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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Smiths book _not_ about The Smiths
This book really is fantastic. It's part of an ongoing series of bookspublished by Continuum press, each about a specific album.
Whereas the other titles have been mostly _about_ the albums (analysis ofthe content, stores about the making of, etc.) Joe Pernice's book is anovella. In it, he recounts a semi-autobiographical tale of growing up ina working class suburb...
Published on 28 April 2004 by Lawrence Mikkelsen.

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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inspired by (but definitely not about) the album
As stated in the last sentence of the book's backcover about the writer, "This is his first work of fiction" and so anyone wanting the more standard coverage for "books of the album" of how the original LP was written and recorded; it's reception at time of release, and the Smiths story before and after, will be inevitably disappointed.
Instead against a US Boston...
Published on 19 Jun 2004 by Siriam


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Smiths book _not_ about The Smiths, 28 April 2004
This review is from: The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) (Paperback)
This book really is fantastic. It's part of an ongoing series of bookspublished by Continuum press, each about a specific album.
Whereas the other titles have been mostly _about_ the albums (analysis ofthe content, stores about the making of, etc.) Joe Pernice's book is anovella. In it, he recounts a semi-autobiographical tale of growing up ina working class suburb in the US, going to a Catholic School, feeling likean outsider, obsessing about girls, and falling in love with the titularSmiths record.
One reviewer here complained that the book wasn't about The Smiths at all.I think he missed the point. I'd have thought that the story recountedhere ... one of loneliness and alientation, would have been familiar to99% of Smiths fans. The book is beautifully written, witty, and capturesthe essence of everything The Smiths stood for.
(While you're at it, why not also buy "Yours, Mine & Ours" by JoePernice's band, The Pernice Brothers. It was easily the best album of 2003
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short story inspired by one of the best albums ever...., 1 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) (Paperback)
...written, this is part of the thirty-three-and-a-third series by Joe Pernice. The author is a musician himself and I personally am a fan of his music (The Pernice Brothers being his most recent incarnation) and even moreso of the Smiths.
The story is a chapter in the life of a teenager, and his ongoing relationships around him, at the time when he was obsessed by this particular album. It is a well-written and perceptive book, and is well worth a read, regardless of whether you are a fan of the Smiths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 33 1/3 - what a great little book!, 21 Feb 2007
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This review is from: The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) (Paperback)
I am not a fan of Joe Pernice's music needing to like the book too. I'm not a fan of the music. The book though really is excellent. People write reviews of funny novels saying how often they laughed but I don't agree. This book though was hilarious. Don't expect a run-down of the songs as in my 2nd favourite of this series, on 'There's A Riot Goin' On'. It's not so specific. It's more a better version of the still good 33 1/3 book on 'Let It Be' (By Replacements.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great novella, 18 May 2010
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Dave Gilmour's cat (on Dave Gilmour's boat) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) (Paperback)
No, it's not a standard analysis of the LP. This is a novella that tells a very engaging story about how it felt to be a Smiths fan in Boston in the mid-1980s. Very readable, funny and sad.

The open-minded 33 1/3 reader will get a lot out of it.

Never heard the author's music but - on the basis of this - might investigate.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite 33 1/3 book so far..., 9 Aug 2006
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Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) (Paperback)
I've loved all of the 33 1/3 books I've read so far - ...The Village Green Preservation Society, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Forever Changes, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Sign'O'the Times, Endtroducing... - but this is my favourite one thus far.

Joe Pernice is a sometime poet and the driving force behind some of the greatest records of the last decade - from his work with Scud Mountain Boys (Big Star meets The Smiths with a knowledge of alt-country), on to his solo work, his band The Pernice Brothers and the Chap-Skyline side-project worth investigating for his New Order cover.

As other reviews have pointed out this isn't a track by track analysis as some of the 33 1/3 books are - if you want that kind of music writing, best read a Smiths book by Johnny Rogan. Pernice writes an autobiographical piece located in the US in the 1980s - a stunning reminder of that history and the spirit of the age. Meat is Murder is the background to his life, or his life is the background to Meat is Murder as he falls in love and someone's beaten up and he learns to play bass and I smoke cos I hope for an early death and he suffers the high school ritual...Pernice does mention the record lots, whether nodding to lines from MIM in a style akin to Douglas Coupland's Smiths-allusions in 'Girlfriend in a Coma' , or to posit the importance of the Smiths in his life. The scene where his mother misunderstands them is hilarious and reminded me of a time when my parents were shocked and made me play There is a Light...at a barbie - couldn't quite believe what they were hearing (though I suspect the Moz resonated - coming from the same dull 1960s and films like Billy Liar and Saturday Night Sunday Morning).

Meat is Murder proves to be a revelation to Joe as he forms a band and begins to connect with others and connects with his fantasy, Alison...& Pernice and other characters display anglophile aspects that show how similar we are - if anyone wants to know why the Smiths are universal, look no further. Pernice mentions other British acts too - The Cure, The Clash, Japan, Kate Bush, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Furs...but The Smiths ruled!!!

This book around Meat is Murder is a bold move for this series and shows that music criticism can really be anything - on the strength of this I hope Joe attempts a novel soon. Just 70-something pages long, but had me having Proustian recollections of a High School I never went to. This sits well alongside the aforementioned Coupland book, early Bret Easton Ellis, & 'Bright Lights Big City.' My favourite 33 1/3 book so far...would love to write one myself, possibly on Sulk. Or Songs to Remember. Or Cut. Or A Trip to Marineville. Or Fire of Love. Or..."I've seen this happen in other people's lives and now it's happening in mine..."
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inspired by (but definitely not about) the album, 19 Jun 2004
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) (Paperback)
As stated in the last sentence of the book's backcover about the writer, "This is his first work of fiction" and so anyone wanting the more standard coverage for "books of the album" of how the original LP was written and recorded; it's reception at time of release, and the Smiths story before and after, will be inevitably disappointed.
Instead against a US Boston catholic school college setting, the writer covers his experiences in 1985 as a teenager where four friends die in a car crash and another one donates a cassette of "Meat is Murder" before they commit suicide. While the writer goes through the many emotions covered by the albums songs, of personal loneliness, initial romantic feelings and feeling alienated from his educational and social surroundings plus his family, the album simply provides the writer's musical backdrop to his story.
Apart from a few limited references there is little on the Smiths or individual songs and while it is fascinating to try and make connections between this US based story and a very English setting of the original LP songs (especially given Morrissey has since moved as an exile to Texas it seems) the book is ultimately a brave attempt in a unique series of books on classic albums that gives the writers free rein, to transport the emotions of the album to the impact they had on the lead character's life at that same time in 1985.
As such it is a brave attempt but as a fictional story I fear while an interesting read, is not one that I expect I will be reading again, whereas the LP is a firm favourite.
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9 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT really about The Smiths., 6 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) (Paperback)
This small book contains no pictures of the band. It is a story inspired by the album. I returned my copy.
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The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3)
The Smiths' Meat is Murder: 5 (331/3) by Joe Pernice (Paperback - 27 Jan 2011)
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