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All week, McSweeney's has been running essays by authors about favorite songs. In the first installment of the series, Nick Hornby wrote about Ryan Adams' "Oh My Sweet Carolina". In his essay, he asks, "how can you be happy, really, if you are only ordinary in your happiness, but extraordinary in your grief?"

Anyway. Good stuff, right? The other essays are equally excellent. I really like the project, for the great questions, lovely sentences, and last paragraphs.


the other essays are equally excellent?

I thought the middle two (currently), one about all the songs they like, one about "Lebannon, Tennessee" to be kinda dumb. I really loved the Nick Hornby and the Ben Greenman essays, however (although there was a typo in the Greenman essay, he writes "about" twice in a row, seperated by a comma).

Re: the other essays are equally excellent?

I actually didn't like Ben Greenman's as much as the other three.

Re: the other essays are equally excellent?


I know you didn't say they were perfect

I'm only saying, I suppose, that I didn't enjoy those too nearly as much as I enjoyed the Greenman and Hornby essays. While I find it interesting the ways in which each writer (very differently) responded to the question I wasn't as interested in what the other two had to say.
i pre-ordered the book just because i figured it was something i'd like. the accompanying cd is fun, but probably not something i'll listen to regularly. the book itself is a great read. some of the essays seem to have little to do with the listed song until he wraps it in at the end.

somebody brought up the ryan adams essay on the sugar/bob mould list. considering the weird solo albums bob released last year (modulate, dj loudbomb), it was very apropos. bob's happy & his fanbase isn't :)
someday, I'll buy that book. I just couldn't bring myself to spend money on it when I had a perfectly good stack of books that I wasn't reading. With the addition of the first three McSweeneys, the stack is officially getting out of control.
understandable... my stack is up to ~15 or 20.

i went to zoka one afternoon & read through it in a couple of hours (with the cd as background). it's a fun read & not too demanding.
That was really interesting, but I'm a HUGE, MAJORLY OBSESSED, fan of Ryan Adams, so I'm probably biased.
Nick Hornby's a good writer, but I feel like the only person in the world who couldn't stand, "How to Be Good", relative to his other stuff I thought it was bad.
I agree about How to be Good. There were some good parts, but it wasn't as good as his others. I keep meaning to read Fever Pitch, but haven't yet. So, maybe I don't agree. I could stand it, and sort of liked it even.

In terms of the essay, I'm surprised that he didn't use "Come Pick Me Up" as an example of the heartbreakiness of Heartbreaker
yeah, no kidding!