Read advance reader review of Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

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Sounds Like Titanic

A Memoir

by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

Sounds Like Titanic by  Jessica Chiccehitto  Hindman X
Sounds Like Titanic by  Jessica Chiccehitto  Hindman
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  • Published:
    Feb 2019, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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There are currently 24 member reviews
for Sounds Like Titanic
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  • Charlene M. (Myrtle Beach, SC)


    Memoir
    As a teen growing up in the 60's I was surprised by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman's description of her 90's experience as a teen. The pressure of a new age of woman's freedoms. Sounds Like Titanic, a Memoir is humorous - The Composer & his many foibles; the audiences gullibility - "It sounds like the music from the Titanic - and still buying it; Jessica Hindman's struggles with self-esteem. A Memoir filled with pathos and nuggets of laughter.
  • Beverly D. (Palm Harbor, FL)


    Best kind of memoir
    What a captivating read! Glad the violin/Middle East thing didn't work out so well, for Ms Hindman is certainly a gifted writer. The non-linear telling of her story was well done from my perspective and the repetitive tour notes made it feel probably JUST like touring felt. Much of her self-discovery was spot on, reminding us what it was like to be a young woman trying to become self sufficient no matter what the cost. I highly recommend this book for book clubs both adult and young adult. Well done,
  • Marjorie H. (Woodstock, GA)


    Unreal
    "Truth is stranger than fiction" and this story proves that you can't script this kind of writing. Reality/unreality that can drive a person truly crazy is right here. I'm still having to go back and check a few things.

    The idea that you take your talent and hard work and lay it at the feet of a nut is not a new story. Ms. Hindman paid a high price to play. The "concerts" made me feel so uncomfortable and, yet, she needs the MONEY. Ah! the bottom line. I almost read it cover to cover in one sitting because the story kept pushing me forward. I kept hoping she'd just walk away, but she needed the MONEY. And who is The Composer? I can't figure out that wrinkle.

    Sounds Like Titanic is an amazing read. I highly recommend it.
  • Claire M. (Sarasota, FL)


    Bright Lights, No Filter
    Bright Lights; No Filter. Jessica Hindman leaves Appalachia for the big city and in a very short period of time starts to see Culture. That kind, yes, but also the big one: her studies in middle east history and politics as well as small town America and the Capital of the World all create a world view that is currently critical in a country comfortable with false realities.
    Hindman enters this new world when she gets a job playing violin in an ensemble which is really not being heard because it is always a sound track the mystery Composer plays for all audiences. The audiences believe the musicians are actually playing and this "what is real, what is not" is the kick-starter for seeing the world anew and calling out the fake for what it is. While playing in the ensemble to pay for her living, she desperately wants to become a journalist to explain the middle east to the outside world, but she is unable to find a job in which she would work for free. Her work and her dreams are both thwarted by the catch-22 of fakery that is reality.
  • Joan R. (Chicago, IL)


    A Thought-Provoking Memoir for Our Time
    This memoir is an excellent choice for book clubs. The questions explored by the author as she reflects on her upbringing and stint as a violinist who pretends to perform in front of live audiences are ones that we may ask at some time in our lives. For example, what do you do if you discover your talent is mediocre in your chosen field? There are also questions relevant for our current time: how do we distinguish between the real and the fake? Does it matter? The author mixes humor and anger in looking back at her experiences, but always with an underlying kindness for the people she describes. Reading this book, I felt I was in the hands of someone wise, honest and very real.
  • Laure R. (Fresno, CA)


    LIFE PRESERVER OPTIONAL
    A fascinating memoir by a most talented writer. She provides us with large servings of humor and hostility through, in part, unique glimpses into the world of classical musicians involved in "sham" performances for unsuspecting audiences in order to sell CD's. The famous creator of these musical events and recordings is never named, only referred to as "The Composer". A mystery in itself.

    She also shares her beginnings in rural West Virginia and her childhood dedication to the violin. She allows us a remarkable view of her young adult struggles to determine what is real in this world and her place therein.

    Her description of the post 9/11 era are particularly insightful as well.

    I was intrigued from the beginning page. I strongly recommend reading this.
  • Dotty from Indiana


    Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman
    Sounds Like Titanic is a fascinating memoir by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman. At the opening it appears to be a straight forward memoir of a young woman moving to New York City to go to college. She did not realize how much she would need to cover the expensive education at Columbia, and it quickly becomes apparent that she needs a job. She takes several, including one horrific one selling her own eggs to fertility clinics.

    Eventually she answers an ad looking for a violinist. She played violin in high school back in West Virginia. She knew she wasn't great but her Appalachian friends and family thinks she is. They were wrong, however it turns out it doesn't matter if she's a talented violinist or not. She is hired on the spot.
    The Composer, a man who is never specifically named, has written simple orchestral music that some say vaguely sounds like the theme song to the movie Titanic. He's recorded multiple CDs of this music, played by professional musicians. He then hires assorted semi-professionals to play. He sells the CDs on the QVC network and in venues as varied as art fairs and in shopping malls in a "God Bless America" tour. He takes these small ensembles all over the country; the crowds love them all. Together, they sell tons of CDs.

    Hindman spins the tale of traveling with this small assembly of musicians and The Composer in a raggedy RV and her eventual decision to leave the orchestra and continue her education in Middle Eastern Studies. With sincerity, humor, and strong insight into insecurity and ambition, Hindman tells a fantastic tale that truly expresses the angst of a young woman experiencing life as an adult.
    I'm dying to know who The Composer really is; I'm hoping that when the book is released at the end of February we'll find out.

Beyond the Book:
  Student Debt

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