Sound on Sound

Overview

This inventive first novel deflates the same myths of rock and roll that it glorifies in a vivid exploration of pop culture and the shattered society that emerged from the 1980s.

Hi-Fi, a third-rate New York bar band, plays another in a desultory series of low-paying gigs as Reagan's inaugural speech drones from a TV in the background. Equipment falters, band members flex their egos, and the regular crowd shifts from boredom to borderline violence. What begins as an inauspicious...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $40.87   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$40.87
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(864)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new and unread! Join our growing list of satisfied customers!

Ships from: Phoenix, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

This inventive first novel deflates the same myths of rock and roll that it glorifies in a vivid exploration of pop culture and the shattered society that emerged from the 1980s.

Hi-Fi, a third-rate New York bar band, plays another in a desultory series of low-paying gigs as Reagan's inaugural speech drones from a TV in the background. Equipment falters, band members flex their egos, and the regular crowd shifts from boredom to borderline violence. What begins as an inauspicious account of a typical evening at a nightclub soon gives way to a stupefying catalog of trivia about Hi-Fi, the band with the "suburb sound and the suburb feel."

Dalkey Archive Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Flawlessly executed.... funny, perceptive and dead-on the satirical mark." — Publishers Weekly

Dalkey Archive Press

"Living proof that literary genes can be passed from father to son." —Michael Perkins

Dalkey Archive Press

"Sorrentino has used the rock book format (and his superbly pompous 'multitrack' device) as a vehicle for a brilliant and complex novel about remembered truths and modern ennui.... The close of 'Foundation' has a crisp, cinematic grace, and the final 'Playback' crumbles the book's carefully wrought tension with delicious resolve." — Los Angeles Reader

Dalkey Archive Press

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this ambitious first novel, which is structured as a multilayered recording session, the concept behind the plot is flawed, but the story is flawlessly executed. Hi-Fi is a not-yet-famous rock band playing a fateful gig at a seedy New York bar called Cheaters on the night of Ronald Reagan's first inauguration in 1981. From the safety of the '90s, hack writer and Hi-Fi aficionado Paul Marzio attempts to puzzle out the events of that evening, after which Hi-Fi rose to a possibly tainted prominence. The first iteration of ``what happened'' is given without dialogue or judicious description, as if it were the rhythm track. The conceit is nice, but the actual execution of it makes the first 25 pages of the book, which read like a screenplay synopsis, drab and uninteresting. Luckily, the section is followed by a series ``overdubs,'' which include: a list of items numbered like exhibits at a trial; a ``solo'' by our author, Paul; and the conflicting accounts of various Hi-Fi hangers-on and former girlfriends, who attended Cheaters that evening. In the final section, Marzio conducts interviews with the now-famous bandmembers, but nothing produces a clear solution to the narrative puzzle. Sorrentino gets away with a lot through sheer virtuosity. After the slow first layer, he completes the formal exercise he's set for himself with great vigor, and his writing, when he paints a scene, is funny, perceptive and dead-on the satirical mark. (May)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564780737
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Sorrentino

Christopher Sorrentino (born May 20, 1963) is an American novelist and short story writer of Puerto Rican descent. He is the son of novelist Gilbert Sorrentino and Victoria Ortiz. His first published novel, Sound on Sound (1995), draws upon innovations pioneered in the work of his father, but also contains echoes of many other modernist and postmodernist writers. The book is structured according to the format of a multitrack recording session, with corresponding section titles ("Secondary Percussion", "Vocals", "Playback", and so forth).

His second novel, Trance (2005), an epic fictional treatment of the Patty Hearst saga, used many of the same experimental techniques as Sound on Sound, but, according to Sorrentino, incorporated them more carefully and subtly into the text. The book was widely praised for its lush descriptions, riveting characterizations and dialogue, imaginative departures, and attention to period detail. Trance ended up on several reviewers' "best" lists, was named a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award for Fiction, and was longlisted for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2009, Trance was named one of the "61 Essential Postmodern Reads" by the Los Angeles Times.

Dalkey Archive Press

Biography

Christopher Sorrentino is the author of a previous novel, Sound on Sound. He has contributed fiction, essays, and criticism to The Baffler, Bookforum, Conjunctions, Fence, and McSweeney's, among other publications and is a contributor to Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers: Writers on Comics. He lives in Brooklyn.

Author biography courtesy of Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview wth Sorrentino:

"My first book was a dystopic science fiction novel that I wrote when I was 12, entitled The Life and Hard Times of Earth and Earthlings. The idea was that in the not-too-distant future, citizens of the U.S. would have a metered amount of noise they were permitted to make each month. The pretext for this restriction was that noise pollution had reached intolerable levels, but in fact it was a means by which the state suppressed free speech. The novel is notable mostly for its moments of unintentional hilarity."

"I finished the final draft of Trance on Bloomsday, 2004."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 20, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Attended Hunter College

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2003

    The best book you've never heard of. . .

    This is definitely the best book you've never heard of. Appearing a year before Infinite Jest, the book scoops Wallace in at least a couple of respects, and does it in much less time. Sorrentino resists naturalistic writing techniques but in the end his characters emerge as fully developed people--he's just allowed you to witness their development. The book's handling of its theme (corruption and waste as the eighties hit the ground running) may add up to the most trenchant ''80s Novel' yet. Sorrentino has a wonderful gift for parody and he employs it to full effect...the book contains echoes of Robe Grillet, Quineau, Calvino, Joyce, Delillo, Gaddis, Faulkner, Selby, Debord, Steven Dixon, and, last but not least, Gilbert Sorrentino, the author's dad. And, incidentally, one of the most important rock 'n' roll novels ever written. Since the publisher apparently never plans to bring it out in paperback, I'd go for a remaindered copy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)