Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music: Sixth Edition [Greil Marcus] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The perfect gift for. Mystery Train has ratings and reviews. Michael said: This is a masterpiece from Greil Marcus about what makes American rock-n-roll such a speci. Praise. Praise for Mystery Train: “Mystery Train changed a lot of things for me. Most basically, it plugged me into a lifetime’s worth of listening. Because of it, I.

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Furtheri, Appreciated the scholarship yes, scholarship on Robert Johnson. What Marcus is writing about, finally, concerns our most potent images and archetypes–the jester and the guilty Puritan, Huck Finn and Captain Ahab arguing over the stakes of life in America–its possibilities, limits, promises, traps. InGreil Marcus wrote Mystery Train: But it never happened. And Marcus failed to bring me any closer. Rock n roll has played a profound role in the process of the inheritance, acceptance, remodeling, and construction of future expectations within American culture, expressing the inherent contradictions of the promises we inherit and the failures we experience that we hold up against ever present ideals.


One of the best mgstery on Elvis. You can examine the panorama of American music through any number of lenses. Mystery Train was his first book, and came out when he was just If you are interested in the musicians listed on the cover Elvis, Sly Stone, The Band, Randy Newmanconsider a separate biography about them.

The discography section which is about the same length as all of the preceding essays does a better job of tracing the lineage of American music, though entire pages are simply a list griel every version of “Stagger Lee” that Marcus could find. The front is the examination, done in a socio-politico-economic-philosophic style that tends to sink under the weight of its own self importance and lofty language at times. Oct 08, Phil Davis rated it it was amazing. Feb 24, Padraic rated it it was amazing Shelves: Marcus writes with some serious verve though, and his enthusiasm is infectious.


After the essays, frozen as they are in time it was deeply weird for me to read the unbroken present tense of “Presliad”come pages—literally more than half the book —given over to Marcus’ “Notes and Discographies. They travel less frequently, marcks less impulsively. This is a masterpiece from Greil Marcus about rgeil makes American rock-n-roll such a special beast.

If you are studying the subject or are a HUGE fan of one of the six a I like rock and roll, I like music, I probably listen to more genres of music than the average American, I like rock biographies, and I like American history – so why not read this book that is a modern classic and the reviews say I should read? As “Ancestors,” Harmonica Frank who?

Recommended to Alan by: It also includes a kickass discography to go back and listen to the music he discusses.

Geoff Rice correctly assesses Invisible Republic as where the Marcus voodoo choo-choo goes off the rails and re-reading this vividly recalled the many strange feelings one can get receive via the Holy Greil — from ‘this is obviously the best thinking ever about music’ to ‘if I read one more evocation of the paradoxical nature of the South, I’m gonna choke myself on a chitlin.

Frain course, Marcus must be right.

MYSTERY TRAIN by Greil Marcus | Kirkus Reviews

I admit the man was a lousy actor and seemed to be reading the lines from cue cards, but there were a lot of beautiful women in those movies, and there were always a few good songs. Sep 09, Paul Bryant rated it really liked it Shelves: Mar 06, Matt Comito rated it really liked it.

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I tried it and I failed, miserably. It is an odd, if all too common, blind spot for someone otherwise so observant. In the plus column was his essay on Elvis.

His approach in discussinng any given song is synthetic and creative, not just a description but an imaginative ‘reading’ that adds to your experience of that song.


It got a little jarring at points see parenthesis above but- here’s the kicker- Marcus writes so damn well about obscure novels and bootlegs and concerts that even if one did actually hear them or attend them Marcus’ phrases are so distinct and so tastefully sketched that they envelop the music in a poetic aura of interpretation which becomes a thing of its own.

You’ll have to forgive him for that; despite some pretentious twaddle, Mystery Train is an intriguing and ultimately convincing book–perhaps because Marcus has chosen his subjects with great care.

Aug 29, Jon rated it really liked it. Jul 31, Gabriel Conroy rated it did not like it. Thank goodness or thanks to rock trxin roll, which is not quite the same thing it’s an interesting dance. A whole chapter on Harmonica Frank?

Ultimately, “Mystery Train” has its place in the pantheon of rock books as a first-of-its-kind, and as a decent history in places. Retrieved from ” https: According to another reviewer, Marcus proceeds in his examination of American popular culture with the “democratic assumption” that Presley and Herman Melville are already cultural and political equals, and are, therefore, “in conversation with one another – having a dialogue about freedom and limits, innovation and tradition, American dreams and American obsessions.

Sometimes, though, you want something more: This book may have been filled with interesting and relevant information, but the writing style was this terrible stream-of-consciousness nonsense, and the author kept myster rock mjstery to classic lit books, like Moby Dick.

Mystery Train

Paperbackpages. Anyway, now I never ask or expect anything from anyone ever. If this sounds sort of like what one of his blurbs says of him: The greatest plus here, though, are the Notes and Discographies that form the second half or more of “Mystery Train. His analysis of the end of the s still resonates: