In Jesus Sound Explosion, an account of his life growing up as the son of a Baptist preacher's son, Mark Curtis Anderson grapples with the question of whether it is possible to rock 'n' roll without sin. Told with wry humor and rich scenes, Anderson's memoir recounts his struggles to accept Jesus into a heart already full of love for all things Zeppelin, Dylan, and Thin Lizzy. In one of the book's standout chapters, he works a band T-shirt stand across from the Matterhorn at the Minnesota State Fair and uses his earnings to buy a stereo. In this way, the book is not just a study of one boy's negotiation of being a Christian in mainstream American culture, but a chronicle of early rock 'n' roll. Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of Anderson's book is his subtle way of shifting the voice of his narrator as he ages from an innocent, open-minded child to a conflicted teenager to a knowing adult.
Thu., Sept. 20, 2 p.m.