"Hip deep in music,
'Never Mind Nirvana' is a telling inside view that perfectly captures the rhythms
and sights of late-nineties Seattle."
-- Peter Buck, guitarist for R.E.M.
"One of my favorite writers is back with a beautifully paced,
original novel which moves so fast that once you start reading, it becomes impossible to
stop. As swift as 'Never Mind Nirvana' is, it also has a gravity and an underlying
sadness that's not a put-on -- it feels real. Mark Lindquist's simplicity, humanity, and
humor are on full display and I totally welcome his return."
-- Bret Easton Ellis, author of "American Psycho" and "Glamorama"
"'Never Mind Nirvana' is the first novel I've read that makes
music as important as food, clothing romance -- a fresh twist millions will be able to
identify with -- and the music of Lindquist's language is a perfect match for the subject.
I think he's the writer to watch in the new millennium."
-- Tama Janowitz, author of "Slaves of New York" and "A Certain Age"
"'Never Mind Nirvana' is the perfect book for any guy who has
to think about what bands are coming to town before planning a date, for any woman who
wants to have her suspicions confirmed about how lonely and strange guys can be, and for
everyone who's ever wondered who's better: Nirvana or Pearl Jam. Lindquist's best
-- Peter Farrelly, author of "The Comedy Writer" and writer/director of "There's Something About Mary"
"A well-written novel that's part John Grisham and part Nick Hornby.
While Lindquist, a real-life prosecutor, can capture the wheeling and dealing of his
profession better than most, his true talents lie in his ability to analyze situations and
people with tremendous verve and wit. Much like Hornby's
'High Fidelity', this book
scores most of its points with wry observations about sex and dating, clever metaphors,
in-depth knowledge of American rock music and great dialog.... File under hip."
-- Eric Wittmershaus, Oakland Tribune
"This is the Generation X novel we've been waiting for - the one that
captures the zeitgeist perfectly.... Seattle born and bred novelist Mark Lindquist gets
it. He does what no on has done as well before.... If Never Mind Nirvana were an
alterna-pop tune, you'd find it stuck in your head for days."
-- Margaret Sullivan, Buffalo News
"Echoes and ties to both Hemingway and Fitzgerald ... a millenial
cover of these two great writers who also worried about women, sex, and sacrifice."
-- Judy Budz, Boston Globe
"A toe-tapping, shoulder-bopping, music video of a book that hits on
a particular Zeitgeist and captures a moment in time ... Pete is a pragmatist, a romantic,
a philosopher, and a cynic all rolled into one, with a wry sense of humor playing
backbeat.... Lindquist carries the reader to that place of grudging acceptance, where
confronting the past, no matter how pain-filled, is the price of admission to a more fully
complex, integrated, and abundant life."
-- Bernadette Murphy, San Jose Mercury News
"All is handled with wit and style by Lindquist. Anyone who was ever
in a rock band, or part of a scene, or kept searching for perfection without knowing what
perfection is, will relate heavily.... Heartfelt and cool, while realizing cool
doesnt count, this is a book that goes beyond hip. "
-- Tom Long, The Detroit News
"'Never Mind Nirvana' is solid Lindquist, whose previous
works, 'Sad Movies' and 'Carnival Desires,' mapped out modern
Hollywood with a precise eye. He's given his story just the right mix of truth and
sentiment, with a happy lack of cool irony. The Seattle setting is lovingly drawn, and
even if you don't have a passing acquaintance with, say, the Crocodile Club or the ferry
to Bainbridge, his brief descriptive strokes carry you gracefully through scenes....
Lindquist's economy is equally in force as he introduces characters such as Pete's mother
and sister, his courthouse pals and his paramours. He gives each one a distinct voice,
with dialogue that's absolutely pitch-perfect. You know these people. Even the most minor
characters--the passing parade of bartenders, waitresses, street cops and strippers--have
voices.... As the book reaches its double climaxes (neither one entirely obvious, but both
ringing true), it feels as if something honest has been said and a simple story has been
well told. And it feels as if we'll probably see a movie called
'Never Mind Nirvana'
in the multiplexes sometime next year. But it won't be as good as the book."
-- Eric Brace, Washington Post
"Lindquist deftly balances seriousness with humor....
Nirvana' smells like a hit."
-- Jeff Ayers, Library Journal
"The humor and tragedy of modern life, growing up, and music are the
themes of this delightfully irreverent novel. 'Never Mind Nirvana' holds the
reader's attention with its pacey, hip style and easy-to-identify-with delineation of pop
culture.... Life today is lived with music as a soundtrack just like a film, and you
cannot separate the two. Lindquist's message touches something in most of us....
Mind Nirvana' deceptively slides into the subconscious and stays there."
-- Rachel Hyde, Charlotte Austin Review
"Hilarious ... witty ... and with commendable subtlety explains a
great deal about the relationship between young men and rock 'n roll."
-- David Finkle, Trenton Times
"Enough heart to be occasionally touching, and very often
entertaining.... Lindquist understands how easily and how imperceptibly pop music can
weave itself into one's everyday life, enriching it in both tiny ways and big ones....
