New York Post "This paperback collection of Reed ruminations is not only a lyrical walk on the wild side, it's a typographic wonder." "John Shelton Ivany Top 21" "A comprehensive collection...A must-have for any fan...Crucial to understanding and appreciating Lou Reed." Gallery & Studio, 2/09 "The revelation of Pass Thru Fire: The Collected Lyrics is how well many of Lou's words hold up on the page." SwampLand.com "I felt lucky when Pass Thru Fire arrived at my door. It made my day." Hartford Advocate, 3/7/09 "Perusing this 576-page volume should be a lesson in humility for any aspiring rock poet." New York Times, 11/13/13 "In a 1987 interview, Mr. Reed talked about seeing his record albums as chapters in one huge, long novel: 'They're all in chronological order,' he said. 'You take the whole thing, stack it and listen to it in order, there's my Great American Novel.' Pass Thru Fire, the recent volume of Reed's collected lyrics--dedicated to 'L.A.,' Laurie Anderson--provides another version of that novel, and even without the essential soundtrack, the lyrics possess a remarkable organic coherence, charting a harrowing journey through the bohemian underworlds of New York City, through the ravages of heroin and speed, and emotional terror, fury and aloneness--and toward something like grace."
Containing a body of work that spans more than three decades, Pass Thru Fire is a stunning collection of the lyrics of an American original. Through his many incarnations-from proto punk to glam rocker to elder statesman of the avant garde-Lou Reed’s work has maintained an undeniable vividness and raw beauty, fueled by precise character studies and rendered with an admirable shot of moral ambiguity. Beginning with his formative days in the Velvet Underground and continuing through his remarkable solo career-albums like Transformer, Berlin, New York, Magic and Loss, and Ecstasy-Pass Thru Fire is crucial to an appreciation of Lou Reed, not only as a consummate underground musician, but as one of the truly significant poets of our time.