Review: Turn Around Bright Eyes by Rob Sheffield

Title: Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke

Author: Rob Sheffield

Published: It Books August 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from August 05 to 07, 2013 {Courtesy HarperCollins/Edelweiss}

My Thoughts:

In Turn Around Bright Eyes, Rob Sheffield, a writer for Rolling Stone, shares his enjoyment and appreciation of Karaoke, and its meaning in his life and in his relationship with his current wife, in a series of autobiographical essays.

This is the third book by Rob Sheffield, his first [book:Love is a Mix Tape|46190] chronicled his relationship with his first wife who died unexpectedly. [book:Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut|7515197] focused primarily on the connection of music to his memories of youth.

I have sung Karaoke only once. I was very drunk and surrounded by my (thirty something) girlfriends as we belted out <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae7m1sNVkjM”>Bananarama’s ‘Venus'</a> waving our arms about while trying to stay upright on a tiny stage meant for one, maybe two people, not eight. (We placed third and won a round of drinks!)

For Rob, and his wife, an astrophysicist, Karaoke is a passion, though Rob confesses he is tone deaf. It is one of the ways the pair connect, something they can share despite their disparate professional lives, and an activity they indulge in with some frequency either at their local club which offers private rooms, or any place they encounter during their travels.

The essays in Turn Around Bright Eyes, each headed by or referencing a song title, range from Sheffield’s musings on how music is inextricably linked to his life’s experience, to his opinions on the genius of artists like Bon Jovi and Rod Stewart. This isn’t a treatise on the Karaoke phenomenon but rather Sheffield’s relationship with it and music in general.

Given I am about the same age as Sheffield, the majority of his music references were familiar to me and I spent much of the book singing the various pop hits mentioned, like Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’, to myself (the house was thankfully empty). Younger readers who have never heard of Nena’s ’99 Luft Balloons’ might feel a little lost in parts.

Turn Around Bright Eyes is both a homage to Karaoke, to love and to life. Funny, sharp and occasionally heartbreaking, it is book sure to entertain and make you want to sing.

Available To Purchase

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rita (My Home of Books)
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 02:17:55

    Livin’ on a Prayer should be deemed a singing in the shower song :) hard to sing it well. Thanks for this fun and informative review.

    Reply

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