Read Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno Online


Hairstyles is an honest depiction of growing up punk on Chicago’s south side: a study in the demons of racial intolerance, Catholic school conformism and class repression. It is the story of the riotous exploits of Brian, a high school burnout, and his best friend Gretchen, a punk rock girl fond of brawling....

Title : Hairstyles of the Damned
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781888451702
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 270 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hairstyles of the Damned Reviews

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-29 19:30

    Hairstyles of the Damned is a fun, creative and artistic book that captures the power of music and puts it down on paper.

  • Thomas
    2019-05-06 20:30

    "Hairstyles of the Damned" is about Brian Oswald, a guy in high school who is growing up punk. At first he's a sort of needy and whiny character who is in love with his best friend, but as time passes in his harsh high school he must learn to be tough and act like a punk. He meets people, does drugs, listen to cool punk music, and gets a girlfriend or two along the way.Um, yeah. I kinda strongly disliked this book, :/. I mean it wasn't the worst thing ever but I felt like I could have just used the time I read this book reading another book... and yeah if you're wondering why I just didn't quit half way, it's because I NEVER leave a book unfinished. So anyway basically I really couldn't connect with any of the characters, the plot was extremely weird, and if there were any punk rock references I guess I didn't pick up on them.Overall I understand that this book appeals to a certain type of reader. The reason why this book doesn't get one star is because there were some VERY rare moments where I somewhat connected with what Brian was going through (hello, high school angst?) And yet I was left disappointed by this one. Good effort from the author though!

  • Jason Pettus
    2019-05-23 16:36

    (My full review of this book is much longer than GoodReads' word-count limits. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)So a big confession before anything else -- that I went into this book really wanting to like author Joe Meno. And of course part of why I want to like him is because he's a Chicago writer, one of the more high-profile writers in Chicago right now in fact, who has won the prestigious Nelson Algren award in the past and who used to do a column for the legendary zine Punk Planet, who is now a well-liked professor at Chicago's Columbia College and is single-handedly shaping an entire new generation of Midwestern authors. Plus I want to like Joe Meno because I'm acquaintances with a couple of people at Punk Planet Books, the newish publishing company who put out Meno's 2004 novel Hairstyles of the Damned; and not only that, but am acquaintances with a couple of people at Akashic Books as well, the more established small press that helped Punk Planet Books come into being. Plus it's a book about Chicago, set in the city, ostensibly covering the same period of time as my own youth, and supposedly full of pop-culture references to my own youth, so really how could I not be looking forward to reading it, and of becoming a fan of Meno's?Which is why I suppose what I have to say in today's essay is so disappointing, because now after reading Hairstyles myself I actually feel kind of let down; I mean, don't get me wrong, it's certainly not a bad book, but it's also certainly not as good a book as I was expecting from a guy with his kind of background cred (and whose book has sold a whopping 80,000 copies as of the writing of this essay). It's merely a so-so book, in fact, a maudlin fictionalized memoir about the city's southwest side in the late '80s and early '90s, which contains diamonds in the rough to be sure, but ones that are unfortunately surrounded by a lot of pabulum and pastiche. Much of it, to be frank, feels like it could've been written by any anonymous youngish angsty author, with the manuscript filled with the kinds of "top-ten list" indie-rock gimmicks that felt hackneyed even when Nick Hornby was using them in 1995. Why yes, he says, as a certain amount of you now roll your eyes, this is one of those "indie-rock novels" that have become so popular among a certain crowd since the mid-'90s or so, which you should be prepared for before starting; that if you disdain breathless exclamations about how a punk show can singlehandedly and permanently change a person's life, you need to stay the hell away from Hairstyles and do it fast. And this should come as no surprise, of course, coming as it does from Punk Planet Books (duh), born from the ashes of one of the most respected indie-rock publications in history; when the small press first started up, in fact, I'm sure such a manuscript seemed like something right up their alley, the kind of novel they had been created to publish in the first place. But there are problems with the "indie-rock novel" format, serious literary problems that...

  • Tfitoby
    2019-05-08 20:24

    I really enjoyed Meno's Boy Detective Fails to the point where I couldn't imagine that a book about growing up as an awkward punk in Chicago in 1990 would actually be a young adult novel. Turns out it is, demonstrating a lot of the simple moralising that exemplifies the way adults write for teenagers in todays book market. Meh. There's a lot of great observations that took me back to that time in my life when I was an awkward teenage punk in England but really, what's here for an adult? At times it feels very much like a punky John Hughes movie for the 90s complete with the Chicago setting and who knows perhaps as a teen I would have loved this.

