As another year approaches its end, I’m taking a look back on Psychobabble’s top-reviewed items of 2014.
This week we’ll begin with my picks for the year’s best books, an eclectic lot that includes one lavish art book, one gorgeous comic collection, one terrific autobiography, and several fine studies of music, film, and TV. Each item links to the original review.
10. Cultographies: Quadrophenia by Stephen Glynn
In short: “Cultographies: Quadrophenia is an insightful and multifaceted study of the four faces of one of the very best pop films.”
9. Sound Man by Glyn Johns
In short: “...he has rubbed shoulders with so many greats that his behind-the-board perspective brings new angles to some old stories.”
8. Steven Spielberg and Duel: The Making of a Film Career by Steven Awalt
In short: “ So this book functions as both an informative—and very entertaining—resource for students of Spielberg and a nice tribute to the recently deceased Richard Matheson.”
7. The Very Witching Time of Night: Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema by Gregory Mank
In short: “What unites this variety of nightmares is Mank’s attention to detail, his often-lyrical writing, and the common issues many of these disparate films faced.”
6. Brian Jones: The Making of The Rolling Stones by Paul Trynka
In short: “Paul Trynka gives us a balanced and compassionate portrait of a guy who has been slagged off and diminished a lot in Rolling Stones history.”
In short: “The variety of styles that represent these films dazzles: from Kastel's pulp romance to comic book to circus poster to impressionism.”
4. The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy by Tom Weaver and Company
In short: “Weaver makes all the minutia readable with his smirking prose, and all of the films were produced under weird enough circumstances by wild enough crews that the whole damn thing will hold your attention regardless of your interest in Revenge and Walks (and if you’re not interested in them, shame on you).”
In short: “The Silver Age Dailies and Sundays 1966-1967 is the ideal presentation in every imaginable way, compiling the tales in a much more readable fashion than they originally received.”