Greetings from the Isle of Sheppey. I’ve very much enjoyed chatting away with people who have purchased the book and have no problem stating openly that I’ve actively encouraged people and requested people to leave Amazon reviews. The reasons are very obvious; firstly, it’s a wonderful feeling when someone tells me they feel that Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide has been a worthy read, one they’ve enjoyed — but given I have an ego, same as anyone, I genuinely want other people to hear that I didn’t waste a year’s work and many, many nights.
Secondly, you dear reader have no reason to trust that ten British pounds would be a investment well-rewarded. In my opinion Nirvana fans have been very poorly served and there have been far too many half-assed and repetitive efforts for which people have parted with cash — if that’s how I feel then I can’t imagine I’m the only Nirvana fan to feel that way. In October I joined the LiveNirvana forum having had it suggested by Adam Andrews who runs the site that I should get involved — I chuckled heartily when I saw one of the first comments, reacting to the fact that first mentions of the book were floating around read:
Hope you can read it clearly, that’s a totally legitimate and fair reaction! It’s how despondent I’ve felt most of the time when my latest bit of eBay hunting produced another rehash of readily available information or a rip-off of LiveNirvana’s efforts or the Nirvana Live Guide. Well, all I could do to convince anyone otherwise is what I’ve done so far — show an indication of the way my mind works here at the blog so you can decide if you like my way of doing things, and then get those who have something to say about the book to say it openly and in public so you can take a good look and see what you think.
Third and finally, a colder reality is that, I’m wholly dependent on people who like the book saying so to other people. What the information age does offer (let’s not get into how fake I feel the hype around ebooks is, or how useless social media is as a sales channel) is a chance to make those opinions public and available to all. If you like the kinds of things other people are mentioning then maybe you’ll like the book itself. I was very gratified that Rasmus Holmen, the gentleman who runs the Internet Nirvana Fan Club was willing to give his statement so openly — I had asked him to, I’m delighted he felt I was worth doing it for. Similarly, to those others who took the time, I think I’ve said thank you personally, if not then let me say it here “thank you.” And to those of you who haven’t read the book…Well…Why not? I think it’s worth it. But don’t take my word on it. Take a look.
In German! I’ve no idea what it says but still…I was chuffed to see it. Big smiley face here.
One thought on “Amazon, O Amazon…People’s Reviews of Dark Slivers”
Notes for a review of “Dark Slivers” by Nick Soulsby I now know I’ll never finish writing:
It’s a weird anomaly that in these times where the internet has to a degree democratised the distribution of creative endeavours, there are some book bloggers who are refusing to review self-published material.
A couple of things put me off buying this book: the title and the cover.
The old maxim “never judge a book by its cover” was never more true than with this.
“Dark Slivers” as a title really put me off (too goth, too horror movie!)(personally I’d have preferred the simpler “Sliver”, and the cover seemed too processed (the original unfiltered photographs seem much more in keeping with the spirit of the band.).
The book’s actual content, however, is a whole other story.
“Think you know Nirvana?” asks the back cover, “Think again…” and it’s right. Seriously, you will never think the same way about Nirvana.
From the title any prospective reader could be forgiven that this book is just about “Incesticide”, but it is so much more than that: nothing less than the history of Nirvana that you have never read, the closest thing the band has yet garnered to a statistical “Lipstick Traces”
Soulsby brings to the text all the intelligence of an academic, with none of the dry erudition.
The closest thing I’ve read to this is Gavin Hopps’ academic treatise on Morrissey “The Pageant of his Bleeding Heart” (check title), but whereas Hopps seemed to want to shoehorn the work into his own agenda, Soulsby goes to the work first and builds his foundation upon that.
Music first, words second is what Kurt Cobain always used to say, often playing down his lyrics as things written on the hoof, or quick grabs from his notebooks. Soulsby recognises that it is precisely this “throwaway” nature of the writing that makes it closer to Cobain’s subconscious than any overly-studied attempt at artifice, and opts instead to look for themes and symbols. (For an example of how badly wrong an attempt to decipher Cobain’s lyrics in a straight-up linear manner can go, see Micael Azerrad’s otherwise very excellent “Come As You Are”.)
Soulsby has a way of making quite lively what in other hands could have been a very dry affair indeed, punctuating his text on occasion with personal memories, and asides that allow the reader access to the author in ways more subjective texts would not.
makes no excuses for the way he writes, or the approach he takes towards the work, and this book is all the better for that.
Clearly he is not just passionate about the subject matter, but has amassed the kind of knowledge found in the true obsessive, and writes like a charm.
And any time he wants to write one of those “Everything I ever learned I learned from Nirvana” memoirs, he can count me in.