Arresting portraits of the Stones in flamboyant youth and slightly mellower maturity.

GO FOR BROKE

VOLUME I

The Rolling Stones spend 40 years rocking out on stage in this captivating photo album.

Angeledes travelled 153,043 miles, by his reckoning, to attend 132 Stones concerts from 1975 to 2017 and took black-and-white and color photos of the shows. The subjects of these 276 pictures are a constant—singer Mick Jagger, bassist Bill Wyman, and company playing instruments and/or singing on standard-issue stages—so the book’s deeper theme is the effects of time on each of the band members. Some things changed markedly over the decades: The band’s 1970s glam stylings—lamé, bell-bottoms, heavy eyeshadow—gave way to jeans, natural fibers and lighter makeup, and Jagger’s delicate physique became noticeably more muscular in his 60s. Some things didn’t change, including Jagger’s and guitarist Ron Wood’s hair color, which never betrayed any gray, and drummer Charlie Watts’ stony expression and sartorial conservatism. There’s a timelessness to the images in the sense that, even in the ’70s, Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards often looked like old men, creased and haggard as they shrieked into microphones. As the years unspooled, the Stones looked less like raging enfants terribles, and more like relaxed old friends, sneering less and smiling more. Angeledes’ photographs are evocative and atmospheric, and each conveys something of the character of those pictured and the kineticism of their performance antics. There are some indelible images here, including a shot of a youngish Jagger, writhing in a torn, wispy top and print pants, his lips gaping, which is, by itself, worth the price of admission. In between photos, Angeledes relates a few amusing, shaggy dog anecdotes from his Stones-chasing days: getting a snapshot of Richards leaving a court proceeding regarding drug charges; hitchhiking through England after a gig; or getting hassled by security at a Calgary concert (“the guy got really steamed when I tossed that roll of film hoping to ‘lasso’ some portion of his anatomy”). The result is a fine record of the Stones’ stage act and a set of absorbing pictorial studies of the band mates.

Arresting portraits of the Stones in flamboyant youth and slightly mellower maturity.

Pub Date: June 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-93-825806-3

Page Count: 316

Publisher: Sea Lion Productions

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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A sweet-and-sour set of pieces on loss, absurdity, and places they intersect.

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY

Sedaris remains stubbornly irreverent even in the face of pandemic lockdowns and social upheaval.

In his previous collection of original essays, Calypso (2018), the author was unusually downbeat, fixated on aging and the deaths of his mother and sister. There’s bad news in this book, too—most notably, the death of his problematic and seemingly indestructible father at 96—but Sedaris generally carries himself more lightly. On a trip to a gun range, he’s puzzled by boxer shorts with a holster feature, which he wishes were called “gunderpants.” He plays along with nursing-home staffers who, hearing a funnyman named David is on the premises, think he’s Dave Chappelle. He’s bemused by his sister Amy’s landing a new apartment to escape her territorial pet rabbit. On tour, he collects sheaves of off-color jokes and tales of sexual self-gratification gone wrong. His relationship with his partner, Hugh, remains contentious, but it’s mellowing. (“After thirty years, sleeping is the new having sex.”) Even more serious stuff rolls off him. Of Covid-19, he writes that “more than eight hundred thousand people have died to date, and I didn’t get to choose a one of them.” The author’s support of Black Lives Matter is tempered by his interest in the earnest conscientiousness of organizers ensuring everyone is fed and hydrated. (He refers to one such person as a “snacktivist.”) Such impolitic material, though, puts serious essays in sharper, more powerful relief. He recalls fending off the flirtations of a 12-year-old boy in France, frustrated by the language barrier and other factors that kept him from supporting a young gay man. His father’s death unlocks a crushing piece about dad’s inappropriate, sexualizing treatment of his children. For years—chronicled in many books—Sedaris labored to elude his father’s criticism. Even in death, though, it proves hard to escape or laugh off.

A sweet-and-sour set of pieces on loss, absurdity, and places they intersect.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-39245-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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