Books
7.0

Graeme Thomson

I Shot A Man In Reno: A History of Death by Murder, Suicide, Fire, Flood, Drugs, Disease and General Misadventure as Related in Popular Song [Continuum]

Books Reviews Graeme Thomson
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Graeme Thomson

Killing time with a few good songs

It's evident from I Shot A Man in Reno that author Graeme Thomson possesses an undying obsession with songs of mortality. To pursue the subject through such terrain as murder ballads, gangsta rap and '50s teen schmaltz, and to make it a topic of conversation with musicians ranging from Ron Sexsmith to Ice T, one almost has to. Though at times it comes off as a magazine think piece that's vastly outgrown its 3,000-word slot, the book becomes increasingly compelling with each grim avenue it explores.

with those of his interviewees. (Richard Thompson almost deserves co-authorship credit for his perceptive contributions.)

While the casual, colloquial prose is far from deathless, better musical surveys are hard to find, and the results are positively life-affirming.

ShareTweetSubmitPinMore