Choice Gleanings from the NYT Weekend Book Review
Rick Moody reviews Mick Wall’s biography of Led Zeppelin, and finds it overly focused on prurient groupie-stories, at the expense of any real discussion of the band’s music. This is the same Mick Wall, then of Kerrang! called out by name (along with Bob Guccione Jr., then of Spin, Andy Secher, then of Hit Parader, and the entire entity that is/was Circus Magazine) in the song “Get in the Ring” on Use Your Illusion II. (“You be rippin’ off the fuckin’ kids/ While they be payin’ their hard earned money to read about the bands They want to know about / Printin’ lies startin’ controversy / You wanta antagonize me / Antagonize me motherfucker / Get in the ring motherfucker…”) Guess things haven’t changed much for ole Mick over the years.
Sheila Kohler (alumna of The Quarterly and a Lish-era Knopf) has a new novel, a work of historical imagination entitled Becoming Jane Eyre, which Christopher Benfey seems to have enjoyed.
Christopher Byrd, a rad younger critic, whose unexpected popping-up here seems like a general omen of good tidings, reviews Running Away by Jean-Phillipe Toussaint.
And Patrick Cockburn–intrepid journalist, and brother of Alexander–greatly admires Joe Sacco’s Footnotes in Gaza, a new work of graphic historical-journalism depicting two long-forgotten massacres of Palestinians.
[E]arly in 1956, the Israeli chief of staff Moshe Dayan made a famous speech at the funeral of an Israeli commander killed on the border with Gaza. What, Dayan wondered, explained the Palestinians’ “terrible hatred of us”? Then he answered his own question: “For eight years now they have sat in the refugee camps of Gaza, and have watched how, before their very eyes, we have turned their lands and villages, where they and their forefathers previously dwelled, into our home.”
Oh right, that.