Book Reviews

Brooklyn’s Last Secret By Leslie Stein, 293 pgs.

I’m always attracted to fiction about touring. This makes me confused as to why Brooklyn’s Last Secret was left in my not-read pile for so long. This comic by cartoonist Leslie Stein is another good piece of tour mythos and is just so easy on the eyes. The band Major Threat is the center of […]

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Early Works By Mari Tamura, 52 pgs.

When you see one of Mari’s photos, it all seems so effortless. The energy of rock’n’roll captured perfectly in a still image, the momentum of guitar strings and fists in the air feel alive enough to jump off the page. What makes it astounding is that Mari is not a lifelong genius who has been […]

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Operation Mindfuck: QAnon and the Cult of Donald Trump By Robert Guffey, 240 pgs.

I was a little leery of this book at first. I mean, Donald Trump is a disgusting and dangerous human being, and I would rather not read any more about him than I must. I had envisioned an entire volume of a naïve author regurgitating the same complaints we’ve all been harboring since 2016 and […]

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Punk Rock Bedroom By Bob Rob Medina, 72 pgs.

Individual line art drawings of punk rock items, moments, caricatures of bands. Music in a visual format. You know, Grant Morrison once made a pitch that involved reading comic books as music. Much in the same way, this art attempts a synesthetic impression as expressing the emotions of the musical realm while visualizing the items […]

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Why Willie Mae Thornton Matters By Lynnée Denise, 207 pgs.

This is the latest entry in University of Texas Press’s Music Matters series. Razorcake has reviewed a few others.A Black blues singer, Willie Mae Thornton was better-known as Big Mama Thornton (named that by a white manager of the Apollo; Denise prefers to call her Willie Mae), and best-known for being the first to record, […]

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Demons: Bloodlust By Hyena Hell, 120 pgs.

This is the third book in the series of “Demons” comics by Hyena Hell. The first one, No Romance in Hell, I reviewed for Razorcake back in 2020. It’s about a gooney demon named Bug who is fed up with the romance with the assholes in hell and she decides to check out what kind […]

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Fever House By Keith Rosson, 448 pgs.

For those unfamiliar with the author (and Razorcake contributor) Keith Rosson, the best way to describe his writing is it’s what would happen if Stephen King and Philip K. Dick had a baby that grew up to have exceptional writing talent influenced by his fathers. Rosson’s latest, Fever House, is his fifth and heftiest novel.  The book begins with […]

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Girl Juice By Benji Nate, 190 pgs.

Your housemates can either become your best friends, your worst enemies, or your best friends who you end up despising fifty percent of the time. You typically avoid them at home while you try to live your own life. Until one of them interrupts your day-to-day life by having their multiple boyfriends on the floor […]

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How Much Art Can You Take? Interviews by Nancy Barile, 190 pgs.

When I was growing up outside of pre-internet Boston, I heard about SS Decontrol through fanzines (mostly Al Quint’s Suburban Voice). They were the first hardcore band from Boston, heavy into straightedge. All these rumors swirled around the band: they travelled in a windowless van from city to city, playing shows, smacking drinks out of […]

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It Did Happen Here: An Antifascist People’s History By Moe Bowstern, Mic Crenshaw, Alec Dunn, Celina Flores, Julie Perini, & Erin Yanke, 304 pgs.

This is a striking account of grassroots and uncompromising antiracist activism, mostly in Portland, Ore. from the 1980s and ’90s. Made up largely of interview material with the participants, it’s a whirlwind of different perspectives, with decades of hindsight. As someone who grew up involved with hardcore, punk, and metal scenes in and around Cleveland, […]

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Last Night at the Casino, Volume 2 By Billy McCall, 414 pgs.

This smaller-than-digest-sized book collects nearly a decade’s worth of Billy McCall’s zine recounting his adventures as a casino employee. It’s fun to see how the writing improved over time, with the earlier issues in the collection focusing on fun but fairly shallow observations about casino life, such as frustration over having to wear dress shoes […]

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Mobility By Lydia Kiesling, 352 pgs.

In 2004, Robert Newman published the U.S. edition of his novel The Fountain at the Center of the World, a political book, by an unmistakably radical writer, about climate change and the global economy (among other things), but first and foremost: a novel—I remember the two main characters as clearly as if I’d read it […]

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