  • Nikki
    2019-05-04 14:24

    Earlier this year, I decided to stop buying books. Instead, I would check them out of the library and only buy copies of the ones I really loved. But this book and its intriguing title made me break that rule. I read the Amazon excerpt and really thought I would like it, but the library didn’t carry it. So… I went to Barnes & Noble and read even more of it. I liked the beginning so much that I had visions of it becoming My New Favorite Thing. I decided to take a chance and buy it. I paid good money for this. I hate myself. I read 26 pages at Barnes & Noble. The book started to suck on page, oh, 27. It’s not fair. I thought I was being so careful. I thought I was making a smart gamble. But no. I’m an idiot. No more buying full-priced books without reading them first.It’s not like this book is terrible. It’s just not my kind of book. The beginning made me think it was going to be surprising and ballsy and hilarious. But minus all the punk rock references, it was just an ordinary, completely cliché coming-of-age story. After page 27, I didn’t laugh once. I just kept waiting for it to get interesting again, but it kept getting more and more predictable and boring.

  • Oriana
    2019-05-09 19:22

    So, hmm. Like I said down there in the comments chat I had with Samara, it's a really really good thing I was already in love with Joe Meno from reading The Boy Detective Fails and Demons in the Spring, because this book really wasn't that great. I mean, it was fine, and maybe it was a little more groundbreaking when it came out, but by now it's just kind of a stale / predictable coming-of-age story. It felt very real, and I believed in the characters and the plot, but that's because they're the same characters and the same plot of pretty much any suburban-disaffected-youth story (including my own). Plus, worse, the writing isn't great; it mostly feels pretty amateurish. I know I probably say this too much, but if he'd had a good editor and cut about a quarter of the book and streamlined and polished it, it could have been a whole lot better. As it is it's pink hair and drunken make-outs and fistfights and mixtapes and punk music and furious masturbation and smoking a lot of pot and trying to fit in and dicking around in school and wishing life was better and feeling alienated and alone -- all of which is both fertile ground and totally par for the course, but aside from the racial overtones and a very very few poignant tender moments, there was nothing new, nothing urgent. Or maybe I'm just getting too old for this sort of thing, which holy shit would that be depressing. Maybe I'll go get stoned and thrash around at a punk show this weekend to prove I'm not.

