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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,776 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Oliver Everett Narrator: The Chet Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504626279
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How does one young man survive the deaths of his entire family and manage to make something worthwhile of his life? In this poignant and original coming-of-age story, indie rock musician Mark Oliver Everett tells the story of his “ridiculous, sometimes tragic, and always unsteady” upbringing and how it fed into his creativity. The insecure son of a genius physicist, Everett was left to run wild with his sister while his father was off in some parallel universe of his own invention. A string of tragedies would claim his family members one by one, yet somehow Everett managed to not only survive, but to make a life. Striking out on a journey to find himself, he channeled his experiences into critically acclaimed music with the Eels. Told with surprising candor, Things the Grandchildren Should Know is an inspiring and remarkable story full of hope, humor, and wry wisdom.

Bonus: Contains songs performed by Eels guitarist The Chet

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] thrillingly eccentric story…Crucially, Everett picks the right stories to tell…It makes you trust every word coming off the end of Everett’s fingers. His book is a subtle, touching thing.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Where it could be self-pitying it’s actually uplifting. As a book about the creative process, and the circumstances propelling that process, it’s revealing, grimly humorous and just about peerless.”

    Q magazine (four stars)

  • “His unique sensibility is as apparent in his prose as in his music. This book isn’t just for devotees. Even those unfamiliar with or indifferent to Everett’s work will still enjoy meeting him.”

    Independent (London)

  • “What comes off the page is optimism and, frequently, humour. Everett’s underdog charm and ability to tell a story keeps us rooting for him until the end.”

    Sunday Business Post (Dublin)

  • “Candid and touching…[with] the same sincerity and wit of his songs…Peppered with insights into the tawdry motives of the music industry, this is primarily a story of spirited resilience from one of pop’s most maverick survivors.”

    Metro, 4 stars

  • “Everett, front man and creative force behind the remarkable indie rock band, the Eels, offers a stunning memoir about his childhood and ultimate rise to international success as a writer and musician. Read by fellow band member the Chet, the story is so jaw-dropping it will have even the most hardcore Eels fans reeling…The Chet, a natural performer who knows how to connect with his audience, offers a simple, uncomplicated reading yet one that carries a certain poetic intensity.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “As the leader of the alternative-rock band the Eels, Everett has already built a reputation for wry wit and lyrical candor, and this book epitomizes the X-Generation attitude towards mortality with its deadpan humor and world-weary cynicism. Everett pulls the ultimate postmodern trick when he recruits fellow Eel The Chet to do the narration. Essentially ‘playing’ his band mate, Chet has a snide tone, as impassive as that of a DJ on a college radio station. It’s the perfect vehicle to assert Everett’s identity as a cynical post-Boomer.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christophe | 2/18/2014

    " Amazing read, full exploration of mortality and existence through the eyes of a black humored artist struggling to understand his place in life in the midst of non-stop tragedies surrounding his life. A celebration of life and the perseverance to work for the things you want. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoomusicguy | 2/17/2014

    " Brilliant! Next time I see E I'm going to give him a hug. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlina Lunney | 2/8/2014

    " A friend introduced me to The Eels and it's been a whirlwind love affair. 'E' as he is affectionately known, writes like he sings, bare and honest. You can't help but feel devastated for him, for the path that his life has taken him on, the sheer volume of the tragedy that has befallen him and he has dealt with it all with such grace. I think of E as a complete enigma and he fascinates me entirely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Gladwell | 2/2/2014

    " Full disclosure: I'm a huge EELs fan, so this book meant a lot to me after being a fan of E's music for a long time. BUT, even if you are not an EELs fan, this is a touching story detailing the human condition. E details the very trying times he has had throughout his life and does it on a very personal level. The best part about these memoirs for me was the way he details his viewpoint. Many people think of EELs songs as very depressing and downtrodden, but they are in fact the opposite. You can see in the way E tells his story and viewpoints that his outlook is realistic and optimistic. He enjoys what he's gone through because he knows how good he has it and how bad it could be. I wouldn't suggest it to everyone, as the content can get graphic at times and the realistic portrayal of the events in his life can be off putting to some, but I feel that this is an excellent read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelsey | 2/2/2014

