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31 Songs

by Nick Hornby

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2,199365,506 (3.37)54
Here, Nick Hornby writes about 31 songs - most of them loved, some of them once loved, all of them significant to him. He begins with Teenage Fanclub's Your Love is the Place that I Come From and ends with Patti Smith's Pissing in a River, encompassing varied singers along the way, such as Van Morrison and Nelly Furtado, and songs as different as Thunder Road and Puff the Magic Dragon (reggae style). He discusses, among other things, guitar solos, singers whose teeth whistle and the sort of music you hear in the Body Shop.… (more)
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» See also 54 mentions

English (34)  German (2)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
En este libro, NH se dedica lo que sabe: escribir y contar cosas. Es un libro en el que nos cuenta su relación con 31 canciones, tanto las que le han marcado como las que le recuerdan algo de su vida, como las que le sugieren cosas nuevas. Este NH es un melómano de cuidado. Leyéndole uno tiene la impresión de que nunca llegará a escuchar tanta música como él.

Ya que el libro iba de canciones, se me ocurrió algo. Me fui a radio mula y sintonicé las 31 canciones, que fui escuchando a razón de una –a veces dos, pues hay capítulos dobles– por capítulo. Y les aseguro que la experiencia merece la pena. Conocía tres canciones de las 31 que destaca NH. Y sin embargo me encantó ir descubriendo grupos nuevos mientras un guía de excepción te contaba lo que sentía al oírlas y te hacía una breve reseña de cómo llegó a conocer al grupo.

En realidad, no son 31 canciones, sino casi 100, pues en muchos capítulos NH habla de muchas canciones que no salen en el título. Por ejemplo, en el capítulo sobre la canción X, NH comienza “no es que X me parezca mejor que Y, ni que Z, pero tiene algo que es especial. Al mismo tiempo que descubrí X yo estaba enganchado con A, B y C, que luego me llevaron a descubrir E, F y G…” y luego vuelve a hablar de X. En total, ya les digo, salen un montonazo de canciones.

En muchos de los capítulos NH habla de su vida, y de cómo han tenido ciertos episodios de ésta mucho que ver con las canciones que comenta. Me gusta leerle cuando escribe así. NH es un tío normal, con un don para contar cosas (y respaldado en castellano por un excelente traductor), que te lleva por donde quiere y te hace disfrutar por el camino, aunque sólo te esté contando que una vez organizó un festival benéfico en un colegio de primaria. Hay otro libro suyo, Fiebre en las gradas, que está aún mejor. Es una biografía de su pasión por el Arsenal, equipo de la Premier inglesa. Sólo habla de él y de fútbol, y es genial. Este libro recuerda a aquél, cambiando el tema, pero no llega a igualarlo. La sensación de leerlo con música, sin embargo, ha hecho que me haya encantado la experiencia. Mi nota: Muy entretenido. ( )
  Remocpi | Apr 22, 2020 |
Thinking about his favorite music. ( )
  Fiddleback_ | Dec 17, 2018 |
I borrowed this book because of a review that said Nick Hornsby writes so well that even if you never listen to music you'll enjoy this book, which is about modern life, really, and only incidentally about the music which is the soundtrack to Hornby's life.
Well, it got me thru a 3 hour wait while my car was being repaired, and there are a few thought-provoking statements, but all in all I've decided to return it only half read. I've got more interesting things to do with my life. ( )
  juniperSun | Jan 31, 2018 |
This book will not appeal to everyone, however if you ever agonized over the track list of a mixtape, this is for you. I knew maybe half of the 31 songs discussed, but I felt as though I knew and had a relationship with them after reading about them. It is a little dated (early 2000s) but aside from that I read this book in essentially one sitting while listening to each song on YouTube as I read. A great series of essays (essentially) about songs that matter to an author. ( )
  SadieRuin | Aug 28, 2017 |
Nick Hornby is a good writer and it is obvious with this book. But this was a really boring book. As I was reading about songs I didn't know or could care about I wondered how this book even got made and who would really buy it. I fill like it was something he just did to fulfill an obligation. I'm glad I could read it in a day.

I won this book on Goodreads and thank the publisher for my copy. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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For Lee, and all the other people who have introduced me to new songs.
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So we were dong this thing, this launch party, for Speaking with the Angel, a book of short stories I put together to raise money for my son's school and we -- the school, the publishers of the book, me and my partner -- were nervous about it.
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The thing that puzzles me about those who feel that contemporary pop (and I use the word to encompass soul, reggae, country, rock - anything and everything that might be regarded as trashy) is beneath them, or behind them, or beyond them - some preposition denoting distance, anyway: Does this mean that you never hear, or at least never enjoy, new songs, that everything you whistle or hum was written years, decades, centuries ago? Do you really deny yourselves the pleasure of mastering a tune (a pleasure, incidentally, that your generation is perhaps the first in the history of mankind to forgo) because you are afraid it might make you look as if you don’t know who Harold Bloom is? Wow. I’ll bet you’re fun at parties.
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Here, Nick Hornby writes about 31 songs - most of them loved, some of them once loved, all of them significant to him. He begins with Teenage Fanclub's Your Love is the Place that I Come From and ends with Patti Smith's Pissing in a River, encompassing varied singers along the way, such as Van Morrison and Nelly Furtado, and songs as different as Thunder Road and Puff the Magic Dragon (reggae style). He discusses, among other things, guitar solos, singers whose teeth whistle and the sort of music you hear in the Body Shop.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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