Publisher: Asahina & Wallace (October 21, 2013)
A Poetic Review by: Rodger Lowenthal
A story of one of hundreds of corner “hangouts” (or to be more genteel,gathering places), that could be transposed to any large Eastern city.
The author grows, the corner decreases in importance.
The ultimate focus is on the mysteries and struggles of teenagehood.
about what comes easy and what does not
of finding comfort zones and fitting in
about the sociological importance of the 1950’s cultural changes
Braudy casts a wide net
consider survival and growth, neatly tied together
the musical conventions changed by rock and roll
his early interest in film
the clearly yoked dependency of memory and imagination
recall and reframing
as his “true story” unfolds the reader is treated to
a strong sensitive intelligence
There are Sunday afternoons of coffee shop folk music
the father son relationship
more rock and roll history
styles of “cool” friends masturbation
the growing importance of girls
Braudy has an agreeable expansive style
and a keen ear, comfortable with
both patois and poetry
What about cool? then and now? Then reticent
and understated now thriving ostentation
For me easy to compare and contrast my 1950’s years
One gripe: Why do small presses lack proofreaders? Sadly this book had at least a dozen unnecessary words repeated or vowels omitted.
Leo, my friend, the publisher owes you an apology.
You can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Trying-Be-Cool-Leo-Braudy/dp/1940412048
–Rodger Lowenthal is a poet from Eastern Montgomery County Pennsylvania who is known to frequent Ryerss Museum and Library in Fox Chase. He is a regular contributor of book reviews to FCR and an occasional host at the reading series. He also hosts “Under the Stars”, a poetry and musical quarterly event. His poetic reviews of books have appeared on line in various literary blogs. He is known to pick up pieces of cigars and Hollywood whenever he can.