Flawed yet enjoyable Modest Mouse bio treads shallow water.
The unauthorized biographer, lacking access to his subject, has to rely on clever research and keen insight. Alan Goldsher’s problematic biography of Modest Mouse, nee Isaac Brock, cobbled together from the public record, doesn’t contain any information you couldn’t find on Wikipedia. Instead of trying to paint the bigger picture, Goldsher pads out trivia with equivocal speculation and proleptic arguments, and draws only the most obvious inferences from Brock’s lyrics and interview quotes.
And we aren’t helped by the inclusion of too many pages devoted to musicological descriptions of Modest Mouse songs, capped with unsupported proclamations as to whether or not they "work." Goldsher claims to only be interested in the facts, but he then proceeds to spin them relentlessly in his hero’s favor. The practice becomes rather icky when he summarily brushes off an ambiguous rape allegation against Brock. Despite all this, Goldsher’s enthusiasm for the band and his lively prose reasonably justify the book’s title.