I recieved a digital copy free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was a huge disappointment I came in expecting stories about Liz s music, the industry, and how she grew up and matured Unfortunately its a collection of stories about things that were terrible moments that stuck with her that never really click Reading through the book, you understand where the moments latched on, but there isn t much connection The first chapter is probably the one I connected with the most, as the regrets are easy to relate to As the book progressed I felt like it wavered and veered off in to less interesting material While the stories are obviously personal, it just doesn t make for great reading At some points I had to fight off skipping ahead in chunks.As someone who has been listening to Liz since high school in the early to mid 90s, this just let me down There was so much potential considering how relatable her music had always been, yet this book just fell super flat I can t recommend this at all. I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I was thinking this would be a memoir and give me info on Liz s upbringing and her music career Instead it was a series of essays about different topic.I got so bored with this Some of the topics she just went on and on and I started skimming It had some extremely long descriptions of boring every day things There were a few interesting tidbits in there, but a lot of filler. From The Two Time Grammy Nominated Singer Songwriter Behind The Groundbreaking Album Exile In Guyville Comes A Haunting Memoir In Stories In The Tradition Of Patti Smith S M Train When Liz Phair Was Just Starting Out In The Wicker Park, Chicago, Music Scene In The Early S, She Mostly Encountered A Holes Mostly Men, Who Didn T Respect Her And Were Determined Not To See Her Fail, Exactly, Because They Didn T Care Enough About Her To Wish Failure On Her They Just Wanted Her To Get Out Of Their Space, To Disappear Girly Sound Was The Name Of The Cassettes She Used To Pass Around In Those Days, And In Those Songs Became The Landmark Album Exile In Guyville, Which Turned Phair, At Twenty Five, Into A Foul Mouthed Feminist IconNow, Like A Gen X Patti Smith, Liz Phair Tells The Story Of Her Life And Career In A Memoir About The Moments That Have Haunted Her Most Horror Is In The Eye Of The Beholder For Phair, Horror Is What Stays With You The Often Unrecognized, Universal Experiences Of Daily Pain, Shame, And Fear That Make Up Our Common Humanity In Phair S Case It Means The Dangers Of Falling For The Perfect Guy, And The Disaster That Awaits Her The Memory Of A Stranger Passed Out On A Bathroom Floor Amid A Crowd Of Girls, Forcing Her To Consider Our Responsibilities To One Another, And The Gnawing Regret Of Being A Bystander And The Profound Sense Of Emptiness She Experienced On The Set Of Her First Celebrity Photoshoot Horror Stories Reads Like The Confessions Of A Friend, A Book That Gathers Up All Of Our Isolated Shames, Bringing Us Together In Our Shared Imperfection, Our Uncertainty And Our Cowardice, Smashing The Stigma Of Not Being In Control But Most Importantly, Horror Stories Is A Memoir That Asks Questions Of How We Feel About The Things That Have Happened To Us, How We Cope With Regret And Culpability, And How We Break The Spell Of Those Things, Leeching Them Of Their Power Over Us This Memoir Is An Immersive Experience, Taking Readers Inside The Most Intimate Moments Of Phair S Life Her Fearless Prose, Wit, And Uncompromising Honesty Transform Those Deeply Personal Moments Into Tales About Each And Every One Of Us That Will Appeal To Both The Serious Fan And The Serious Reader Thank you, Netgalley and Random House for sending me a digital ARC, in exchange for an honest review As a huge fan of Indie rock queen, Liz Phair I knew I HAD to read her memoir, Horror Stories ASAP This is an unusual but unique memoir of sorts It s much of a essay collection In each chapter, Liz speaks candidly about an even or situation that left her traumatized in her personal life or recording career Three Bad Omens is definitely a standout in this collection Who knew Liz was a psychic My favorite chapter is Labor of Love , in which she describes being in labor with her son, Nick for 30 hours Yikes Liz is not ashamed of exposing her weaknesses when it comes to love either In The Devil Mistress , Liz openly discusses the toxic affair she had when she was married.In She Lies and Below Liz becomes a bystander to frightening daily encounters that leave her rattled and uncomfortable At the end of each chapter, Liz learns a valuable lesson from each failure and mistake, ones that were self inflicted or out of her control This is the kind of memoir you don t have to read in a specific order Many of the stories are non linear Jumping from her University years, to her music career, to her childhood, and back again.Liz is unconventional, just like this memoir I liked and understood the concept of this book, but with that being said, I still wish I got a bit