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This Book Is Broken: A Broken Social Scene Story Paperback – Apr 27 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Anansi; Original edition (April 27 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088784796X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887847967
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 20.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Quill & Quire

September 2009 will mark a decade since the inception of Broken Social Scene, a pillar of the Toronto indie-rock community. Eye Weekly online editor Stuart Berman chronicles the group from its unassuming beginnings to its critically acclaimed heights in a series of carefully arranged interviews and photographs that comprise a comprehensive snapshot of the Toronto independent music scene. The band is a collective of dozens of musical talents – such as Leslie Feist, Emily Haines, and Kevin Drew – so it’s fitting that Berman’s lively, conversational narrative is structured as a polyvocal oral history, with each individual providing a unique perspective on the community cultivated by the band. Berman has set himself a difficult task by attempting to remain true to Broken Social Scene’s chaotic artistic sensibility while creating a cohesive narrative out of an agglomeration of so many different voices. For the most part he succeeds, though in the early going the book lacks a certain coherence, and it takes time for the reader to adapt to the piecemeal storytelling. Berman’s love of Broken Social Scene is clear from the start. His thoughtful, energetic, and playful retelling of the band’s history – from the decline and rebuilding of Toronto’s independent music scene in the 1990s to the creation of the Arts & Crafts label and beyond – shows us the band in a broader cultural context. This Book Is Broken effectively illustrates how hard artists must work to achieve results and stands as a testament to Broken Social Scene’s relevance in 2009.


[Stuart Berman's] thoughtful, energetic, and playful retelling of the band's history...shows us the band in a broader cultural context. (Quill & Quire 2009-05-09)

A Fantastical account of a powerful music movement in Canadian indie rock. (Exclaim! 2009-05-09)

Going through the book while listening to the music is a required joy...Moreover, the book details the creation of a great local music scene, with several bands building audiences that extended to international recognition...This Book Is Broken will certainly appeal to fans. In reality, anyone with a fascination with how ideas are exchanged, extracted, and then made into vibrant and viable art should find this of interest. (Parasites & Sycophants 2009-05-09)

Damn that's a good book. (REAX 2009-05-09)

It's an endlessly interesting story, an original one amid the usual rock-bio cliches, and told here in an honest, inventive and consistently engaging way. (REAX 2009-05-09)

It's more then just the story of a rag-tag rock group - it's also a valentine to a burgeoning music scene. (National Post 2009-05-09)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved the book....even got to meet the band and got them to sign it! A must read for all BSS fans!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ee78840) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e92d2a0) out of 5 stars Will rejuvenate your love for BSS March 23 2010
By Lee L. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion, there's no other band in indie music today with a more compelling story than Broken Social Scene. They, and the record label they created (Arts & Crafts), alongside Montreal label Constellation are the driving forces behind the Canadian music scene and responsible for some of the best music of the past ten years. What you'll find in This Book is Broken is an oral history of the band told my its members and others from the Toronto music scene along with all manner of rare photos, set lists, and other visual documentation of the band.

I've been a huge BSS fan for years and this was an immensely enjoyable book. When I finished it, I could go back through the band's (and all the related off-shoots) catalogue with a completely new appreciation for the music. The stories and the history will give you the chance to listen to these records with what will seem like a new set of ears. It's made anticipating the upcoming new album in May even more unbearable though because having read about the band's evolution, knowing that they've stripped things down to a six-member core for the new album will undoubtedly push their sound in different directions.
HASH(0x9e92d4ec) out of 5 stars I waited so long to own this book! July 27 2012
By Adrianna - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After going through a nightmarish attempted purchase on E-Bay that finally resulted in a refund after a year of the seller somehow managing to have the book returned back to them every single time, I found this book for a lower price on Amazon. I received it promptly in what I thought was perfect condition, considering it wasn't wrapped (for most books I don't expect them to be encased in plastic anyway). After cracking it open very carefully, and I do baby every book I own and this one of my favorite band would be absolutely no exception, the soft cover came apart from the binding. The pages haven't broken away from the glue yet but I do have to re-attach the cover after each opening. This Book Is Broken took its own title a bit too literally! I can't blame the seller for this but I mention it in case any other buyer has had this trouble or is purchasing and wants to know what to expect. It's an easy fix but just be careful and don't be surprised if it happens.

All in all, if you are a fan of Broken Social Scene or any of its members in the various musical incarnations they've taken over the years, this book is a really beautiful, informal biography of the people that brought the music to life over the years. I waited so long to own this book and I'm so ecstatic that I finally do. The photos, the stories, the history are all worth the read. I love it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e92d4b0) out of 5 stars Who doesn't like BSS? June 11 2014
By r - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting to read about all the different bands that have spawned from BSS. I've lent this book out to several friends and they all loved it as well. A must for any BSS fan.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e92d7a4) out of 5 stars A pleasant read, but for fans only Dec 23 2012
By Daniel Caffrey - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who likes the band enough to seek out this book won't find any surprises, but the pictures sure are purdy and capture the communal nature of the group. Breezy and pleasant.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e92d804) out of 5 stars Great Band, Great Book June 20 2009
By L. Sigmon - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book chronicles the band in a very informal and sometimes unstructured way, perfect for a book about Broken Social Scene. It was everything that I wanted it to be, beautiful pictures and insightful commentary.