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  • gilwilson 6:07 PM on June 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: death, hair metal, metal, mothley crue, party,   

    The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band  by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars 

    25378The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band
    by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars
    448 pages
    Published by New York;Regan Boks,2001.

    My initial response to this book was, “wow what a journey. total disregard for their health and the law.total rock and roll debauchery.”  That is not near enough for a review, so I guess I’ll go into detail.  However, that is a great summary.

    This book chronicles the rise and plateau of one of the partyingest bands in the 80s.  I’m pretty sure these guys read the Led Zeppelin biography, and said, “Is that all? Here, hold my beer.”

    From drugs to groupies they went through it all.  I’m pretty sure that excess to us would be the minimum required.  All rumors you’ve heard about the band are probably true, but only the tip of the iceberg.  This book takes you under the surface and into the slime below with no holds barred.

    Many of the chapters cover a different aspect of the band’s rise to fame and each member, as well as other people along the line tell their sides of the story.  All the stories seem to have one central theme: the party never stops.  The party even went on when one member dies, and comes back to life in the back of an ambulance.

    Nothing should surprise you in this book, but it will.

     

    Publisher’s Summary

    Mötley Crüe’s bestselling The Dirt—penned with rock chronicler extraordinaire Neil Strauss—set a new bar for rock ‘n’ roll memoirs. A genuine cultural phenomenon, this turbocharged blockbuster, with more than half a million copies in print, celebrates thirty wild years with rock’s most infamous band.

     

     
  • gilwilson 10:21 PM on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: after-life, , , celebrity, , , death, doomed, fame, heaven, , maddie spencer, ,   

    Audiobook Review: “Doomed” by Chuck Palahniuk 

    doomed

    Audiobook Review: “Doomed”
    by Chuck Palahniuk
    Read By Tai Sammons
    Published by Blackstone Audio, Inc.
    9 hours and 35 minutes

    If you didn’t get enough of the snarky Madison Spencer from Chuck Palahniuk’s book “Damned,” then sit back and let the life/afterlife or death/after-death of Madison Spencer roll on. Be warned, however, where “Damned” was a disgusting, gross out fest of a romp through hell, “Doomed” is just as gross but this time Maddie gets to roam Purgatory (or as we call it, Earth) as a ghost and explore all that has happened since she died.

    The narrator, Tai Sammons, does an excellent job portraying the snarky, apathetic teen. Throughout the book the, Sammons captures the true spirit (pardon the pun) of Maddie Spencer so much that it seems as though you are listening to her tell her story. The voice acting was perfect throughout the audiobook and may be the redeeming factor in this not needed sequel (more on that later).

    In the book “Damned,” Palahniuk introduce his readers to Maddie in a tale that could haunt us all in that knowing everything we do will land us in hell. Maddie is not happy with that idea and wants to escape hell, even though she holds a great job as a telemarketer in the pits. In “Doomed” Palahniuk guides the reader/listener on an adventure through the modern world as seen through the eyes of the plucky, pubescent progeny of celebrity parents, Madison Spencer.

    As a trick on her parents Madison, while serving as a telemarketer in hell told her parents to do all the things that could land them in hell. She does this under the guise that doing these things will land them in Heaven. So from that point forward her parents creatively curse, act rude towards each other and fart as a method of tribute. The problem is these are what gets a person sent to Palahniuk’s hell. The problem in Maddie telling her parents to do these things, is that her parents are the type of celebutantes that take things to the extreme. So as a tribute to their long lost daughter, they form a church based on these principals and the world soon becomes a cursing, rude, farting mess.

    In a botched ritual by Maddie’s peers, Maddie is brought back to Earth as a ghost. She now wanders the world freely and soon learns the madness that her parents have created. But first, Maddie finds the ghost of her deceased grandmother and a flashback ensues which tells the tale of how Maddie Spencer started on the path that doomed her to eternal damnation. It all starts with her causing the death and castration of her grandfather and from there the family is never the same. Maddie’s life has been guided by forces from hell long before she was born and in what becomes a battle between Satan and the forces of good Maddie travels the world with a drugged out ghost hunter to try and convince her parents to change their ways and renounce Satan.