backstory, especially how it felt being a female musician in a male dominated industry I felt like something was missing Liz is a great storyteller though Just like she s a great songwriter Her brutal honesty is what makes her special I found her relatable She has insecurities and inner demons like the rest of us I ve been with her through her all her career highs and lows I wish her all the best I appreciate when an artist is unafraid to expose painful and shameful parts of their pasts That s what makes us human after all Life is Phair Release date October 8, 2019 I disliked this in the same way I disliked Maggie O Farrell s I AM, I AM, I AM Those were not all brushes with death and these are not all horror stories Literary gimmicks annoy the hell out of me, especially in memoir Massive Liz Phair fans will probably like this, but even though the writing is decent, the stories are tedious PUB DATE 10.8.19Thank you, NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review This is imperfect, but ends up being pretty meaningful anyway I would ve skipped it because I really don t like celebrity memoirs even when they re celebrities I like Also I haven t paid her newer stuff any attention in the last decade or so even though I loved her something fierce in that pivotal high school college age time that she reached so many of us The NPR writeup changed my mind because the quotes were so powerful I don t know why I m surprised, her songs were always like that, with some totally gut punching lines So it wasn t what I expected, in a good way, because it s not a musician memoir although there are some such stories here, actually my least favorite among the topics covered The general concept is parsing the awful things we do to each other on a smaller scale, the everyday horror stories that end up lingering longer even than the big obvious ones Horror can be found in brief interactions that are as cumulatively powerful as the splashy heart stoppers, because that s where we live most of our lives It made me remember why I loved her in the first place And something I was completely unprepared for sorry Liz, this is about me now I even felt some little forgotten piece of myself coming back, with the thoughts or memories she stirred up, or my own horror stories that mirrored something in hers those things that become haunting melodies I hear over and over again in my head or in the events, emotions, and interactions that affected her and I could feel why so viscerally I am so grateful for that Whatever flaws this has, it s incredible art that can bring you back something of yourself and this did it.She s a bit into the woo woo than I would imagine considering how grounded and realistic she comes off elsewhere, there are a few too many scenes on airplanes, it can be melodramatic but like, who among us doesn t have those melodramatic moments where some emotion unexpectedly overwhelms reason and before you know it you re forever scarred by something small or stupid , and I really wish editors would go a little harder on celebrities or even big authors I get the impression they re afraid to touch their work sometimes, and this could ve benefited from some editing tweaks can t we all just agree to banish the adding of extra letters to a word for emphasis We re collectively better than that But I was so moved by it overall I think this ll speak to sensitive, empathic types It s confessional, funny, silly, painfully honest even when it makes her look bad or shallow, and strangely healing Is that what I m trying to describe here I m not sure But a lot of it resonated, sometimes surprisingly so I m so glad she wrote it.Some favorite lines out of a bunch of them We re afraid we will be defined by our worst decisions instead of our best We can be monsters, we human beings, in the most offhand and cavalier ways.I wrecked my marriage, and he wrecked his essentially for nothing.The only thing you know for sure is that you can t go back the way you came You must go forward, or sideways, or up, or down anywhere except home again, because that s not your home any You are temporarily homeless Losing love can turn you into a ghost in your own life You go to all the same places, do the same things, but you re not really there You re surrounded by friends and family, people with whom you intimately belong, but because your heart is broken, you listen to their laughter and conversation as if from a great distance.Time will refasten what s come unmoored inside you. I grew up listening to Liz Phair, and I really wanted to like this book.But it was not my cup of tea, while I appreciate the candor in her stories, they were very dramatic And I think much dramatic then they had to be, I was turned off when she described a tennis game with an ex boyfriend and when she realized he was a much better tennis player than her she burst into tears and was inconsolable, really While I m sure there is to that story than just what was floating on the surface, it did not make me any empathetic towards her The feeling that