Pete may not have it all figured out yet, but without sentimentality or excessive
hand-wringing, Lindquist opens up the possibility that he just might."
-- Stephanie Zacharek, New York Times Book Review
"Jane Austen in reverse ... first rate cynical witticisms ... written
on ice cubes in 86 proof ink."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"Gritty and graphic, funny and forlorn, the novel covers
old-fashioned ground about adulthood and responsibility in a distinctly modern way."
-- Mike Chisier, The Tampa Tribune Times
"Reading Pick of the Week:
'Never Mind Nirvana' is not, as the
title might suggest, a history of the Seattle grunge scene, but an irreverent and funny
novel about the Pacific Northwest's sonic boom and subsequent bust. The book's action
swirls around Pete Tyler, a former grunge musician-turned-county prosecutor, as he
grapples with a midlife crisis while trying a case of date rape that polarizes the music
scene of which he was once a part. Author Mark Lindquist, a Seattle native, leaves no punk
rock unturned, as he quotes actual song titles and lyrics, cites little-known dive bars
and club appearances made by local musicians (everyone from members of Pearl Jam to
obscure PacNorWest combos like the Fastbacks, Girl Trouble, and the Murder City Devils).
Every detail, down to a stripper's multiple piercings, rings true. Though not
autographical per se, the novel, in part, parallels Lindquist's own life. Lindquist gained
admittance to the literary Brat Pack, which included Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis,
with his first novel, 'Sad Movies,' (1987). But after the publication of a second
novel, 'Carnival Desires,' Lindquist put his writing on hold to attend law school,
and became a deputy prosecutor in the Pierce County Special Assault Unit. His first-hand
knowledge of legal procedure as well as the Seattle rock scene, and his sense of irony
combined with an ability to nail a character's quirks make
'Never Mind Nirvana'
laugh-aloud hilarious. In addition, the reading will be a homecoming of sorts: Lindquist
spent much of the mid-'80s in Los Angeles as a screenwriter, alternately hobnobbing with
the movie-biz elite (including then love interest Molly Ringwald) and slumming around the
underground Hollywood rock scene (he was a fixture at L7 gigs and after-hours haunts like
the Zero One). At readings, Lindquist's delivery is deadpan and witty.
-- Pleasant Gehman, LA Weekly
"Few books can appeal equally to the passionate music junkie and the
contemporary music fan as does Mark Lindquist's
'Never Mind Nirvana'....
This is the renaissance novel, a reality-based tribute to rock, a modern spin on
the age-old male question of when to settle down, and a gripping courtroom drama, all
interwoven with sharp comedy and even a few Clinton jokes. What more can you ask of
-- John Thomason, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
"One of the many pleasures of
'Never Mind Nirvana' is in its
rightness of local details.... Lindquist's penchant for the truth pays off, for his novel
gives us a Seattle we can recognize."
-- Claire Dederer, Seattle Times
"The soundtrack plays continuously in
'Never Mind Nirvana.'
This latest novel from Mark Lindquist, whose 9-to-5 job in the Pierce County prosecutor's
office surely provides atmospheric grist for the story, also draws gleefully on the
author's affinity for Seattle's music scene. For those who have been at all tuned in for
the last decade or two, Lindquist provides a dimension rarely, if ever before, exploited
to this degree in modern literature - from Alice Cooper to Alice in Chains, from Hole to Sleater-Kinney, from the Young Fresh Fellows to (of course) that definitive grunge band
fronted by the late, lamented Kurt Cobain and mentioned in the title, the music provides
both subtext and mood. The story line of 'Never Mind Nirvana' focuses on Pete
Tyler, a deputy prosecutor who is halfheartedly trying to extricate himself from a severe
case of arrested adolescence. At one time he had been lead singer of a one-hit-wonder
grunge band, and during his off hours he still hangs out at all of the Seattle hot spots -
the Crocodile Cafe, the Pink Door, the Speakeasy, the Alibi Room. But at 36 ("almost
40," he laments) he is getting a bit long in the tooth for this. The dating scene is
as brutal as ever, and the routine of hard drinking and one-night stands is taking its
toll. Pete finds himself further estranged from his old haunts when he is assigned a high-
profile, date-rape case at work. The alleged victim is an 18-year-old-groupie, the accused
is a local rocker of about Pete's age. Our hero cannot avoid the uncomfortable parallels
between this case and the dissolute episodes in his own life - there but for a few crucial
details and the grace of God goes he. Pete decides he needs to get married, but locating a
suitable bridal candidate is not easy. His family looks on with bemusement. Pete's
well-off, widowed mother exercises admirable restraint in her counsel. Sister Katie is
more outspoken. A Gen X-er who once wore the severe black uniform (clothes, hair,
eyeliner) of the day, she has married a Microsoft executive and started a family.
"It's a huge relief when you get involved with someone to the point where life is no
longer just about yourself," she tells him.
