Richard Hell: Massive Pissed Love
Soft Skull Press, 2015, Softcover, 304 pages, 23 × 15.5 cm
Richard Hell may best be known as a punk icon, a founding member of seminal bands Television, the Heartbreakers, and The Voidoids, but for decades he’s been a prominent voice in American letters. Through his novels Go Now and Godlike, and his critically acclaimed autobiography, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp, Hell has proven himself as a talented and insightful writer across many genres, in many forms. But one might argue that Richard’s true genius lies in shorter form as a writer on culture. "Love comes in spurts," Hell once sang, and that could well describe the intensity of his penetrating and wickedly droll criticism.
Massive Pissed Love is a collection of Hell’s ruminations on art, literature, and music, among other things, that’s like a candy box of reading treats, a bag of shiny marbles, a cabinet of mementos and uncanny fetishes. However one thinks of it, it’s a joy to read from start to finish and a deeply necessary addition to the oeuvre of one of the sharpest minds and sensibilities at work today.