I got from these stories was that these were all horrifying experiences for her, and I m sure many of them were, but she hams it up a lot Almost like she assumed we would all be shocked that all this happened to her but in reality it s not shocking, it s just stuff that happens I hate assuming how an author feels when writing anything, and I m sure this was a very cathartic experience for her, writing it all out But it read a lot like the ramblings of a drama queen. I received this ARC via Netgalley This wasn t quite what I was expecting I was anticipating a straightforward memoir but it was instead it was series of essays Not in chronological order, but arranged very nicely Some essays were stronger than others but I found Phair to be a self aware writer than her contemporaries cough Ani DiFranco cough. Liz Phair s album Exile in Guyville has held a long power among alt rock listeners of a Certain Age I saw her show for that album in Boston, and I ve been thinking about it over the past year because the cover of Daisy Jones The Six keeps popping up in my GR feed, and looks so similar to the album cover So when I saw that Liz Phair had written a collection of memoirs, I put an immediate hold on it The title is perfect for October, but these horror stories are about very personal demons the way we fail other people and beat ourselves up over it the way other people fail us and we suffer the consequences the way we make wrong assumptions about other people and the way we can t see ourselves clearly and accurately, either, and just hope we re good people, or at least okay people Liz is brutally honest as she tells these stories on herself, with insight and empathy although she often regrets that both of those qualities came too late for a particular situation Among other stories, she pulls no punches in describing the affair she had that ended her marriage, and her later experience with betrayal by a serious boyfriend both stories are told simply and straightforwardly, which has the effect of making them feel poignant to me than they might have if she had flowered them up Her recollections of the constant sexual harassment she faced as a young woman and even sometimes as a middle aged woman will resonate with all female readers is there any one of us who hasn t experienced this crap over and over again Like most memoir essay collections, the topics are somewhat all over the place, but all of these are beautifully recounted, with a combination of sensitivity and austerity that I really enjoyed and admired And now I ve got to go give Exile in Guyville yet another listen. Upon first seeing Horror Stories by Liz Phair, I thought of how this was going to be a roller coaster of a book told in the fashion of an in your face, rip snorting recounting of loud and audacious tales from a wild rock and roller How wrong I was and what a pleasant surprise it was to read the pages of this memoir and to discover the book was not at all what I thought it would be This is not a rock and roll book that spills the beans on the career of a performer like Liz Phair It also is not the writing or storytelling of an adult with the personality of an immature twenty year old while being stuck in the past This memoir is not about the spilling of stories to shock and titillate the reader while the reader hopes to somehow live vicariously through the life of a celebrity It is instead a thoughtful recounting of events in a person s life, of whom just happens to be a rock and roll celebrity, and what the person has learned from these events and hopes to share with others in a meaningful way Phair s writing is open, frank and sincere and is devoid of a reluctance to write of personal aspects of her life that others sometimes avoid Along the way she deftly passes on to the reader what her experiences have taught her about life, both from the start and until the end After reading Horror Stories, I am confident to predict that many will see Liz Phair differently than prior to reading the book.She does not apologize for being successful and a celebrity, but aptly describes how celebrity and physical attractiveness can both impede and enhance a person s life and when doing so does not come off as being arrogant, superficial or insincere Though she does not apologize for her celebrity, she does apologize for behaviors in her past that may have hurt others.The chapters on her pregnancy and birth of her son and preparing for old age were especially poignant.Liz Phair also writes an introduction to the memoir that successfully sets up what follows so the reader will establish appreciate her words even.
Liz Phair born Elizabeth Clark Phair is an American singer songwriter and guitarist Her signature guitar, which she is often seen playing and is prominent upon the cover of her self titled fourth album , is a Fender Duo Sonic Her album Exile in Guyville was chosen as one of Rolling Stone s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
- 272 pages
- Horror Stories
- Liz Phair
- 27 January 2017 Liz Phair