  • Kim
    2019-05-19 18:42

    "We're not the first, I hope we're not the last. 'Cause I know we're all heading for that adult crash. The time is so little, the time belongs to us. Why is everybody in such a fucking rush?Make do with what you have. Take what you can get. Pay no mind to us. We're just a minor threat. We're just a minor threat.Ahh.. sweet memories of stomping around my room raging (as loud as a 15 year old can rage in suburbia without upsetting the ‘rents) Good times. Good times.Joe Meno has got it down. He’s in the zone. Angst, derived from the german word angst or the dutch word angst. Wiki says:” the word angst is not a loanword as it is in English, but has been in existence long, and is used regularly to express fear.”In long existence. No shit.Hairstyles of the Damned is centered in Chicago, circa 1991. Anthony, you remember that, right? Brian, the protagonist is around sixteen/seventeen..that normal, hormonal, acne-laden, erection-erupting mess of self doubt. We all remember that..right? Brian’s scene is the punk/metal crowd. More metal than punk so it was easier for me to distance myself from him, no literary crushes happening here, and that is what made this book more than your average angst story to me. I lived in that crowd. We took the greyhound to Boston every Sunday to attend all ages punk shows. I was 15, these shows were at 1pm, it all worked out.. catering to the youth. That time is such a staple for who I am now.. so so many bands, so much moshing, so much drama. Meno gets it right, we were worse than the jocks/cheerleaders.. we were much harsher on each other.. ‘Your uniqueness is not cool enough for us’. There was one group of punks that always caught my eye. They were definitely part of the cool crowd. The hung outside the club in their leather jackets and torn fishnets, with just the right hair and makeup. The boy was beautiful.. blonde, dreadlocked, pale.. I always looked forward to seeing them and sort of mulling around their coolness. Well, this one weekend, we were staying at a friend’s dorm and didn’t have to worry about curfew or anything, after the show, Robyn met up with this cool crowd outside. SHE KNEW THEM! I was so freaking nervous, I hid behind my bangs while she talked to them… Next thing, we’re going to hang with them. No. Freaking. Way. We followed through the streets of Cambridge at one point cutting through a office building, I’m not sure the point of this.. but they wanted to take the elevator.. just to do it, I suppose.. so, there we are, waiting. The doors open and they jump in and block the entrance for me and my friend. ‘Only people wearing leather can ride in this elevator’. Huh? Wait. Um… what about the unity, the common hatred for the bland? Meno gets it:“We were the lucky ones we had it all figured out. We had somehow managed to avoid being brainwashed by reckless corporations and it was our right-our destiny-to help by eliminating every bad cassette in the mall parking lot, tape by tape, car by car, day by day.”My thickly black eyelinered eyes were opened. We were mall rats who liked to dress up and think we were better than everyone else. We spent hours, and hundreds of cans of Aquanet, making sure our hair stood just right. We spent our allowance on the new Misfits album, or the new Dead Kennedys.. we danced and roared and understood none of it. God, I hate my punk rock self. “I think a lot of these punk kids we know are fucking poseurs,” I said. “I think most of them, they just do whatever, you know, to fit in. It’s like a totally mindless act. Like Kim, it’s all about fucking fashion.”"What the fuck are you talking about?”“I’m talking about how you two guys are like the most close-minded people I know, I said “you don’t even know what punk is about, you know? You just dress like it because you were like a loser and it, like, gave you someone to be after junior high, something to belong to, you know?”Wow. Slap in the face. This is so sad.. I want to hit my 15 year old self with my black light but she’d probably like it and like write a poem about it. I wasn’t lying when I said that this time in my life formed who I am. Those shows… watching Kevin Seconds make the moshing pit push back so a little punk girl wasn’t crushed against the stage.. seeing Ian Makaye yell at a bunch of assholes who were cheering during “Suggestion”.I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted my life to be about. These bands gave me inspiration and made me study events or movements that mattered to them.. that should matter to all. I wouldn’t change it.. even the ‘x’s that I shaved into the sides of my head to announce my straight edged-ness. The reason that I only gave this book 3 stars (should really be like 3.8) is that I felt that Meno was getting all Breakfast Clubby up in my face. I need no moral tale; I just liked the re-visitation of that slice of life. He does mention this one scene when Brian is watching Night of the Living Dead and he’s describing the scene:“ There was this one scene where the hero, this young black dude, and the heroine, this kind of high-strng white girl, are like hiding out in this old farmhouse trying to avoid being strangled by hundreds of zombies, right , and it turns out that in the cellar or basement of the farmhouse, well there are all these other people, white people, and they were hiding down there and they knew what the fuck was going on upstairs but they didn’t help the back guy and white chick, and so the black guy starts yelling at this dude who is kind of middle-aged and blue collar, the leader of the white people who were all chicken-shit, and the whit dude says something like “We were in a safe place. Are you telling me we were supposed to leave our safe place just to help someone out?”Yeah, it’s like that.

  • Laura
    2019-04-26 19:39

    Any book that assaults your dad with Misfits lyrics and pranks the school bully with photos of kitty cats with X's on their eyes and pleas to be kind because "everytime you're mean one of us dies" is pretty much one of the greatest punk high school kid coming of age stories ever.... "I ain't no Goddamn son of a bitch!"

  • Leo
    2019-05-09 13:48

    Unlike most of the other reviewers, I had not heard of this book or Mr. Meno before, and had no expectations going into it.What I deem to be positive about this book are its attention to racial tension in the main character's environment, its lack of sugarcoating of what teenage kids are really like: full of mistakes, pettiness, and insensitivity towards others visibly portrayed through the uses of non-PC words many teenagers often utter ("gay," "retarded," "faggot," "slut," "fatty," etc.), and the moral ambiguity of the characters. The fact that Brian Oswald, the main protagonist and narrator of the novel, is at times highly repulsive and not really a "model" teenager was very realistic, and made his personal tribulations that much more effective in resonating within me. Because none of us are always good, because none of us are always right, we make mistakes, and we ultimately possess both good and evil in us that, in turn, make us human and not always proud of this fact---this was the strongest point of the book for me. There were also a few passages that were beautiful in their roughness of the narration, such as Brian's moments with his father.The negative sides were its ultimate lack of determination to drive its main point home at the end (which, I thought, was that despite all of our shortcomings, we must press forward to make positive changes), and its surprising lack of unconventionalities. While I could certainly see that it was a book aimed at a very specific demographic (i.e. white teenage suburban youth into so-called "alternative" subcultures), I feel that Mr. Meno traveled into a very well-worn road with this book. It wouldn't be such a stretch to say that it's in the same vein as another book I enjoyed, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, as they both are coming-of-age tales of white, hetero-male youths. While it honestly portrayed more ugly aspects of reality than Perks ever did (making fun of "fat girls," calling weak kids "faggots" and putting them down, labeling promiscuous girls "sluts," uncensored portrayals of white nationalism, etc.), it lacked any form of remorse or vindication for those wrongs. It merely stated, never quite pointed to the "why" or the "how" to change them, with the exception of brief passages on "why the black kids were so angry."Perhaps I'm expecting too much from what is essentially just another YA novel, but given that it is aimed at "alternative youths" and published by an extension of the now-defunct progressive zine, Punk Planet, I feel that these are fairly reasonable hopes.Despite all this, I found myself engaged in the book, and enjoying it for the most part.