    In what I have recently discovered to be the second of a trilogy of books, “Doomed” lacks the fun and uniqueness of the first book. At times I really got tired of the book and nearly quit it. Being a Chuck Palahniuk fan I had to continue, if only to say I finished the book. Maybe the third in the series will tie it all up in a neat package. This book does have its moments, but there are long sections where nothing really happens. Give it a chance only after reading “Damned.” Just like most other books by Palahniuk, it does turn a mirror to society to show the truth behind the madness of pop-culture, but not so much in your face reality as with his other books.

     
  • gilwilson 3:40 PM on December 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , death, , , john shea, jonathan tropper, , , , ,   

    “One Last Thing Before I Go” by Jonathan Tropper 

    onelastthing

    “One Last Thing Before I Go”
    by Jonathan Tropper
    read by John Shea
    Published by Penguin Audio
    Approx. 8.5 hours

    I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into when I picked this audiobook to be my next to hear. Sure the synopsis on the cover tells of Drew Silver, a drummer formerly with a one hit wonder band, who is struggling to get by after a failed career and a failed marriage, is confronted with a life or death situation opts out of the life portion. I thought really I was going to hear an audiobook about a former rock star’s romp through his days as if they were his last. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. What this book turned out to be is an emotional romp through life and its many surprises.

    Let me start out by talking about the reader, John Shea, his voicing of Silver, subject of all this life affirming novel, is beautiful. Silver is pretty much a laid back person, who knows he’s screwed up a good chunk of his life and is ready to move on, but Silver has a deeper part of his psyche that John Shea is able to bring out in this performance. Shea not only brings Silver to full three-dimensional life but is also able to deliver the audiobook and all its characters to the listener in such a dynamic that pulls them into the story and won’t let them escape. All the emotions in this book, which pretty much runs the gamut of human emotions, are brought to life through the expert vocalizations of John Shea.

    The surprising part of this book is the use of wit and humor to get through some of the toughest events that are emotionally trying. While the humor is not laugh out loud funny, although, there are some of those moments, it is just the right amount to make these characters come to life and be much more real and, well, human. Jonathan Tropper is able to create the dialogue that never seems fake or contrived. All conversations are very real and when dealing with the situations the characters are put through feel very natural.

    Some examples of the emotional ups and downs are when one of Silver’s friends admits he’s been going through chemo without telling anyone for weeks and then wishing he had a relationship with his son, Silver and friends take him on a road trip to try to take amends. On the road trip they find out the reason the friend is estranged from his son is that he slept with his son’s fiance, now wife. All the twists and turns in the story come out to an ending that leaves you guessing and yet feeling fulfilled.

    The gist of the story is that Silver, former drummer for the Bent Daisies, is struggling through life. The Bent Daisies had one hit, which Silver wrote, and then the lead singer strikes out for a solo career and becomes very successful. In the meantime, Silver gets by, barely, on his royalty checks, playing in wedding bands and for bar/bat mitzvahs, and by donating sperm for scientific experiments.

    Silver also has failed at being a husband and father and after 15 years of living as a divorce in an apartment full of mopey older divorced men, he’s become pretty cynical. His wife is about to marry a man who Silver can’t seem to make himself hate, he tries, but he knows this guy, a Surgeon is good for his ex-wife and daughter. His daughter, Casey, who has never really been a part of his life, due to his own fault, comes to him in a time of need. She’s 18 and pregnant. She tells him before she tells her mother, because she cares less about letting him down. After some heartfelt discussion, he agrees to be there for her no matter what decision she makes.

    Casey decides on an abortion and Silver takes her to the clinic, just as they are filling out papers and waiting, Silver suffers a stroke. Before I talk more about the story, I have to say that Jonathan Tropper’s description and all of Silver’s inner dialogue are pure genius in giving an outsider a view of what is going on in Silver’s mind at the time. In fact all through the book Silver’s inner dialogue (which due to the stroke become accidentally spoken aloud) are beautiful descriptions of the past present and future for Silver.

    Silver wakes in the hospital with Casey worrying over him. As he awakens the doctor, who also happens to be his ex-wife’s fiance, explains that he has a tear in his aorta and that the stroke was caused by the clot from this tear loosening and hitting the brain. Silver needs an operation to repair the tear or he will die soon. Silver says that’s all fine, but he won’t be taking the surgery. This is when everything goes haywire. Silver begins voicing all his thoughts aloud, constantly stating his fears and regrets aloud. Silver decides to make the best of the rest of his short life, but the rest of his family are set to convince him to get the surgery. Silver’s father, a Rabbi, asks why does he choose death, to which Silver replies, “It’s not that I choose death, it’s just that I don’t choose life.”

