"Lost in Music"
by Giles Smith
Reading history and reviews
Finished on 1st April 2011Giles Smith’s Hornby-esque memoir about his life-long love affair with pop music is an amusing confection, perhaps not as funny or profound as the quotes from the Spectator, Telegraph or indeed John Peel might lead you to believe but somehow still engaging.
The book recounts various episodes from Smith’s life through the 70s and 80s as an irredeemable fan of pop, and although he aspires to - and arguably to a minor degree actually achieves - success both as a musician (living the pop star dream, albeit in a very low-budget way) and as a journalist, ultimately he remains a fan: aware of the very ridiculous nature of the stars and the business, he admits to being unable to escape from the sense of romance and feelings of awe, even when as an adult he meets real pop stars.
Perhaps ironically though, Smith often seems to be a little too self-conscious to be truly lost in music, and one the problems with many of his anecdotes is that he can overemphasise the sense of feeling ridiculous without always explaining the buzz of pop. However it's not a bad book, and at it's best captures that feeling of being a fan of pop music of a very specific era: a very middle-class, suburban English love affair - the passion undercut with awkwardness and embarrassment.