User Profile

Jason Evangelho

Joined 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Professional hobbyist. Rabbit hole chaser. 80s kid and 90s music addict. A writer and musician reviving my imagination from my coma. I'm also on Mastodon

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Total F*cking Godhead (2020, Post Hill Press) 3 stars

A promising start and a disappointing end

3 stars

Chris Cornell's unexpected death is, in a beautiful but understandably tragic way, partially responsible for my wife and me connecting and finding love. We bonded over the sadness of his passing and celebrated his ridiculously talented legacy of music. So I dove into this book with what's admittedly some bias, some enthusiasm, and some emotional connections to the material.

My wife read the Croatian version of this book last year, so I knew going in that author Corbin Reiff had been severely roadblocked by various legal issues surrounding Chris's death and estate. In fact, Reiff admits as much in the introduction and isn't shy about expressing his disappointment over seeing so many promising interview opportunities -- some months in the making -- vanish practically overnight.

Despite this changing the scope of the biography, it opens with so much promise. Reiff paints a brief but powerful picture of Chris "liberating" a …

The Star Trek Book of Friendship (Hardcover, 2022, Smart Pop) 3 stars

Review of 'The Star Trek Book of Friendship' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

A VERY brisk but delightful read that plays out as a meandering conversation about the iconic friends (and frenemies) in Star Trek. At times it's a little too ham-fisted, as if the authors are trying way too hard to prove they're diehard Trekkies.

But honestly, my biggest complaint is that it was entirely too short, almost as if it was edited way too aggressively.

But it's a little book I'll leave on my desk, because the illustrations alone bring big smiles.

And one more thing: there are certain passages here that may trigger binge-watches of TOS, DS9, TNG, Voyager, and yes, even Enterprise.

All your base are belong to us (2011, Three Rivers Press) 3 stars

Review of 'All your base are belong to us' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Know this going in: All Your Base Are Belong To Us resembles a collection of passionately written, diligently researched, loosely tied together essays, rather than being a true exploration of the video game industry's impact on pop culture. It's alluded to repeatedly, but not explored as deeply as I expected.

And Goldberg's occasional reconstruction of the historical dialogue that transpired (based on his 200+ interviews) sounds stilted, not natural.

Still, it's packed with fascinating facts concerning the origin stories of the pioneers and creatives who paved the way. As someone who's been loving video games since Pong, and covered the industry for more than a decade, Goldberg still managed to unearth a ton of tidbits that surprised me.

Beyond that, I have a new appreciation for the early days of PopCap, Rockstar, and Sierra among many others.

It's an easy-reading page-turner for true video game enthusiasts. Come for the origin …

Runnin' with the Devil (Paperback, 2018, Dey Street Books) 4 stars

Review of "Runnin' with the Devil" on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Most characters in a story have a redemption arc. Tragically, that can't be said for Noel Monk's account of Roth-era Van Halen.

What starts as a beautiful origin story about a super-talented band briefly evolves into a success story, but then just as quickly devolves into a sordid narrative of betrayal, frustration, depression, and severe drug and alcohol abuse that makes you simultaneously feel sadness and contempt for the members of the band.

Except for Michael. No one could ever hate Michael.

Seriously though, this painted my impressions of Van Halen a slightly darker color, and like Monk towards the end of his tale, I feel like removing them from heavy rotation on my Spotify playlists. At least for a little while.

Maybe some Van Hagar as a palate cleanser...

At any rate, it's an easily readable page-turner and contains a wealth of "inside baseball" stories (some that are delightful, …