Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Book Review: Never Drank the Kool-Aid

I was excited about this book until I realized I have little appreciation for hip-hop culture. Its not completely hip-hop though and has some pieces on Condi Rice, Colin Powell, and Al Sharpton. For the most part the book is comprised of Toure’s essays from the Rolling Stone. Toure’s writing is wonderful, humorous and thought-provoking.

Bonus points to those who "get" this title!

"In a varied collection of lucid, colorful pieces, journalist Tour, author of the novel Soul City and the story collection The Portable Promised Land, takes readers from the inner sanctum of Prince's Paisley Park to Jennifer Capriati's practice court, Lauryn Hill's Christmas party and beyond. Deftly organized by theme, the book comprises mainly magazine articles dating from 2005 to the mid-'90s, and its title refers to the author's insistence that he never bought into the philosophies of the people he profiled but rather aimed 'to understand who they were beyond the image they want us to think they were.' He succeeds with meteoric personalities, like Eminem and Al Sharpton, and with people like junior-tennis phenom and eventual professional bust Al Parker Jr. Tour has a knack for putting his subjects at ease, and he blends their intriguing candor with apt observations on the nature of their careers. He describes his own place in events without overshadowing the story itself. He's just interested in bringing us along for the ride, even if that means sitting shotgun while DMX pulls a full-speed 180 in a Cadillac Escalade on Sunset Boulevard." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Kim's Grade: B+

No comments: