Perfect Sound Whatever
*The Sunday Times Bestseller*
The brand new memoir from James Acaster: cult comedian, bestselling author of Classic Scrapes, undercover cop, receiver of cabbages.
PERFECT SOUND WHATEVER is a love letter to the healing power of music, and how one man’s obsessive quest saw him defeat the bullshit of one year with the beauty of another. Because that one man is James Acaster, it also includes tales of befouling himself in a Los Angeles steakhouse, stealing a cookie from Clint Eastwood, and giving drunk, unsolicited pep talks to urinating strangers.
James Acaster wakes up heartbroken and alone in New York, his relationship over, a day of disastrous meetings leading him to wonder if comedy is really what he wants to be doing any more.
A constant comfort in James’s life has been music, but he’s not listened to anything new for a very long time. Idly browsing ‘best of the year’ lists, it dawns on him that 2016 may have been a grim year for a lot of reasons, but that it seemed to be an iconic year for music. And so begins a life-changing musical odyssey, as James finds himself desperately seeking solace in the music of 2016, setting himself the task of only listening to music released that year, ending up with 500 albums in his collection.
Looking back on this year-long obsession, parallels begin to grow between the music and James’s own life: his relationship history, the highs and lows of human connection, residual Christian guilt, and mental health issues that have been bubbling under the surface for years. Some albums are life-changing masterpieces, others are ‘Howdilly Doodilly’ by Okilly Dokilly, a metalcore album devoted to The Simpsons’ character Ned Flanders, but all of them play a part the year that helped James Acaster get his life back on track.
If, as the pundits say, comedy is like jazz then I'm against it. I didn't drill power chords and feedback techniques just to go fannying about looking for the melody. James Acaster, though, is a bit of an outlier. He's a music wonk with a sense of the ridiculous and his controversial theory that 2016 was the greatest year for music ever is off by a mere five decades. Interesting take, though. * David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap * James is a phenomenally talented comedian and his music taste is second only to mine. * Romesh Ranganathan * honest, unaffected, poignant - and, yes, entertaining * Chortle * Loved James Acaster's memoir / epic listicle that posits his theory that 2016 was the best year for music. His dry wit I expected, but was impressed by the real life stories of so many musicians the world over. Paints a striking picture of what it means to be a modern musician. * Edgar Wright * Immensely comforting - a witty and wise account of the rejuvenating effect of opening yourself up the the creativity of others. * Record Collector *
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