Guitar: An American Life

By Tim Brookes
Read by Tim Brookes

11.33 Hours 05/01/2005 unabridged
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How did a small, humble folk instrument become an American icon? How did the guitar come to represent freedom, the open road, protest and rebellion, the blues, youth, lost love, and sexuality? In this intensely personal memoir and informative history, Tim Brookes recounts his quest to build the perfect guitar. Pairing up with a master artisan from the Green Mountains of Vermont, Brookes sees how a rare piece of cherry wood is hued, sawn, dovetailed, and worked with rasps and files. As his prized instrument takes shape, he narrates the long and winding history of the guitar in the United States. Arriving with conquistadors and the colonists, the guitar has found itself in an extraordinary variety of hands: miners and society ladies, lumberjacks and presidents’ wives. In time, the guitar became America’s vehicle of self-expression—its modern soundtrack. Guitar is a rare glimpse of one man’s search for music. It is sure to resonate with musicians and non-musicians alike.

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Summary

Summary

How did a small, humble folk instrument become an American icon? How did the guitar come to represent freedom, the open road, protest and rebellion, the blues, youth, lost love, and sexuality? In this intensely personal memoir and informative history, Tim Brookes recounts his quest to build the perfect guitar. Pairing up with a master artisan from the Green Mountains of Vermont, Brookes sees how a rare piece of cherry wood is hued, sawn, dovetailed, and worked with rasps and files. As his prized instrument takes shape, he narrates the long and winding history of the guitar in the United States. Arriving with conquistadors and the colonists, the guitar has found itself in an extraordinary variety of hands: miners and society ladies, lumberjacks and presidents’ wives. In time, the guitar became America’s vehicle of self-expression—its modern soundtrack.

Guitar is a rare glimpse of one man’s search for music. It is sure to resonate with musicians and non-musicians alike.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Tim Brookes has written a book that combines memoir and history in a most engaging manner…The heart and soul of the book is Brookes’ love of music and the instruments that make it.” Kliatt
“[Brookes] contrasts the story of a guitar being built from a few simple (yet carefully chosen) pieces of cherry wood with alternating chapters on the history of the instrument...readers share in his joy as well as in the feeling of continuing a long tradition of music history.” Publishers Weekly
“Brookes is the perfect reader for his own material—passionate, knowledgeable, and funny…Brookes has a musician’s ear for storytelling, a dry sense of humor, and some terrific turns of phrase.” AudioFile
“[Brookes has] a storyteller’s—and a guitarist’s—sense of pitch and timing…An intelligent work with the quality of a sonorous voice drifting from the radio.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Tim Brookes

Tim Brookes, a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s Sunday Weekend Edition, has also had his work appear in National Geographic, Outside, American History, and Vintage Guitar.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 11.33
Audience: Adult
Language: English