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Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark…
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Things the Grandchildren Should Know (2008)

by Mark Oliver Everett

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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
This is a biog of EELS frontman Mark Everett. His story is tragic - his parents and sister die early on in the book - his sister is a manic depressive alcoholic and his father never speaks. He gets the drink and drugs stuff out of the way early (when he's about 12!) and then absorbs himself in music.
He is an interesting character and he is very insular and passionate about his music. I like that he rejects a lot of the trappings of the music industry and keeps it real. A good, easy read. ( )
  AHouseOfBooks | Jan 27, 2016 |
Blurb......

How does one young man survive the deaths of his entire family and manage to make something worthwhile of his life? In Things The Grandchildren Should Know Mark Oliver Everett tells the story of what it's like to grow up the insecure son of a genius in a wacky Virginia Ice Storm-like family. Left to run wild with his sister, his father off in some parallel universe of his own invention, Everett's upbringing was 'ridiculous, sometimes tragic and always unsteady'. But somehow he manages to not only survive his crazy upbringing and ensuing tragedies; he makes something of his life, striking out on a journey to find himself by channelling his experiences into his, eventually, critically acclaimed music with the Eels. But it's not an easy path. Told with surprising candour, Things The Grandchildren Should Know is an inspiring and remarkable story, full of hope, humour and wry wisdom.

A speculative charity shop purchase after reading the blurb on the back.
I was/still am unfamiliar with The Eels and there music, even after a scouting mission on You Tube to try and familiarise myself with some of their music.
Nope - just don't recognise any of the tracks.

I think I was drawn to the book, more from a curious rubber-necking perspective. How does someone cope with the loss of their entire family and still find the resolve to get up out of bed each day and carry on?

Everett deserves admiration for his strength of character and total lack of self-pity. Probably for his music too, but I can't comment on that.
Hopefully the next few years will deal him a kinder hand.

4 from 5

As stated above a cheapo purchase from a local charity shop.

( )
  col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
I love this guy. Really. He constantly needs a hug, and I will totally provide.

The author is the lead singer/head honcho of the band Eels. I've loved his music for years. Just the perfect combination of happiness in musical form with dark and disturbing lyrics. Love that juxtaposition. He even has a sense of humor, getting excited when he makes a whole album without using the term "pushing up daisies."

I confess: I bought this book because I already knew the music by heart. Not being the type to dig deeply looking for personal information about artists (and wholeheartedly believing that if I, as an appreciator, am meant to know something it will be in the art) I was excited to get a few more pieces of this particular brain.

I would have been happy to lick this brain even if I had never heard a single note. Really. It is that good. That interesting. That personable, if that is a reasonable thing to say about a book.

I've always thought that E would probably be the sort of guy whom, if you actually met him, you'd wish you hadn't. He seems, in the music, to be too much of a "creation" and not enough of just a person who would be interesting to have a drink with. If you feel that way, read the book. It will change your mind. If you have never heard the music, then that is your loss. But you should read the book. It will make you listen.

edited to add: And while you are listening, buy his solo stuff if you can find it. I have Broken Toy Shop and A Man Called E on CD, and they have both seen a lot of play over the years. So don't think Eels is all there is. Though, there are occasional horns... ( )
  jonesjohnson | Sep 25, 2011 |
Mr E writes about the crazy, difficult life of his which turns out to be wonderful after all. He shows that every life is full of surprises and maybies and a story of its own. ( )
  flydodofly | Jun 13, 2011 |
Being unpopular kid from a weird suburban family living in Virginia, getting out of it, seeing a great sister drowning in substance abuse, wasting time in bad company, losing father, getting famous, losing sister, losing mother, losing too many people too early and making something out of it all. No great philosophic theories. Just "keep going".
An easy & insightful read as a book, not the easiest one as a life. I had never listened to the Eels before this book (Eels just didn't come my way & I really dislike(d) the cover art for the "Beautiful Freak", no idea why). Of course after 150 something pages it made me get every Eels album I read about & play swallow them on repeat. But it didn't make me a fan, though. At some points I was thinking the text is too plain, but in the end - it's well vowed biography, full of intelligent humor despite the tragic of the story. It was warm & suprisingly unbiased, flowing, with a touch of irony, a view into a life of a very talented guy who lives and breathes music... My copy came with a sticker that said: "ROCK MUSIC! DEATH! CRAZY PEOPLE! LOVE!" - and that's what you get (but without exclamation marks). Good book!
  lemort | Aug 10, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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For Liz, Hugh and Nancy, wherever you are
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I was driving through the pitch black Virginia night, down the perfectly flat blacktop that was once a railroad track, across that high bridge over the ravine, thinking about the details of how one night I was going to drive off it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312385137, Hardcover)

Growing up in the Virginia suburbs, Mark Oliver Everett was to roam unsupervised with his sister, Liz, while his mother combated depression and his father, the eccentric and acclaimed quantum physicist Hugh Everett, remained distant and obsessed by parallel universes of his own creation.  (Everett writes, "As a little kid, I had a hard time with the realization that inanimate objects didn't have feelings or thoughts. I remember being on the verge of tears, standing there in the bathroom, as my mom tried to make me understand that the bathroom cabinet wasn't going to be hurt if I closed it too hard. I thought of the bathroom cabinet as one of my friends. Maybe I was confused because I thought of my father as a piece of furniture.") First, the author lost his father to heart failure, and then—in a staggeringly short period of time—his sister to schizophrenia and suicide and his mother to cancer. The author drew upon the relentless tragedies in his life for inspiration in writing highly acclaimed music with his indie rock group, the Eels.  Yet this is much more than a musician's tale. A true gem of a memoir, Everett’s story is a rich and poignant narrative on coming of age, love, death, and the creative vision.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:28 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Growing up in the Virginia suburbs, Mark Oliver Everett roamed unsupervised with his sister, Liz, while his mother combated depression and his father, the eccentric and acclaimed quantum physicist Hugh Everett, remained distant and obsessed by parallel universes of his own creation. First, the author lost his father to heart failure, and then--in a staggeringly short period of time--his sister to schizophrenia and suicide and his mother to cancer. The author drew upon the relentless tragedies in his life for inspiration in writing highly acclaimed music with his indie rock group, the Eels. Yet this is much more than a musician's tale. A true gem of a memoir, Everett's story is a poignant narrative on coming of age, love, death, and the creative vision.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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