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03 November 2010

"I can't get no": Why I won't read Keith Richards' new memoir


I never really rolled with The Stones; but I'm a rock fan, and I saw the band in concert once at Mile High Stadium and could, of course, see and hear what all the fuss was about.
I don't plan to read Keith Richards' newly released memoir, titled "Life."
But I did read David Remnick's review of the book in the new issue of The New Yorker. The magazine where Remnick serves as editor devoted seven pages to the boss's critique of the ghost-written book for which the publisher Little, Brown paid Richards a staggering $7 million advance.

"Maybe you can't always get what you want. The rule doesn't apply to Richards," Remnick wrote.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Remnick's piece in the 1 November 2010 issue demonstrates once again why he's chief at one of the most literate publications in the land. Remnick must be a Stones fan to have turned over so much of his magazine's pricey real estate to his review, titled "Groovin' High." But he provides less-than-flattering commentary, too.

As for the book's redeeming value, Remnick points out that the sweet chord of "Life" sounds when Richards describes playing a guitar. Or, at least, Richards' ghost writer James Fox describes playing guitar.

Remnick labels "Life"--released 26 October--as "half book, half brand extension."

Yet Remnick's review of the book is informative and entertaining. Describing Richards' progression from young rebel to geezer rocker, Remnick wrote, "Where he used to have a wolfhound named Syphilis, he now has a golden Lab named Pumpkin."
It's just one of Remnick's rockin' riffs in this entertaining article that tells me all I want to know about the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll defining Richards' "Life."

••• Colleen Smith is the author of the recently released novel GLASS HALO, which was a finalist for the prestigious Sante Fe literary prize. Purchase GLASS HALO at Denver bookstores or through Amazon.com. For more details, visit GlassHaloNovel.com.Share/Save/Bookmark

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