If Eleanor & Park
, the debut novel by Rainbow Rowell, were a song, it would be a punk rock song, no question. John Holmstrom, the founding editor of Punk
magazine once said that punk rock was "rock and roll by people who didn't have very much skills as musicians but still felt the need to express themselves through music." And this pretty much sums up the teenagers, Eleanor and Park. They are outcasts in their own unique ways and as such they don't have much "skill" in the relationship department but what they both do have is incredible passion and the deepest need to express it. Sounds kind of like punk rock at least by Holmstrom's definition. To take the metaphor just a little bit further, Eleanor and Park embody both the nihilistic (think the Sex Pistols' "No Future") and the utopian (think the Clash's Joe Strummer's assertion that "punk rock is...
Beyond the Book
In my review of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park
, I suggest that if the novel were a song, it would be a punk rock song. I hold firm to that idea.
A brief (if incomplete) lesson on punk rock music: First, as is true with the birth of most genres of anything (music, art, architecture, etc) pinpointing the beginning is tough, if not impossible. But most people believe that punk rock started in the '60s. A response to the flower-power hippie movement of the same era, it was nihilistic, loud and mad. The bands were made up of garage musicians – musicians who had little or no training and who didn't know the "rules" of music, so they broke them. A strong DIY philosophy was a cornerstone of the movement. Performances were raw. The music was loud and dissonant, lyrics...