Everything Is An Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson
Kevin Avery
Fantagraphics
Street: 11.21.11

Kevin Avery has compiled an incredibly thorough account of one of folk and rock music’s most important critics of the 20th Century: Paul Nelson. Avery reveals Paul Nelson as not just a music critic, but also a true writer who loved his subject matter possibly more than anything else. After reading, I felt that I knew more about Nelson than simply his life’s accomplishments—I knew him as the man he was: an observer who secluded himself with his books, film and music. The first 185 pages chronicle Nelson’s life from his obsession with books as a child and the beginning of his writing and editing career with Sing Out! and the Little Sandy Review, to his final years at Evergreen video when his mind started to go. The pages are strewn with black and white photos of Nelson and his associates, and show the physical changes Nelson went through over the years. The remaining pages include some of Nelson’s published writing about Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Neil Young and others, giving the reader a clear picture of Nelson’s immersed, romantic and above all, insightful, writing style that was characteristic of very few other writers of his time. Author Kevin Avery will be in Salt Lake City for a reading and book signing on Friday, April 13 at the King’s English at 7 p.m. He will then be in Park City on Saturday, April 14 at Dolly’s Bookstore at 6:30 p.m.