Let Me Clear My Throat

Author(s): Elena Passarello
Original Publish Date: Oct 09, 2012
Product Number: EB00653613
Released: Mar 11, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781936747504
Publisher: Sarabande Books
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"A remarkably entertaining and thought-provoking look at the human voice and all of its myriad functions and sounds . . . Wonderful" (Library Journal, starred review). From Farinelli, the eighteenth-century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of Johnny B. Goode affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, Let Me Clear My Throat dissects the whys and hows of popular voices, making them hum with significance and emotion. There are murders of punk rock crows, impressionists, and rebel yells; Howard Dean's "BYAH!" and Marlon Brando's "Stellaaaaa!" and a stock film yawp that has made cameos in movies from A Star is Born to Spaceballs. The voice is thought's incarnating instrument and Elena Passarello's essays are a riotous deconstruction of the ways the sounds we make both express and shape who we are—the annotated soundtrack of us giving voice to ourselves. "Standout pieces include a biography of the most famous scream in Hollywood history; a breakdown of the relationship between song and birdsong; and an analysis of the sounds of disgust. Akin to: A dinner party at which David Sedaris, Mary Roach and Marlon Brando are trying to out-monologue one another." —Philadelphia Weekly "The beauty of Ellen Passarello's voice is that it's so confidently its own . . . I began randomly with her essay wondering what the space aliens will make of 'Johnny B. Goode' on the Voyager gold record and couldn't stop after that." —John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead

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