Dead People I Have Known
Victoria University Press, $40.00,
Rock odysseys can start in obscure places. Shayne Carter’s began in Brockville, a state-housing suburb of Dunedin, a city at the southern end of a country that to most of the world is little known, even more so in the 1970s when Carter was starting out. But whereas rock heroes normally wind up somewhere very different from where they began, Carter returned to Dunedin to write this memoir and, throughout the book, Dunedin never feels all that far away, even after its protagonist has been swept up into the mythical world of rock stardom. There is a late passage in which he finds himself again “stranded in Dunedin, where I signed up to the dole only weeks after being driven in a limousine to the Conan O’Brien show in Manhattan.”
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