Elevation Stephen King (Scribner) Scott Carey has a bit

of an unusual problem. He can’t stop losing weight. Now, I know what you’re thinking because I thought the same thing, but no, this is in no way a rehash of

King’s Thinner. Scott weighs less every time he steps onto the scale, with or without clothing. He looks the same on the outside. He consults a doc- tor friend, and together they attempt to decipher the mystery. Meanwhile, Scott has quite acciden- tally pissed off a lesbian couple who are new to Castle Rock and have opened a fine Mexican din- ing establish- ment in town. In

King’s world of monsters, rabid dogs, living cars and creepy crawlers, it is always the human drama that makes the stories shine. Same here. I must note, it was kind of cool to have a King novel clock in at under 150 pages. I read it in a day. Very different indeed for a guy who pumps out 800-1000 page novels like a one-man assembly line. The characters and their interaction kept

me turning pages until late-thirty, and the end re- sult was typical King fantasy and fun. Short and sweet, but just as bizarre as all of the other King books. I enjoyed the journey, and in that short period of time, managed to feel empathy for at least two of the characters. What can I say, I’m a fan. Stephen King is my Maine man.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

Southern Rock Opera Rien Fertel (Bloomsbury) I am a fan of the 33 1/3 se-

ries. These little pocket sized books are always jam packed with information, facts and trivia. They are for those of us who scour the liner notes on al- bums but still long for more.

In this one, #133 in the series of ground

breaking albums, New Orleans author Rien Fertel explores the Drive By Truckers’ 2001 concept record Southern Rock Opera, an album that cele- brated the mythology of Lynyrd Skynyrd, blended with similar tales of a fictional band called Beta- max Guillotine, obviously based on the Truckers themselves. The songs are controversial to be sure, and the album has met with both praise and hate. The duality of the southern thang, as it were.

Fertel not only explores Patterson Hood

and the Drive By Truckers as well as Lynyrd Skynyrd, he digs deep into the music history sur- rounding the mythology, from Macon to Muscle Shoals, Jacksonville to Greenville. He digs into Capricorn, the Allman Brothers, FAME and Mus- cle Shoals Sound, and visits Jacksonville with Gene Odom, Ronnie Van Zant’s friend, as a tour guide. I found myself unable to put the book down. Now, I loved the Southern Rock Opera album, and I’ve been a DBT fan since day one, but even if you never heard the band or the album, the book is a read of historical impor- tance. AUTHOR! AUTHOR! Great job, Mr. Fertel!

- Michael Buffalo Smith

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