'Never Mind Nirvana' is
frenetically paced, caustically funny, rich in grunge/punk ambiance and rife with
Northwest music scene lore. It is also surprisingly moving, as Pete takes stock of his
life and seeks a new direction. A number of settings with considerable visual appeal, a
slew of outrageous characters, the obvious musical tie-in and a sex-on-the-Monorail scene
all suggest a calculated awareness of this property's cinematic potential - the
bittersweet ending even evokes a silver screen classic, though Seattle as Tara is a bit of
a stretch. Don't be surprised if a movie version eventually shows at a multiplex near
-- Barbara Llyod Michael, Tacoma News Tribune
"Lindquist succeeds in writing a stylistic postmodern pastiche of
life in Seattle. His description of the city and its music scene is vivid and detailed.
-- Donna Marie Smith, Flagpole
"Pete Tyler is no different from you, and me, and all the other
music-obsessed romantics. As fleshed out by Lindquist through believable dialogue and a
keen eye for Seattle details, Pete is cast as a late 90s Everyman faced with deciding what
to do when music's no longer central and we have to get on with life.... accurate
characterizations, trainspotting hooks, and it all rings true."
-- Fred Mills, Puncture Magazine
"Pete's unlikely quest for wedded bliss is told with humor, insight,
and honesty. Readers will learn all they want to know and more about Seattle and the
city's music scene in the 1980s and 90s."
"God is in the details. Nothing could be more true with Mark
Lindquist's humorous, fast paced, and insightful novel
'Never Mind Nirvana.' The
novel is set in Seattle and the way he captures the rhythm and sights, the streets and the
smells, the businesses and the buildings is wondrous.... You'd have to be a
understand how right-on Lindquist is in his descriptive writing of the Seattle landscape
and monuments and of Seattle's legendary alternative rock scene. But you don't have to
live in Seattle or the Pacific Northwest to know that Lindquist is also right-on with the
thoughts of a man bumbling through life looking for something although not knowing
-- Jonathan Shipley, Bookbrowser.com
"Sex, drugs, and rock and roll ... music lovers should get a kick out
of Lindquist's smart take on love and life in a Seattle overrun by Microsoft and
-- Jay Webb, Dallas Morning News
"A literary maelstrom of irony and romance....
'Never Mind Nirvana'
might best be suited for a rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you wake up late with a
hangover after striking out with a date the night before. When that happens, crawl over to
the bookshelf and reach for this. Lindquist's frank, quick, humorous musings about love
and life and losing should perk you up in no time. "
-- Rosalita, Girlson.com
"Lindquist is good at capturing the unrecoverable flow of life, the
chances for love escaping as time goes by. And he doesn't back down.... Lindquist employs
his experience as a prosecutor to good effect, and the novel supplies an excellent history
of the Seattle rock scene in the 1980s and early 1990s."
-- Barry Johnson, The Oregonian
"A hilarious contemporary tale of urban angst set amid the grunge
music scene in Seattle...."
-- Richard Rennicks, Borders.com
"'Never Mind Nirvana' forced me to like it.... I'm surprised
when Pete's got to prosecute one of his former grunge peers in a date rape case. I'm
delighted that he starts getting somewhere in his quest to grow the fuck up, understand
women, and understand himself. He's not predictable and two dimensional - the guy's a
legit complicated human who does wise things and stupid things. He's funny and I like him!
Good golly! All right, Mr. Lindquist, you've done it, I like your book."
-- Joanna Rubiner, Mashmagazine.com
"Clever, rollicking, delightful ... reminiscent of the coked-up 1980s
angst-fests by the literary Brat Pack, of which Lindquist was a member. "
-- Tampa Tribune Times
"This is the kind of book creative writing students should be
required to read, just so they understand how to write for an audience. Lindquist never
loses sight of such readers, and reels them in with such ease that you bet he could turn
out lawyer dribble like John Grisham and make millions."
-- Tony Jenkins, Insite Magazine
"A compellingly believable story of drama and internal
-- Portland Mercury
"Finally. Someone who gets it. And can write
about it.... Mark Lindquist captures the essence of a movie soundtrack life.... Highly
-- Michael Walls, 2walls.com
"So I am reading 'Never Mind Nirvana' by Mark Lindquist.
More accurately i am bingeing on 'Never Mind Nirvana.' I started this afternoon,
I'm on page
215. This is nothing but sheer book bulimia. I am bingeing and it's all gonna fall out
soon. But I am loving this. Loving it. Four paragraphs in he's talking about the
replacements and "let it be." he mentions "I Will Dare!" how can i not
eat this book up in one sitting? I know I am greedy. I was gonna do a whole reader's
journal and stuff, but i am not even taking the time to digest it. the story is
engrossing, the music is wonderful. The soundtrack is playing in my head. it's making me
long for college and the nirvana vs pearl jam debate. It's making me remember the mudhoney
show with 80 cent beers. ok, i can't wait any more. there are only about 50 pages left.
someone, anyone, read this book. have you read this book? if so, e-mail me, e-mail me,
e-mail me, i want to talk to someone about this."
-- Jodi, iwilldare.com
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