'The Network'
Karl becomes the family's savior
'Alfie'- Name for the clone. Short for Alpha because he is the first genetically engineered entity.

The reason the clone is identical to Marty is that Charlotte was hospitalized with a rare blood disease five years earlier and Marty's blood was mistakenly used in the cloning experiment. One of the Network's leaders had recently lost a child and he actually wanted the blood of his son to be used. His boy was being treated at the same hospital  as Charlotte.