Sunday, March 9, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Brent Jensen "Leftover People"

A Journey Through Post
Rock & Roll America
- Brent Jensen -

I have been anticipating the 
release of Brent Jensen's
second book since devouring 
his 2012 debut. So, was it 
worth the two-year wait?

When I first picked up No Sleep 'Til Sudbury in 2012, I was expecting to discover a wannabe Chuck Klosterman. But what I actually discovered was something even better — an authentic Brent Jensen.

I'll be the first to admit that I like fried fast food, quirky chick flicks and cheesy pop music. But when it comes to books, I demand a good, solid story. If I'm going to invest several morning's worth of my valuable Starbucks time into reading your book, you better darn well have something to say. And you better deliver a payoff. Simply put, Brent Jensen delivers. And in 2014, he returns with a triumphant sophomore release — a modern-day version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — only cooler.

Via the 200+ pages of Leftover People, the Canadian author and rock critic takes readers on a riveting adventure — traveling along highways and bi-ways, visiting nightclubs and bars, hotels and motels, and a "greasy spoon" or two while crisscrossing the South during his 2013 American book signing tour.

Assuming the role of a "stranger in a strange land," Jensen reflects on an America that most Yanks likely won't recognize. But sometimes it takes somebody else to hold up the mirror in order for us to realize how that outfit really looks. And Jensen holds the mirror quite masterfully.

Remaining true to his rock and roll roots, Jensen's story is peppered with compelling, and often hilarious commentary. Apparently, The Tragically Hip is — hip. As for KISS, well, not so much. However, just for the record, I was the first to coin the term "KISS Kool-Aid" (see by blog post from October 2012). Hmm, could it be that Brent Jensen actually reads my blog? I relish the thought.

While his music insights do add zing to the story, the true payoff is Jensen's story itself. The vivid portraits that he paints of the colorful characters he meets, and the places he visits along his journey make for a Hunter S.-caliber read and one heck of a wild ride. In sum, Leftover People delivers — and it was most definitely, well worth the two-year wait!

-Christopher Long
(March 2014)

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Although I was already sold because of how much I loved "No Sleep Til Sudbury", Chris, you have solidified my decision to get this book!