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Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste (33 1/3) Paperback – Dec 1 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (Dec 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082642788X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826427885
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Evan W on Jan. 2 2008
Format: Paperback
This is exceptionally thoughtful criticism worked into a compelling personal narrative about how experience and judgment shape and reshape each other. It's full of easy intelligence and openness, depth of research and commitment. An inspiring and surprisingly moving work. I'd italicize the "surprisingly" if I could; who would have thought? I wish more art criticism was this good. Actually, I wish more books that I read were this good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Let's talk about a little book that packs a powerful punch... Dec 11 2007
By Cliff Milledge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I took Introduction to Aesthetics in college, I wish we had a text as smart, accessible, funny, and just plain awesome as this little book on Celine Dion to introduce us to the material. What Wilson has done here with his approach to the subject of taste and tackiness is nothing less than stunning. It is a must read for people who write about music and those that love to read about it.

Nota bene: You need not be a fan of Celine Dion to love this book.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books I've ever read! Feb. 28 2009
By Phil the Hypothetical - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It took over a year of hearing about this book before I finally caved in and bought it, and now I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy the book when it first came out! It's hard to do Carl Wilson's book justice when it has so much to say, and says it so beautifully. So let's start with the obvious: DO NOT LET THE SUBJECT MATTER TURN YOU OFF! Yes, it's a book about Celine, but it's so much more than that. It's warm, erudite, smart, funny, insightful, provocative, kind, approachable, and ultimately moving. Sure, I can see the argument that the whole concept is a bit of a stunt ("Look, everyone, I'm going to write a book about something I hate!") but when it's done this brilliantly, who cares? This is the kind of book that should be a best seller, and I really hope the author publishes another book soon.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A Highlight of the 33 1/3 Series! April 1 2008
By Wendy Raffel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've read all of the 33 1/3s, and most of them are great books, each in their own way. So when I say Let's Talk About Love is my new favorite, you should trust me, b/c I know what I'm talking about. And I don't care one whit for Celine Dion... can't stand her. But Carl Wilson is an amazing writer. Maybe the best music critic we've got (visit his blog, Zolius!) and this book is truly a brilliant piece of work that waaaaay exceeds the parameters of its subject.

Check it out - you'll be glad you did, I swear.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A thoughtful discussion of taste and Céline Dion March 6 2009
By Bradley G. Bechtel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Why is someone like Céline Dion so popular? What does her popularity say about those who love her music, and more importantly, those who are critical of her career? Carl Wilson takes on these subjects and others in thoughtful, appreciative look at taste, criticism, and almost incidentally her 1997 best-selling release, featuring "My Heart Will Go On".

This is thoughtful, erudite reading, one of my favorite books I've read this year. I'd recommend it for anyone who is into music of whatever kind. Sure, Wilson throws big words around. If that bothers you, get a dictionary and look them up.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A thoughtful, fun book on taste Dec 27 2011
By Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an interesting, thoughtful, and humane book with a touch of humor by a prominent music critic. Carl Wilson takes his best shot at redeeming Celine Dion from the critical consensus that she is supremely kitsch and uncool. He does this as an exercise, in order to demonstrate how that seemingly solid judgment can actually rest on snobbery, nationalism, ignorance, and class anxiety. The details are very interesting: we learn about the political history of Quebec, the turn against sentimentality in art, and how improvements in microphone technology led to the denigration of "big voice" style.

Wilson's fresh summary of Pierre Bourdieu's *Distinction* and some more recent empirical work is very good and benefits greatly from his pop-culture examples. I was surprised to learn of the survey results demonstrating that people with greater musical tolerance easily learn to appreciate the music associated with racial minorities (jazz, latin, etc.), but only extremely tolerant listeners do not shun heavy metal, gospel, and other music associated with low education. I suspect Wilson is on to something when he suggests that critics' extreme distaste for Celion Dion is partly motivated by a desire to distance themselves from low education / "white trash" culture.

The author also name-checks Hume, Kant, and other deep thinkers on the nature of taste, but these philosophical parts of the book are the shortest and least enlightening.

Later in the book Wilson meets with some fans of Dion to discuss why they like her music and what she means to them. This section cashes out the more speculative, sociological/philosophical passages. Wilson displays a deep humanity in these chapters. The fans have their own complicated backgrounds, as everyone does, and their admiration for Dion rings true in the context of their convictions, affiliations, bonds, heritage, and ways of living. These portraits make apparent how easily a critic could denigrate their musical tastes in the course of thoughtless social jockeying.

The book ends with a review of the album *Let's Talk About Love*, informed by what Wilson has learned in the course of his research. It's very charitable, but it wouldn't convince me to buy the album. Almost, though.

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