Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book of My Month January

While I have been lying around resting in December January I have read lots of books More than my usual 3 + a week.
My best book for January was Lola Bensky by Lily Brett 

This one is set in 1967, and young Lola Bensky is in London to interview a series of famous rock stars for Australian magazine Rock-Out. The book opens with Lola and a very gentle Jimi Hendrix chatting about weight and hair curlers. It continues through a series of interviews, everyone from Mick Jagger to Cher, the Who, Cat Stevens, the Kinks, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

She confronts her subjects as equals, candidly confiding details of her parents' Nazi-plagued past.

Lola is overweight and on a constant search or starting a new diet. Her concern about diet is reflected in her mother's hatred of fat as a symbol of someone who has been assisting the Nazis, getting food, in the death camps. 
There are constant diversions back to her childhood days and her parents opinions or perceptions of things, based on their wartime experiences and losses. There is a lot about the effect on the children of 
Holocaust survivors, and the trauma of being survivors of their parents' traumatic lives.
''I once said to my mother, 'When I close my eyes I can hear crying', and she said, 'That's because when you were born everyone was crying, either out of joy at your birth or terrible anguish at loved ones who had died'.'' Lily Bensky

The book moves from Lily's past to the present and back, her marriage to "A Former Rock Star" to her current one to "Mr Someone else" as in. I'm in love with someone else"
It was funny poignant and fascinating urging me to check up some life facts about some stars.
  Sounds all grim but it is extremely entertaining, laugh out loud funny in parts, both Lola's philosophy and the interviews and relevant snatches of Pop history. 
Cher says. “The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing - and then marry him”.
It was not surprising to me to find that not having read Lily Brett's other books, but in researching her work I gather the heroines of her novels are funny, feisty, neurotic Jewish women with Holocaust survivor parents and writing careers. 
In an Interview with Tim Elliott Interview : Lillian Brett.

ILola Bensky, Brett again borrows from her past, revisiting the days she spent as a rock journalist working overseas for Australia's first music magazine, called Go-Set. Save for the occasional tweak, Lola Bensky is as Lily Brett was, right down to the puppy fat and false eyelashes. ''[Hendrix] was amazing in real life,'' Brett says. ''I had seen him moments before I interviewed him - I was in the second row of his concert - and I had never seen a man move like that before in my life; I felt terrified, just the way he moved his lips and his tongue. I practically had to look away. And then I had to go into his dressing room, little Lily Brett from Melbourne, Australia. But then he was so polite, and talked to me in the most natural way.''

There s a sad litany near the end of the deaths of so many of them not long after. 
Well recommended !

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