    " I don't even know where to start. I picked this books up this morning, read a few pages, went on with my day, picked it up about 3 hours ago and I wasn't able to put it down. I had to finish it, and I did. There is something so tragically beautiful about E. He is someone you want to meet and ask weird questions to. His life is sad and depressing, and the way he writes about it broke my heart, but while reading, I put his whole discography on my iTunes on shuffle, and I felt incredibly connected to him. He puts his life for everyone to read about, and I think it is his own version of therapy, and I'm glad that he put it out for his fans to read, because, at least this pertains to me, I will now be a dedicated fan for life. This quickly became a favorite book, and I can't wait to make other people read it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kara | 2/1/2014

    " This book was pretty slight...it was sad, but not overly so. Sort of forgettable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jac Williams | 1/8/2014

    " Well written, well read - perfect length and constantly building. Class "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh Campbell | 12/31/2013

    " Reading this book felt like I just sat down with the E for a long cup of coffee where we talked about some real shit. This book had me tearing up and also left me inspired by his strength and positivity considering the immense amount of shit he has gone through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melita | 12/7/2013

    " I've always loved his songs for it felt real and humanly poetic. After finishing this biography, I feel like I can relate more to his songs and personally, to his stories. Mr.E certainly is a man of deep thoughts and clearly rebellious. I'll be waiting for the second part of his bio. ;-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb Hallock | 12/6/2013

    " My family is very much into music and we saw EEL at a concert near DC. My son is trying to make it in the music industry and has done a lot of touring for a 20 year old so I could relate to a lot of the scenes in the book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ~*angelle*~ | 9/5/2013

    " I love E. I really, really enjoyed this. I would have enjoyed it even were I not familiar with his music, but since I am, it was that much better. Really helped put some of his work into better perspective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paco | 7/18/2013

    " Nice book about important things on life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 4/13/2013

    " E's amazing life makes you want to listen to all his songs, over and over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 tinne | 10/25/2012

    " A fun rollercoaster of a read, especially as a fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 megan weisenberger | 4/28/2012

    " Gritty and poetic and every bit as good as his eclectic discography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 4/7/2012

    " I rather enjoyed this one. I listened to it rather than read it. The Chet, one of the members of the Eels narrated the book and subsequently sang the lyric passages. Beautiful, witty and sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gordon Wilson | 3/16/2012

    " A facinating look at a facinating man. Would have liked a little more detail on his recording, but really interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 12/2/2011

    " If I ever forget just how fortunate I am, please instruct me to reread this book. Mark Everett is the driving force behind Eels, and this book illuminates how a life filled with tragedy served as his inspiration to create something beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roland | 6/5/2011

    " not being much of a biography reader I still liked it a lot "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chamie | 5/8/2011

    " Loved it.. best audio book I've listened to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl | 5/7/2011

    " Great memoir. I love the songs E's written over the years and this serves to more fully understand them and him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 5/1/2011

    " This is probably my favourite book of all time. Not only does E make some of the most amazing music I've ever heard, he leads a tragic life that is full of ups and downs. Really worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gordon | 4/19/2011

    " A facinating look at a facinating man. Would have liked a little more detail on his recording, but really interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 2/6/2011

    " Loved the writing style, use of lyrics to parallel life stories and emotions, and forward attitude "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 1/12/2011

    " Mark has had a shockingly eventful life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aimee | 10/15/2010

    " Some of this was really moving, especially the perfectly imperfect epiphany E has while playing Albert Hall in the penultimate section. It was also interesting to learn more about the impetus for and circumstances surrounding each album. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 megan | 10/1/2010

    " Gritty and poetic and every bit as good as his eclectic discography. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 8/14/2010

    " Thought provoking, funny, and serious without falling into morose reflection. I absolutely loved this book. It helps that I'm a huge fan of The Eels, but I think even those without much context on the music would really appreciate this book. "

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About the Author


About the Narrator

The Chet, the multi-instrumentalist and voracious reader, joined the Eels in 2003 and has toured and recorded with the band since. During the 2008 “An Evening with Eels” tour, one of his onstage duties was reading passages from E’s autobiography to thousands of listeners worldwide. He was a natural choice, then, to narrate the audiobook.