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Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth

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For more than twenty-five years, the antimelodic “noise” of Sonic Youth has assaulted us, exhilarated us, inspired us. Why? Katherine Dunn says it's because they operate in the foggy world between the real and the surreal. Mary Gaitskill says that Sonic Youth caught her, years ago, when she was falling. J. Robert Lennon says it's because Sonic Youth rip it apart. Emily Magu For more than twenty-five years, the antimelodic “noise” of Sonic Youth has assaulted us, exhilarated us, inspired us. Why? Katherine Dunn says it's because they operate in the foggy world between the real and the surreal. Mary Gaitskill says that Sonic Youth caught her, years ago, when she was falling. J. Robert Lennon says it's because Sonic Youth rip it apart. Emily Maguire was hooked because once she was in love with chaos. Their sound is caustic, elemental, nihilistic—and quite unlike any other cult band ever to achieve rock godhood. In Noise, twenty-one great literary voices offer short fiction based on or inspired by songs from Sonic Youth—a raucous coupling of music and literature featuring marrow-colored goo, severed hands and abandoned babies, Patty Hearst watching the apocalypse on TV, and other unruly images of the Zeitgeist. Contributors Hiag Akmakjian • Christopher Coake • Katherine Dunn • Mary Gaitskill • Rebecca Godfrey • Laird Hunt • Shelley Jackson • J. Robert Lennon • Samuel Ligon • Emily Maguire • Tom McCarthy • Scott Mebus • Eileen Myles • Catherine O'Flynn • Emily Carter Roiphe • Kevin Sampsell • Steven Sherrill • Matt Thorne • Rachel Trezise • Jess Walter • Peter Wild


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For more than twenty-five years, the antimelodic “noise” of Sonic Youth has assaulted us, exhilarated us, inspired us. Why? Katherine Dunn says it's because they operate in the foggy world between the real and the surreal. Mary Gaitskill says that Sonic Youth caught her, years ago, when she was falling. J. Robert Lennon says it's because Sonic Youth rip it apart. Emily Magu For more than twenty-five years, the antimelodic “noise” of Sonic Youth has assaulted us, exhilarated us, inspired us. Why? Katherine Dunn says it's because they operate in the foggy world between the real and the surreal. Mary Gaitskill says that Sonic Youth caught her, years ago, when she was falling. J. Robert Lennon says it's because Sonic Youth rip it apart. Emily Maguire was hooked because once she was in love with chaos. Their sound is caustic, elemental, nihilistic—and quite unlike any other cult band ever to achieve rock godhood. In Noise, twenty-one great literary voices offer short fiction based on or inspired by songs from Sonic Youth—a raucous coupling of music and literature featuring marrow-colored goo, severed hands and abandoned babies, Patty Hearst watching the apocalypse on TV, and other unruly images of the Zeitgeist. Contributors Hiag Akmakjian • Christopher Coake • Katherine Dunn • Mary Gaitskill • Rebecca Godfrey • Laird Hunt • Shelley Jackson • J. Robert Lennon • Samuel Ligon • Emily Maguire • Tom McCarthy • Scott Mebus • Eileen Myles • Catherine O'Flynn • Emily Carter Roiphe • Kevin Sampsell • Steven Sherrill • Matt Thorne • Rachel Trezise • Jess Walter • Peter Wild

30 review for Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Krein

    what did i learn from this book? that english authors are bad at writing short stories based on the music of sonic youth.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Cool collection of stories inspired by Sonic Youth songs. Great work especially by Jess Walter, Katherine Dunn, Samuel Ligon. I have a story in here too, called "Swimsuit Issue," based on the song from Dirty. One of my favorite parts is how each writer wrote a little intro to their story explaining why they picked the song they chose to base their stories on. This was originally published in the UK. Now it's out in the states.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I was horribly disappointed by this collection. There's so much possibility here but so many of these writers chose very trite topics, ranging from the boring to the melodramatic. It felt more like a collection of writings by high school students given the same assignment, and most of these supposedly professional writers simply borrowed a song title for a story title with no relevance or reverence for the source whatsoever. In most cases I enjoyed reading the blurbs at the beginning of the stor I was horribly disappointed by this collection. There's so much possibility here but so many of these writers chose very trite topics, ranging from the boring to the melodramatic. It felt more like a collection of writings by high school students given the same assignment, and most of these supposedly professional writers simply borrowed a song title for a story title with no relevance or reverence for the source whatsoever. In most cases I enjoyed reading the blurbs at the beginning of the stories (that describe in the authors' words their relationship with sonic youth) more than the actual stories that followed. The two exceptions that come to mind were Katherine Dunn's piece and Shelley Jackson's. Jackson's "My Friend Goo" was one of the best pieces of short fiction I've read this year, evoking the kind of feeling that this music makes a person feel but doing something totally original and fantastic. Everything else could have (and should have) never seen the light of day. Maybe it's a common problem with writing about music, although the matter warrants further investigation. If only the editor of this collection had been more discerning.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Saxon

