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Book Review: The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional – SW Hammond **

I picked this up as the blurb sounded quite interesting. Hammond is a music industry professional in the US working for Sony and it promised some interesting anecdotes about his life and work. Sadly it has a very different feel to it and is more in the style of Augusten Burroughs but with less wit and heart.

Hammond’s book comprises very short essays on different topics. How attractive he is. How he’s never had to work to get girl’s numbers. How it’s a hard life having to go to parties and get drunk for a living. He spends his time wondering if there will ever be a significant other in his life but honestly she’d struggle to get past his own ego.

That said there are some quite interesting titbits here. His first foray into the music industry was making mixtapes for his mother because she couldn’t listen to Simon & Garfunkel and Michael Jackson on the same radio station. Reminded me of my own youth spent hunched over the tape deck on a Sunday evening trying to record my favourite chart records without the DJ cutting in!

If you are a child of the eighties and nineties there will be lots of relatable stuff in here. His interactions with his favourite TV programmes from Malcolm in the Middle to Cheers to the O.C. – all have their special place in his heart. It helps if you have a pretty good knowledge of American music and pop culture during this period otherwise the book isn’t going to make a lot of sense.

The bits that really worked were the stories about his family – Uncle Donnie and his Heineken poster were hilarious and these were the insights that made you feel a bit more positively about him. Ultimately though, it all comes over as rather self-indulgent.

Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publishing Date: Aug 23 2016. 182 pages

The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional

Categories: 2 Stars Book Review

Tagged as:


Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. Sharing my house with a gorgeous cockapoo called Harry who has taken over completely.
I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.


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