Review of ‘Radiohead: Life in a Glasshouse’ by John Aizlewood

There were ‘No Surprises’ in this book. Although it tells the story of the band, as promised, for me it was a ‘Let Down’. I’m trying not to ‘Sulk’ about it, but I thought I would really like this book more than I did.

I felt that the content was over-reliant on quotes from magazine interviews and preoccupied with how Radiohead songs resembled other artists’ work. It focused on the band members’ personalities, the tour schedules and album tracklists. Indeed, the information was ‘Packd [Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box]’. The book is aimed at an American audience, evidenced by the word choices and the painstaking explanations of the British education system. It should therefore appeal to any Radiohead fan and I’m sure there are many who would enjoy this book more than I did. If you ‘Just’ want to learn about the band’s history, without the bother of piecing it together yourself from various sources, then it’s worth a read. ‘There [There]’ are some nice photographs included, with odd captions.

I found the journalistic writing style so irritating. It was ‘Like [Spinning Plates]’ reading a very long article in a music magazine. I just wished the author would slow down and take the time to discuss the songs and their meanings more. ‘I Might Be Wrong’ but I had the impression he doesn’t even like Radiohead that much, that he admires some of their albums in a critical way without being an ardent fan. I would have appreciated a ‘Little [by Little]’ personal narrative on why he wrote the book, how he got into Radiohead’s music, whether he has met them or seen them perform, etc.

In summary, this book has ‘Everything in its Right Place’ regarding the band’s history but not a lot of original insight, I felt. That was the last Radiohead pun in this review, ‘I Promise’.

Thank you to the publisher Palazzo Editions for the advance copy via NetGalley. The book will be published on 5th May.

2 thoughts on “Review of ‘Radiohead: Life in a Glasshouse’ by John Aizlewood”

  1. Haha!! I don’t know any songs by this band (sorry! 🙃) but great review, I’m assuming the puns are all names of their songs? 😂

    1. LOL you might have heard a few on the radio, but the interesting thing is that although they have so many fans, I don’t know anyone else who likes them. Yes they are song names, it’s the kind of thing I do in reviews ha ha.

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