    Through some strange misadventures and life affirming events Silver finds what in his life he’s been missing, and not until the very end do we find out whether or not he will take the surgery and even then it’s an insightful end. Poignant, witty, heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time is what makes this book a great read.

     
  • gilwilson 10:39 PM on December 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , columbia university, , death, diabetes, george guidall, investments, medical thriller, , , , , robin cook, stem cell research,   

    “Death Benefit” by Robin Cook 

    “Death Benefit”
    by Robin Cook
    Read by George Guidall
    Produced by Penguin Audio
    Approx 11.5 hours.

    Back in the ’70s Robin Cook had a huge best seller with his book, “Coma.”  I remember everyone just had to read this book (I was still into just monster books at the time).  Then the movie came out and again folks were excited.  Dr. Cook then went on to write many best sellers but “Coma” was the first one that came to mind.  I got the opportunity to listen to this book, “Death Benefit,” his latest creation, and had to ask myself, “Why haven’t I read anything by this guy before?”

    So here I plunge into a medical thriller, written by the man who pretty much perfected the genre, and I’ll tell you first hand, Dr. Robin Cook can keep you in suspense, while spinning a tale that involves science that could be happening now, and a story that could almost come out of today’s headlines.  I think I may have been intimidated before, knowing that he is an actual physician, I had assumed his writing would get real technical.  Well, I was right it does get pretty technical, but Dr. Cook has a way of telling the story and the science behind the story that becomes educational as well as entertaining.  The science behind this book involves  stem cells and the growing of human organs, and, well, let’s just say, I followed along pretty well.  I don’t consider myself a biology know-it-all, but I’m also not uneducated.  When it comes to biology I sit right about in the middle of that knowledge scale.  But, and here’s the good part, listening to the story told by Dr. Cook the science came easy and he wrote in such a way that anyone could grasp the ideas.

    Before I go into the story, I would like to talk about the reader, George Guidall.  Mr. Guidall did a nice enough job reading the book and even did some nice vocal changes to match the characteristics of each character.  However, I think if I were the one casting a reader for this book I would have gone with someone with a 20 something female voice.  He did a nice enough job to keep the book interesting, but i just think it might have been better with a younger and female voice since the book centered around Pia Grazdani a fourth year medical student.  And many of the characters were younger.  Guidall matched perfectly with some of the older professors and the mobsters, but some voices just would have worked better otherwise.

    The story comes at you from two fronts to start out with.  First with the story of two financial investors that have come up with the latest scam since the bubble burst on sub-prime mortgages.  That scam being the buying up of life insurance policies of folks who may have a short time to live.  The person gets 15 percent of the policy value and the investors collect on the policy when the person dies.  These two investors go out an purchase policies of those with fatal illnesses, especially those with diabetes.  Knowing they won’t live long the investors make money off the dying.

    The second aspect of the story is that of Pia Grazdani, who through a troubled past has worked her way through college and is now on her 4th year of Med School at Columbia University.  Pia is taken under the wing of Dr. Tobias Rothman who sees Pia as he was and convinces her, that she is cut out exactly for research.  He gives her the chance to work with him and Dr. Yamamota on something that will revolutionize the medical industry, using stem sells to grow human organs that because the come from the tissue of the person needing the organ will not be rejected.  Thus creating a pancreas, for example, from a diabetic’s own cells and transplanting it and extending the life of the patient.

    When the investors get word of this research, they realize that 75% of their policies are on diabetics and that this could financially ruin them.  Soon Dr.s Rothman and Yamamota contract a rare strain of salmonella and die.  While it is written off as carelessness, since they were both working on research involving the salmonella strain.  Pia, however does not buy into this and she begins investigating on her own.  Her investigation leads to death threats on her self and a path that leads to a part of her past she has tried to put behind her.

    This non-stop thrillride will take you from the campus of a prestige medical school, to the offices of shady investment bankers to a new crime syndicate without taking a breath until the very end.

     
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