Rob Wiersema, Walk Like a Man

Rejected opening lines for my in-progress review of Robert J. Wiersema's memoir and/or fanboy geekout, the truly fabulous Walk Like a Man:
  • Changing our understanding of adolescence in the West, Robert Wiersema's Walk Like a Man proposes the genuinely paradigm-shifting concept that self-conscious teenagers can find peace in and through rock and roll.
  • A memoir -- really?
  • Asbury Park, New Jersey: basically Agassiz's brother from another mother.
  • What kind of person didn't think high school was wicked awesome, anyway?
  • Honestly, now, can we not just admit that Bruce Springsteen is really just an East Coast imitator of John Mellencamp?
I tease because I love. A longer review of Walk Like a Man is proving difficult, because it keeps turning into a memoir itself, or a whole series of them, and that's not what I do here at Book Addiction Central. OK, it sometimes IS what I do, but it's not usually what I mean to do, and not what I want to do in this case. (Even though it seems inevitable now that it's going to turn out that way, resistance being sometimes futile.)

Let me say only this, and I'll get back to working on the real review.

For years, I've been saying (when pressed) that I live in Douglas Coupland's BC. Coupland's books give me back a powerfully familiar version of my home province: not because of the details, but because of how Coupland's imaginary works, how his complicated BC is complicatedly part of a complicated larger world.

I'm in no way a Bruce Springsteen fan, though I've always enjoyed and appreciated his music. My mid-80s allegiance went to Mellencamp's '85 "Small Town" single and his brilliant '87 album The Lonesome Jubilee; my idol has always been Johnny Cash, even when I didn't know it was; and Bob Dylan's albums since Oh Mercy have had an enormous influence on me over the last two decades. But Springsteen? This week, though, I get it. I GET IT.

And crucially, it turns out that all along, I've been living in Rob Wiersema's BC. Walk Like a Man got me choked up and excited and grinning, for all kinds of reasons, but especially because it's just that good of a book, just that valuable.

More details to follow another day, once I sort out what the hell's going on with this more traditional review that won't let itself be finished....


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