  • Rose
    2019-05-11 16:26

    damn! i really like this book. a sort-of love story from the pov of a sort of metalhead-punk rock boy at a catholic boys school, the 'fat' girl he's in love with, his assorted friends getting high and drinking shitty beer in the basement, divorcing parents, and generally coming of age. there are two moments that I especially love, his describing a girl as something like 'mean and sour looking, like she'd just make out with you because she's bored' and his feeling after going to his first small-club punk show (7 seconds) and feeling like all the outcasts were (or should be) in it together.

  • Arminzerella
    2019-05-09 18:38

    I have the weirdest sensation that I’ve already read this…This was entertaining and kind of fluffy high school relationship stuff. You’ve seen all of these characters before, and they’re not all that distinguished here, but Joe Meno does really have the language down, and the sense of time. If you grew up in that era, you’ll feel right at home…and maybe anyone growing up at all would be able to relate to the constant flow of profanity that doesn’t even have any real purpose except to pepper your language because you want to sound different. We did this, too. It has that same sort of hazy feel to it…like not much is happening, not much is going on – very GenX, we are so BORED with it all. And there’s this pain, too, of wanting people and having your first experiences with desire and longing, and the first relationships, or encounters. It’s pretty well done. Brian Oswald is a high school kid, and his best friend is the somewhat chunky, Gretchen who’s into the punk music scene (or at least the look and the most popular music). Brian realizes he has a huge crush on Gretchen, but she’s so not interested in him. She wants the older and more daring and dangerous Tony Degan (who’s in his early twenties but still in high school or still hanging around with the high school crowd). They don’t have much to do or anywhere to go really – except the local food joints, driving around and listening to music in Gretchen’s car. We all did these things. The lovely displaced youth that we are. Brian starts out as kind of a heavy metal kid and gradually evolves into the real punk scene. This is all about his experimentation, finding out who he is and what he wants to be, trying out all sorts of different styles and people and groups. He drifts a bit, but the central theme is this experimentation with everything. The growing up bit. Definitely resonates with me.Gretchen is a size 12, which last time I checked, could be considered a medium. She’s always going on about what a disgusting cow she is, so maybe she feels big, but she isn’t. This annoys me. It could be just who Gretchen is, but if it’s the author, he just has no idea about size. None at all. Girls reading that who are a size 12 or larger will think, omigod, I’m Huge! Or maybe not. Not an accurate perception. I hate books about fat girls, because they’re all inevitably about how the fat girl wants to be thin. There are no jolly fat people in novels under the age of 60.

  • Kristin
    2019-05-20 20:48

    I truly wanted to love this book because I read The Boy Detective Fails Again by Meno first. I adore that book--it's one of my favorites. This one was disappointing, to say the least.The first 200 pages were filled with a lot of teenage-boy angst and the nothing that is a high schooler's life. Many of my favorite books are books within which nothing really happens, so this wouldn't have phased me if the "nothing" that happened actually seemed to be moving toward "something," or seemed to be speaking to something larger (i.e. a "meaning"). Unlike The Boy Detective Fails Again, this didn't happen for me until around page 225.And when I found the "something," it was like a deluge. It began with a promising chapter where Meno describes everything backward, as if someone had hit the "rewind" button and we watched the milk pour back into the milk carton, tipping upright, etc. The rest of the book (approximately 30 pages) was filled with teenage revelations that one could liken to a pretty explicit moral; all that was lacking was the phrase "the moral of my story is...."I made it until the end because I know that Meno is a great author, and I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt; if it had been written by someone I hadn't read or heard of before, I would have stopped after page 75 or so. But the end made me wish I had stopped much earlier.The sappy/romantic/"TV Movie" part of me could appreciate the ending and its lessons, but the literary part of me choked a bit.I don't write off Meno as an author, but I can't say this book was very good.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-19 17:40

