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To Air Is Human: One Man's Quest to Become the World's Greatest Air Guitaristby Dan Crane and Björn Türoque
Synopses & Reviews
How an average musician put aside his "there" guitar and reinvented himself as Björn Türoque, the take-no-prisoners future of air guitar.
The true story of how mildly successful guitarist and New York Times writer Dan Crane relinquished his instrument and became Björn Türoque (pronounced "b-yorn too-RAWK"), the second greatest air guitarist in the nation. This exploration of the international air guitar sub-culture addresses the issue of dedicating oneself to an invisible art in order to achieve the ultimate goal of "airness" — that is, when air guitar transcends the "real" art that it imitates and becomes an art form in and of itself.
"Actual musician and New York Times writer Crane created his alter ego, Bjrn Troque, as part of a heated but unsuccessful attempt to win the 2003 Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland, a yearly competition — usually attended by thousands of fans — to see who can best mime the movements of guitar solos in songs by actual rock gods such as Led Zeppelin and Guns N' Roses. With hilarious detail, Troque/Crane recounts what became a three-year, nearly full-time immersion into the cutthroat, usually drunken, but always serious world of air guitar competitors, who choreograph detailed 60-second routines of air-jumping, air-fretting, air — power-chording and air-soloing in order to be 'transposed from insignificance into supernatural supershredding superheroes.' Crane often veers into stoned philosophizing — he sees air guitar as 'creating a reality in which the audience can place themselves' — but overall he easily and accurately captures the telling elements of what is uniquely a visual event: one participant is described as looking 'as if he's repeatedly trying to pull-start a lawnmower with a great deal of frustration,' while another — sporting 'a Hello Kitty breastplate fastened to his chest with binder clips' has hands that move 'like twin Tasmanian devils.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An absurd yet contemplative chronicle that will charm anyone that believes in rocking hard with a guitar— or with nothing at all." Kirkus Reviews
"Björn Türoque is so good that people with real guitars now have contests to see who can do the best imitation of his air guitar imitation.” Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point
"I think there are very few invisible musical instrument players out there who can claim the chops and sheer perseverance of Björn Türoque, the world's perennial second-place air guitar champion. Whoever this Dan Crane might be, he's captured the mad, seductive spirit of the arbitrary skill contest perfectly, and rocks it hard into the hot Finnish night. There is no number of umlauts that do this Jekyll and Hyde of air-rocking justice." John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise
"At long last, after years of neglect, the noble art of air guitar has its own whatever-the-best-book-of-all-time-about-painting-is." David Rees, author of Get Your War On
"Björn Türoque, Nietzsche scholar, artisan, or should I say 'air-tisan,' is the second greatest air guitarist I’ve never heard in my life! Thank God he wrote a book! If Turoque's seductive and sizzling rock 'n' roll glamour is fool's gold, then I'm a fool!" Jonathan Lethem, author of Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn
About the Author
Dan "Björn Türoque" Crane has been playing competitive air guitar for over two years. He has also written for Slate, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
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