Friday, May 9, 2008

Radiohead and books

Radiohead made their Charlotte debut tonight. The hillbillies finally came to their logical home: the American South. I waited for 11 years since OK Computer to see these guys. I could hear Thom’s depression in “How To Disappear Completely” before I ever read about it. I have quoted cryptic lyrics about lions eating me for the benefit of others and laughing my head off my body at the bottom of high school student government agendas. I fell asleep, night after collegiate night, to the piano cover of “Let Down.” I am a fan.

The show was excellent, but I was never farther from a stage.

I have read quite a bit in the last five months and can confidently recommend Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, an account of his frightening yet optimistic venture on the Appalachian Trail with a hapless friend and many strangers.

Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is decent, quick and still relevant. The most recent edition includes a great interview that adapts the novel to a contemporary meaning. This is not a story about government censorhip like I thought. Bradbury's world became more visual, impatient and vulnerable with the invention and hyperdevelopment of television. People chose not to think. I still prefer 1984 as a story but admit that Bradbury’s novel is more prophetic.

Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel is a big boy book. Like reading Kerouac, reading Wolfe is a chore. He doesn’t just talk about himself; he dedicates entire chapters to the infant years of his life that I know he cannot remember. I’ll read it someday but not this day.

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