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Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Spider Kiss
Harlan Ellison

So, Spider Kiss is the only writing by Ellison that I have ever read, but after the pleasure that I got from this one I will be reading more. Although I feel like I've heard so many versions of this same story before, only with actual musicians rather than the fictional Stag Preston featured here, not for a second did I feel bored or anxious to simply finish with the book and forget it. If your one of the many out there who enjoy sneak peeks "backstage" so to speak, or have found yourself curled up on the couch all day completely engulfed in VH1's Where Are They Now (don't be ashamed if this is you) then this book should suit your fancy.

Spider Kiss is the tragic story of a small-town kid named Lester who is working at a hotel in Lexington,KY when he is "discovered" playing his guitar and singing along in a way that has yet to be exploited in the pop music scene of the fifties. New sound equals big bucks to Sheldon Morgenstein and Capt. Jack Freeport who take the kid under their wing and guide him all the way to the top. Assuming the persona of Stag Preston (Lester), he quickly embodies the ideal cool guy that all the dudes want to hang with, and all the girls want to marry. In classic over night celebrity fashion, Stag does more than just throw it all away.

This book is extremely well written. It captures perfectly the long journey to the top and the quick fall all the way back down to the bottom. In fact, Spider Kiss is so well written that it is the only book that can be found in the rock-and-roll hall of fame. Stag Preston is like so many musicians of the past and present who have given it all to have just a taste, only to lose it all over ultimately their own ego. When the drugs and booze wear off you're still stuck in your self-inflicted misery.

Simply put: THIS BOOK ROCKS!