Okay, it’s a slim volume – just 128 pages – and it plays for laughs. You should know that right away about The Iconoclast’s Guide To Music, a wee gift-book, the sort of thing you buy for your annoying music-head partner/brother/father/mother/sister/lover; its aim is humour and Steve Jelbert strikes the right tone poking fun at icons and tropes attached to popular rock music.
The breakdown of the genres and who might favour them – jazz-heads and such – is pretty funny.
And there are cartoon illustrations along the way to fill in space – to provide a few more chuckles.
It’s simple stuff, the sort of book you might see in the toilet, if you’ve visited the sort of place that has a sample of reading material on a shelf near the can. It’s also the sort of book that’s so easy to flick through it can be read in one sitting. None of this is to devalue it – you just need to understand the sort of book this is.
If you know all that and are happy with that then I’m sure you can find someone to buy this book for – it is well written, funny, and pretty much on the money with the gruesome character stories of the heavy metal oaf, pin-head classical and jazz purists and too-cool-for-school indie kids. You’ll wince as you recognise yourself – or that person you’re buying this for – across several of the pages.
But I just can’t imagine a music fan buying this book for themselves; nor could I recommend it. It’s a gift book only, a wee stocking filler-type non-gesture gesture. As such, it’ll work nicely.