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Never mind the Pollacks : a rock and roll novel
Neal Pollack
Adult Fiction POLLACK

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In his latest satiric bid for immortality (after The Neil Pollack Anthology of American Literature: The Collected Writings of Neal Pollack), humorist Pollack details the life of a famed rock critic named, predictably, Neal Pollack, and takes swipes at scores of legends along the way. Styled as a series of interviews by rival rock critic Paul St. Pierre, conducted after Pollack's untimely death, the novel charts the history of Neal, born Norbert Pollackovitz in 1941 Memphis, Tenn. Norbert's love for music is evident early on, and soon he and neighborhood pal Elvis Presley are making noise in town. When Elvis accidentally backs over Norbert's father with a truck, Norbert is on his own and is christened Neal Pollack by his pals; he soon flees town to discover the world. St. Pierre's progress in examining the life of the "grizzled monster" is slow until he visits Bob Dylan in Woodstock, N.Y. As Dylan tells it, he met Pollack in 1961, at Woody Guthrie's bedside. The incorrigible Pollack goes on to steal Joan Baez away from Dylan and then moves to Liverpool to become a star rock critic. By the mid-'70s, Pollack returns to Manhattan; Johnny Rotten, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and, later, Kurt Cobain make cameos. Saturated with original song lyrics and pop-up appearances by rock music's greatest legends, Pollack's novel has a swinging appeal. Not everyone will want to tune in for the author's manic tongue-in-cheek self-canonization-his kitchen-sink approach sometimes makes for garbled reading-but Spinal Tap fans and groupies everywhere will be delighted. (Oct. 1) Forecast: Pollack fronts a punk-rock band called the Neal Pollack Invasion, and he will take his show on the road in a multicity tour to coincide with publication of the book. Expect antics galore, and substantial coverage in the alternative press. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Rock critics take note: the satirist who roasted magazine journalism to a turn in The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature has you in his sights. In this first novel, pretentious cultural critic Paul St. Pierre sets out to lionize that "dark genius prince of rock criticism," arch iconoclast Neal Pollack. As narrated by St. Pierre, Pollack's youthful epiphany at the feet of Clambone Jefferson, a mythic source of authenticity from whence floweth blues, rock'n'roll, soul, hip-hop, and-with an extraterrestrial assist-funk, leads him on a Forrest Gump-like odyssey in which he blowtorches to life such latent luminaries as Elvis, Dylan, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, the Ramones (as "Smokey, the elusive fifth Ramone'), and Kurt Cobain, whom he fixes up with "She Who Shall Not Be Named for Fear of Lawsuit." The pill-popping and name-dropping grow a bit wearisome by the end of this long, strange trip, and some targets (Dylan, Springsteen) yield more readily to Pollack's pitch-perfect parody than others. But St. Pierre's vapidities are hilarious (shades of Frederick Crews's devastating Postmodern Pooh), and Pollack's clever antics carry the day. Recommended for any library that doesn't wish to be hopelessly unhip: display near the CDs, together with the forthcoming soundtrack album.-David Wright, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Neal Pollack

Paul St. Pierre
Pretentious; Neal's rival.
Rock critic

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