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.


20 entries by Barry Wightman

Book Review

Mr. Know-It-All

By John Waters

Mr. Know-It-All

The low-brow director's highly entertaining life story.

Book Review

Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder

The low-brow director's highly entertaining life story.

Book Review

Slowhand: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton

This biography of the guitar god falls far short of Heaven.

Book Review

Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast

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

Book Review

The Greenfather: A Novel

By John Marshall

The Greenfather: A Novel

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

Book Review

The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear: A Novel

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

Book Review

So, Anyway…

By John Cleese

So, Anyway…

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

Book Review

Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart

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

Book Review

Wonderland: A Novel

By Stacey D’Erasmo

Wonderland: A Novel

An aging rock ‘n’ roll diva struggles to make a comeback.

Book Review

The Guts

Roddy Doyle

The Guts

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

Book Review

Actors Anonymous

James Franco

Actors Anonymous

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

Feature

Two Books on the Age of MTV

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

Book Review

Mania

Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover

Mania

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

Book Review

Tom Wolfe

Back to Blood

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

San Miguel

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

James Joyce: A New Biography

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

In One Person: A Novel

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

A Naked Singularity

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

1Q84

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

By Jean Echenoz

Lightning: A Novel

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