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on 26 December 2009
Apparently, this was a hard book to write. It certainly took long enough, and I've been looking forward to it very much. But... but... there's nothing in it that I didn't already know! Well, not much anyway, and I won't spoil the few surprises there are by mentioning them here. What I was hoping for was a profound insight into why I play the record several times a year and it never fails to move me, and why Another Green World is a top 5 album for the few people I know who also love it. Bearing in mind that most of the people who will have snapped this up will probably have read the other books on Eno there are available, why did the author spend so much time on background? We KNOW this stuff, damn it! Why so much about Discreet Music? Flicking through the book in increasing frustration, I searched to the bit where we're told what it sounds like, why it's gorgeous, what it all means! I found something along those lines, but it's so slight. What a shame. It's well written and entertaining enough though, and if it's your first book on Eno then by all means get it. But splash out on a copy of More Dark Than Shark, too, if you can find it. By the way, Geeta - if you're reading this - was the reference to Eno 'covering' Drip Music a joke? And also, if you think Everything Merges With The Night is 'sappy' you really need to listen again.
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on 18 April 2013
Geeta Dayal's lengthy, self-absorbed preface describes, in great detail, how difficult she found the writing of this insubstantial book. And it's impossible to deny that her discomfort and awkwardness shine out of the text. It reads like a bundle of hastily scribbled notes for a book she lacked the genuine desire to write.

Dayal says she wanted "to write an exploratory book on the ideas underpinning the music". The result however, is a work in which she sprinkles fleeting mentions of cybernetics, Fluxus and architecture, amongst a batch of over familiar cut and pasted interview quotes.

Her writing is meandering, uneven and unfocussed, whilst her powers of description are severely lacking. Especially when it comes to music itself. For example, the best description she can summon up to define Eno's single `The Seven Deadly Finns' is "goofy". She also describes the single version of Kraftwork's 'Autobahn' as "goofy". She finds the liner notes to Lou Reed's `Metal Machine Music' "goofy". The chorus of Eno's `I'll Come Running' is "goofy". Even Marshall McLuhan's I Ching style Distant Early Warning cards are apparently "goofy". Meanwhile, Eno's own Oblique Strategy cards are singled out as being "quirky".

Repeated use of such glib and incongruous short hand to define this wide range of cultural artefacts serves to complete the impression of an author capable of only a very shallow reading of her subject matter. Her description of Can, Cluster and Harmonia as "offbeat German bands" is laughably simplistic. Unfortunately, "offbeat" is another of Dayal's favorite catch-all words. A number of Eno's life experiences were apparently "offbeat". His art tutor Roy Ascott's teaching methods were "offbeat". The mix of musicians on `Another Green World' is "offbeat". And so on. No insights, just bland and lazy labelling.

With her endless repetition and seemingly limited vocabulary, Dayal comes over as gauche and ill-informed, with only a superficial grasp of Eno's work and the concepts and influences which inspire him.
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on 28 December 2009
Eno's "Another Green World" is one of the most beguiling, charming and ultimately revolutionary albums in modern music history. Unfortunately these above points rarely surface in Geeta Dayal's slim study.

Granted, the passages on Eno's "Discreet Music" are enjoyable and the reflections on the similaries and differences between said "Discreet Music" album & Lou Reed's contemporaneous "Metal Machine Music" are slightly insightful. However the rest of the book pays little attention to what should be it's central concern - the wondrousness of this record.

This book has been in Geeta's pipeline a LONG time. Unfortunately I wonder whether it was the worth the wait.
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on 1 January 2010
In fairness any writer would have struggled to enhance in words the magical music of Another Green World.
Still, it was a long wait for a short book with little new to say.
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on 3 January 2010
Sadly I can only agree with the other reviews on this page. This book massively over-promises and under-delivers. The back cover blurb is wonderful - but alas the words written there are the only good ones to be found. The best of these little books show fresh and deep critical analysis - the one on Wire's Pink Flag being the best example. But the author here offers neither. We learn in the foreword that she made several attempts at the text before settling on the current version. One can only imagine what the earlier manuscripts must have looked like. The problem is that there are no new ideas on display. There's barely any discussion at all of the music itself, and even then, it's nothing more than a rather literal description of what the music sounds like. This wonderful record deserves better. Such a shame.
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on 28 December 2009
The author admits she has spent several years working on this book. It reads more like it was thrown together over a few months; a scissors and paste job done from lots of old interviews. It also includes some puzzling statements: for example she says that 'Evening Star' has an abstract cover when it has a clearly figurative painting of an island in the sea (by Peter Schmidt). It's a shame that Eno himself hasn't contributed anything. Such an enchanting record requires (and deserves) some enchanting writing and thinking, but it's a surprisingly pedestrian take on the production of the whole enterprise and fails to convey its cultural uniqueness at the time. In fact AGW felt like it came from another planet, quite different from this one. I recall buying it the day it came out and racing home to place it on the turntable. You really didn't know what to expect from an Eno album in the '70s. God knows how many times I've listened to it, but it still comes up fresh as a daisy. 35 years on this really is an aesthetic phenomenon. Sadly, a missed opportunity by the publishers.
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on 17 February 2011
As a relatively recent eno fan, I was pleased to find a number of books available to further explore this intriguing musician. Especially pleased to discover this book, which I hoped would uncover the mysteries of "another green world". Largely, it failed. Dayal mentioned how it had taken a while to write this book (how? it's quite succinct!) also how eno's `oblique strategies' helped guide the writing process. Well from what I can see it caused her to veer wildly off course which chapters about "discreet music", which in all honesty didn't add to her exploration of the production of 'green world' at all. This caused me some confusion, and caused the flow of the overall read to jar. When it's on topic, it's interesting, but on the whole, like previous reviewers have described, it is a missed opportunity. Plus lack of a new interview with eno lowers it overall worth. Decent book for a few quid second hand
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on 19 October 2016
I liked this book a lot. It doesn't do what it says on the tin - I wouldn't describe it as a book about Another Green World - nevertheless it is genuinely interesting in its focus on Brian Eno's creative process. I liked the way instructions from his "Oblique Strategies" cards were used as chapter headings. I would recommend this as a short primer on Eno rather than a detailed account of one album.
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on 23 November 2009
Like most Eno fans I waited with baited breathe for Geeta Dayal's book. To be honest there is nothing new to offer in this book that hasn't been written elsewhere.
The problem lies in there being no new Eno interview and even if one had been procurred it is doubtful that the man himself could have shed any light, or offered anything new to offer, on the the making of the classic album.
Whilst the book does offer some new insights from bassist Percy Jones its reliance on quotes from other sources leaves one feeling let down.
Almost a third of the book deals with 'Discreet Music' that was released around the same time as AGN and is brought up to show that Eno was already leaning towards his Ambient music output (remember that the majority of AGN is instrumental anyway).
So, nothing new for Eno fans but like all the 33 1/3 books they are worth picking up and still make a good read.
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on 11 March 2016
8/10 quite interesting
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