… because having your own book reviewed, generally speaking, sucks. Stings. Bruises. Even if the danged thing is 99% positive, you can’t help but harp on the one negative point. Two weeks ago, the New York Times reviewed “Strokes of Genius,” Jon Wertheim’s excellent Federer-Nadal opus. Jon’s a close friend, and he was understandably irked by the review. So was I. Others read it, however, and said, “Excellent review!” We see what we see, I reckon.
I digress. I have decided to make an exception to my NO BOOKS REVIEWED HERE rule because, as we speak, I am absorbed by what already goes down as one of my favorite all-time reads. The name of the book is A DEVIL ON ONE SHOULDERS AND AN ANGEL ON THE OTHER: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon. The author is Greg Prato.
I swear to you, it is a must read.
Whether you love Blind Melon (admittedly, I do), hate Blind Melon (my wife qualifies) or know nothing of blind Melon other than the Bee Girl, the book is a mind-blowing trip through the 90s rock scene. The star of the narrative is Hoon, Melon’s gifted-yet-self-destructive lead singer who can turn any song into magic but who never meets a drug he doesn’t snort, shoot up, smoke or ingest. Prato’s work is brutally, unflinchingly honestâ€”he loves Melon, but spares no words painting Hoon as he truly wasâ€”an out-of-control, oft-selfish genius whose lack of maturity and inability to see beyond himself led to his death at age 28 (of a cocaine overdose). The stories here come fast and hard: Hoon slicing up his chest with a piece of glass; Hoon pissing on the audience at a concert in Vancouver; Hoon delving into crack; Hoon promising to turn his life around with the birth of his daughter Nico, only to fall back into old habits.
Again, I rarely recommend any product. But I strongly recommend this.
A killer effort.