Adam Voith - Bridges With Spirit
Chapelle-TNI Publishing

The book starts off promisingly enough, but quickly
descends into a tedious tromp through the
uninteresting efforts of a suburban kid to make his
life seem interesting to his peers without really
pissing off his parents.  If I wanted that, I could
talk to any number of ex-girlfriends, if any of them
were still talking to me, which they are not for the
most part.

Bridges with Spirit is billed as 'part journalism, part fiction' although I can't imagine which parts of the book Voith bothered to make up. There are tedious tales of driving to shows in his freshman year of college, and then some more tedious tales of driving to the East Coast from Indiana on a Road Trip. The Road Trip included stays in Philly, NYC DC and Boston, and featured one of the narrator's little friends running low on cash (the bank machine said he only had 1.46 left!) What would happen? Would they have to go home early? No worries-the friend simply had some money wired from home. Punk fucking rock.
The thing is, I don't care that the book is written from the point of view of somebody who grew up in an ordinary, comfortable home in the suburbs. I don't care that the narrator spent his youth as a church-group attending, mommy loving faux punk, or even that he spent his freshman year at college being a ridiculous punk rock cliché '90s style. What I do care about is that the stories are dull, the pontification worse, and the writing style immature.
And just when I had grown accustomed to the dreadfully dull stories about punk shows and girls and college, so that though uninteresting they no longer pained me (the way you eventually get used to spending hot summer days without air conditioning, if that is the only available way to live) he shifts gears and devises an even more devious way to torture me: tales of he and his friends pontificating while playing chess and thinking about life.
"We should write a movie about us" they say. "We should re-write the rules of chess," they say. They have the sorts of conversations that make me leave rooms or become belligerently insulting to all concerned in real life-and now I am reading about them.
You know what, I have been reading this book all wrong. I ought to read it in the spirit of charity. It isn't actually supposed to be entertaining or engrossing. No, it is a satire on the current punk scene. Please tell me that is it-it is the work of some overly subtle modern day Swift, showing us for once and for all why the punk scene has grown stagnant and rotten.
Hmm - actually I had had quite a lot to drink before writing that last paragraph, and I fear my overly ebullient sentiments once again give way to cold, hard facts-this book is no satire. Voith apparently thinks that it is of interest to some segment of society. Doubtless it is - to he and his friends. This book is an autopsy of punk rock, a sad chronicle of how far things have fallen, and why they will never rise again.
I leave you with an entire chapter from the book, entitled 'Magnetic Poetry on a Refrigerator in Seattle' Drive fast like wind
Are we gone yet
Did they follow us
Are we gone
No, my friend, I am afraid you are not gone yet. And you and your ilk never will be gone. Whenever there is something meaningful and intense, a few years later, you will always scurry over to play in its ruins and yell to the world 'HEY LOOK AT ME'.
...ron provine...

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