    I got this an advanced copy from Vogue. Its actually EDITED by Peter Wild and a collection of short stories many different writers. For the most part this collection was actually really good. Most of the stories seem to emulate Sonic Youth in some way--dark, surreal, psychedelic,etc. In addition, the fiction is usually somewhat experimental and non-linear. However, even if you are not a fan of Sonic Youth , one could still enjoy these stories. The only aspect that seemed somewhat pointless was t I got this an advanced copy from Vogue. Its actually EDITED by Peter Wild and a collection of short stories many different writers. For the most part this collection was actually really good. Most of the stories seem to emulate Sonic Youth in some way--dark, surreal, psychedelic,etc. In addition, the fiction is usually somewhat experimental and non-linear. However, even if you are not a fan of Sonic Youth , one could still enjoy these stories. The only aspect that seemed somewhat pointless was that each story was titled after a Sonic Youth song and included an anecdote by the author regarding their thoughts on the band. I could have done without this but I guess I could have also chosen to not read those parts too. Personal favorites include Swimsuit Issue by Kevin Sampsell and Snare, Girl by Katherine Dunn (author of Geek Love) and the one by Tom McCarthy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cher

    1/4 of the way into this book, I am not sure the other people listening to this band are hearing anything I hear. It is clear the authors are using only the titles and the open-endedness of the band's music as their guides.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I tried pretty hard to read this. The theme is great; I downloaded a whole bunch of songs I haven't listened to in years, and am loving them. But the stories I read (I couldn't finish!) didn't blow me away, or really make me feel connected to the music.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    The "My Friend Goo" story was pretty good. The rest... well, I'm staying away from the same publisher's "fiction inspired by The Fall" book now. Most of the author introductions were embarrassing, too. Improve book: delete introductions.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam Hodgins

    I picked this up because as far as I’m concerned Sonic Youth is pretty much the best thing ever. I wasn’t familiar with any of the writers except Eileen Myles, but there’s definitely a few gems in here and I’ll be looking for more stuff by a few of the authors.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    this is a pretty good anthology of various writers, works inspired by sonic youth. of course, i got this book not as an avid long-term sonic youth fan, but because of eileen myles piece "protect me you"....spetacular as usual!

  10. 4 out of 5

    D.W. Miller

    One brilliant story among a plethora of others ranging from awful to mediocre. I picked it up because it was on sale for $5.00, and I'd say that's about what it's worth.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Goodman

    Liked a lot of it and hated some of it. I just didn’t get some of the stories. Not sure if I would call this YA.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    These were ok, but I think I'm done with this series

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ginnetta

    ARC

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mathias Aduke

    Lame!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Guy

    **1/2

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    C- I wish this book was as good as I had hoped. Even authors I normally liked wrote mediocre stories. Laird Hunt and Mary Gaitskill are included, yippie. :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin Tuzuner

    Better in concept than execution.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    A mix of stories I really enjoyed and others that made me go meh. SOnic Youth is my favourite band, and they do chaotic quite well, so it was interesting to read these interpretations.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I didn't see Sonic Youth in many of these stories at all. they were overly simple in many cases and just kind of blah.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    (Quasi-)Experimental jet set. Trash. One star. (Oh, and regarding the intro: Et tu, Lee?)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Colonelsandy

    I like Sonic Youth...I hated this book

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    An uninspired collection of watered-down workshop fiction.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    somewhere lost in space is my review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sonic the hedgehog

  26. 4 out of 5

    Raquel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Glee Norto

  28. 4 out of 5

    C.J.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Mcnab

  30. 4 out of 5

    Big Al

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