Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Review: Like a Rolling Stone: The Last Letter to the Editor: A Memoir, by Jann S. Wenner

Jann S. Wenner’s Like a Rolling Stone: The Last Letter to the Editor: A Memoir, was like looking back at my own life. Okay, I didn’t know quite as many famous folks as he did, but I did know my share, and I had a far more interesting life (’til now) than one would expect a lower-middle-class kid from Richmond Hill, Queens, New York to have.

I’ve always been obsessed by music. All my friends can tell you that. I’m always listening for something new or unusual, and I love to read lyrics. As a kid with a rough childhood and teenage years, music kept me holding on. Also, I grew up at just the right time, as did Wenner: we both came of age when almost every band had something special and worth listening to. People were experimenting; music, especially rock, was changing and growing organically in pretty much every direction.

Wenner does more than capture that, though. He talks about his life – both good and bad parts, He is frank about his issues and decisions, and how he has lived over the years. He engages the reader the way he engaged his subjects at Rolling Stone, with grace and empathy. You don’t feel Wenner is preaching at you; rather, you feel that he is reflecting on a life well-lived.

Whether or not you grew up with Rolling Stone, this is well worth reading.

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