With a title like that, you have to wonder how serious this book takes itself. Steve Almond's memoir of his lifetime love of rock music is a display of passion for the music. Almond begins the book in the mid-1970s with himself as a preteen who is trying to emulate his older brother. But every time he thinks he has matched his brother's taste, that brother has already moved on: Styx, the Police, punk, and finally, The Grateful Dead. Almond describes his evolution as a "Drooling Fanatic" and how it eventually destroyed every relationship he had with girls and women, until he met another Drooling Fanatic.
This book shines when Almond is talking about the music and how it both affected him and drove him. At times, Almond dwells too much on the psychological aspect of the fanatic experience and the storyline drags. But, for the most part, I found it a quick and interesting read. It reminds me of the movie adaptation of Nick Hornby's book, "High Fidelity" in that the cast of characters in this book are also music snobs who tend to belittle what the average person likes. But then again, Steve Almond is still a fan of Styx and their album "Paradise Theater."
--Keir, Cliff Cave Branch