Barry Wightman


Barry Wightman spent thirty years in high-tech and decades chasing the it of rock ‘n’ roll. His novel Pepperland, unsurprisingly, is about the birth of the Internet, radical politics and the magic of music — a revolutionary love story. It’ll be published in some traditional and/or electrickal method someday soon. He blogs and tweets about books, culture and music and, decades ago, thankfully came to terms with the realization that he would never be Keith Richards. He is Fiction Editor of Hunger Mountain, a Journal of the Arts,  a member of the National Book Critics Circle, a contributing essayist for WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, is a professional voiceover talent (he loves to read his stuff in public) and he leads a workingrock ‘n roll band. You should know that it’s a safe bet that when his writing isn’t happening, he picks up his guitar and plays. He received his MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

17 entries by Barry Wightman

Book Review

This compilation of interviews highlights (for better or worse) the comedian-host’s scruffy style.

Book Review

The Greenfather: A Novel

By John Marshall

Fast-paced zingers aside, this Whole-Foods-meets-the-Mob sendup mostly falls flat.

Book Review

This over-the-top novel feels much less so during the Trump era.

Book Review

So, Anyway…

By John Cleese

This surprisingly reserved memoir is heavy on nostalgia, light on Python slapstick.

Book Review

A cultural icon’s unauthorized biography lacks the zip its subject possesses in abundance.

Book Review


Stacey D’Erasmo

Anna Brundage, an aging rock ‘n’ roll diva, reveals the mysteries behind the land of artistic wonder as she struggles to make a comeback.

Book Review

The Guts

Roddy Doyle

A rock ‘n’ roll soul wrestles with middle age and mortality.

Book Review

Actors Anonymous

James Franco

The actor’s debut is an ambitious but flawed narrative hiding behind the transparent scrim of a fictional curtain.


Juicy stories for those who remember music videos by those who introduced them on MTV.

Book Review


Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover

In their chronicle of the Beat masters, the authors stamp their narrative with a compelling you-were-there novelistic style.

Book Review

Tom Wolfe

With idiosyncratic flair, the master reporter of the modern zeitgeist turns his sights to Miami and the human striving for status.

Book Review

T. C. Boyle

Three loosely connected tales darkly chronicle the ups and downs of a pioneering life on a desolate island off the California coast.

Book Review

Gordon Bowker

Eschewing a traditional approach, this biographer brings style and grace to a work that helps us really see the life of a great writer.

Book Review

John Irving

Secrets, sexual malleability, Shakespeare and terrifying angels in New England ― clearly, it’s the latest work by the author of The World According to Garp.

Book Review

Sergio De La Pava

This crazy and erratic fat novel focuses on Everything, from the perspective of a precocious young public defender in the NYC court system.

Book Review

Haruki Murakami

Disconnected from much of the world, two lonely people stumble toward love in a brave new future of wrong turns, two moons, weird characters and baffling events.

Book Review

Jean Echenoz

From a master French novelist, a lyrical tale of invention featuring an obsessive electrical engineering wizard named Gregor.