Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist By Marc Ribot, 250 pgs.

Mar 15, 2022

Marc Ribot is a noise guitarist—his credits include playing on Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs and doing soundtrack stuff for The Departed. He’s also a heck of a writer, as evidenced by this anthology of essays and profiles. Ribot’s writing is intense and immediate: he writes about strippers and musicians working a last chance hotel on the northernmost Maine/Canada border, about being accused of plagiarism in grade school by a substitute teacher with forged teaching credentials. Some of his work contains a dark whimsy, like the story of a thruple deciding amongst themselves who to cannibalize when their New York City train grinds to a halt. Ribot’s varied approach leaves a reader off-kilter, subverting easy expectations, yet yielding rewards no matter the mode. –Michael T. Fournier (Akashic Books, akashicbooks.com)