The Last Rock Star Book
or: Liz Phair, a Rant

by Camden Joy

Paperback. 212 pages.
ISBN 1-891241-07-9

Summary

Camden Joy's hero can charm landladies, but he can't seem to wrap up the quickie biography of rock star Liz Phair he's been commissioned to write. Instead, the shaky author finds himself caught up in recounting the troubled events that mark his own life.

His ex-girlfriend (who just might be the illegitimate daughter of dead Rolling Stone Brian Jones); the rock star (whom he's never met); and a mystery girl in an old newspaper photo all start to blur together. If only he could get closer to his subject, before the assignment spins out of control, maybe he'd have a shot at the distinction he deserves.

Hilarious and compelling, The Last Rock Star Book offers both an engrossing read and a powerful meditation on celebrity and obsession.

About the author:

Camden Joy gained notoriety for a series of "manifestoes" on popular music and culture he pasted up all over New York City. Some of these were collected in The Lost Manifestoes of Camden Joy (1996). The Last Rock Star Book was his first novel. His second novel, Boy Island, was published in 1999.

Reviews

"This is a book you'll read in one sitting and go back to, rereading favorite passages like you'd replay favorite songs."--Mother Jones

"Joy relates his ode to squandered youth and perfect pop songs in a flurry of words and excited digressions. Some of the flashbacks to an adolescence suffused with rock and roll and fizzled gestures of rebellion are truly funny." --Publishers Weekly

"Guerrilla writer Camden Joy is a unique voice. His moral seriousness-which rarely deflects his sense of humor-ignites his lyric imagery and linguistic virtuosity. Hero worship, celebrity, the dialectic between art and commerce all inform his work."--Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix

"Pop culture obsessives will hear echoes of all sorts in Joy's voice-ecstatic art seraphs Patti Smith and Allen Ginsberg, Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs-not to mention the wild cadences of crank religious missives. It makes you lust for a world of heightened feelings and values beyond the one we live in-just like art is supposed to do."--Minneapolis City Pages

"[Joy's work displays] a hyperventilating, loose-gasket appreciation of popular culture, written at various times from the autobiographical POV of an addict, a jilted lover, or a music fan who loves too much. Perhaps he defines a new critical beast: the rock critic as stalker."--Richard Gehr, SPIN

go home