    For being written by a creative writing professor, this book is overwhelmingly stereotypical. The rebel girl who dyes her hair pink; the twenty-something who can't get away from high school; the boy with his constant erections and lascivious thoughts who really just wants some confidence. And everyone hates their parents (who likewise have stereotypical issues). While I agree that we all go through a lot of the same things in adolescence, sometimes I just wanted to slap the narrator and yellget OVER yourself . It's hard to write a book from a teen point of view. If you compare it to a book likethe perks of being a wallflower- which is by no means the perfect YA fic- it falls so far short, it's absurd. Meno was trying to give the book an authentic voice by inserting the appropriate filler words- like, um, fuck, maybe- but he tries too hard. I wasn't against this book from the start, and each of the characters really does have potential to tell a good story, but Meno fails in delivering.Big perk of the book for me? It's set in the neighborhoods I was born in, and also where I spent a good chunk of childhood at my aunt's house. Rainbow Cone? I'm so there.

  • Hannah Garden
    2019-05-08 14:35

    Imogen liked it so I liked it (coz I am a convictionless little bastard most of the time when it comes to Art and can easily be swayed in any ol' goddamn direction or other by any ol' goddamn random-ass espousal or denunciation from someone I love or loath). But I think I wouldn't have otherwise. Mainly coz of how I am also MEAN and tend to have the least room in my heart for that which reminds me most ably of myself.Certainly there were parts where the narrator's voice was angsty in pretty interesting, compelling ways--but most of it just felt like most of the shit I write when I'm running my mouth in Word: mostly aimless, shapeless, and only fascinating if you care about teens and outfits and angsty teens and angsty outfits. Which, okay, is pretty fascinating stuff. But I'm just sayin'. For some reason in books the very thing that makes me love people who have the same interior deformities as I do gets flipped on its head and makes me all judgypants and resentful. It's not about "How the hell did HE get published?" it's about "He didn't say it EXACTLY LIKE I WOULD and therefore he's wrong coz we're talking about the same thing." I guess. I don't really know, really. I guess I just wanted to flip for this book more than I ended up flipping.

  • Niki
    2019-05-15 14:43

    I bought this book sometime between 2005 and 2006, when I worked at Barnes and Noble and had hair the same color as depicted on the cover. If I had read it then, a twenty-something in an identity crisis, I might have connected better with the material than I did a decade later. Joe Meno is great with capturing the high school angst, and the Hairstyles of the Damned is well written and thoughtful, but a little dry. Here are some other words I would use to describe it: frustrating and sleazy - though I imagine that's pretty accurate when you're caught in the mind of a 17 year old teenage boy. I'm not much of a punk music fan, and the musical references peppered throughout were largely lost on me (like everything else about this book).

  • jo.
    2019-04-27 12:35

    Reminded me of somewhat my teenage angst experience I faced in high school, the story started off "ehh, okay" but after I started to get a feel for it more and clearly understand the story. Also it has some good music references, really loved how the music went along with every situation going on in the story! Overall, a good enjoyable nostalgic feel book!

  • Jennifer A.M.
    2019-05-08 19:37

    This is a punk rock coming of age story about a shy high school junior named Brian Oswald with a crummy home life who is in love with (or thinks he is in love with) his best friend Gretchen, who continuously pines for a skinhead, white- power 20-something named Tony Degan. Gretchen is not stupid or racist, she also comes from a messed up home life. Her mother has died before the book begins and she is desperately looking for someone to love her and see her and pay attention to her. Brian's feelings for Gretchen wax and wane through out the book as he attempts to sort out his feelings about everything else going on around him. There is band name dropping galore throughout all 270 pages, and someone who was more into the punk or metal scene in the early 90's would appreciate it more than I did. I was a lame theatre kid in high school and pretty much listen to broadway soundtracks and Madonna. Meno strongly features The Ramones and The Misfits and all of the other bands you first discover when you're young and eager to rebel but not sure what you have to rebel against. Tellingly, Brian's first truly transitional music experience happens at a Seven Seconds show, and Meno nails the sense of broadened awareness -- His narrator, Brian wonders, "Why haven't I heard this before?" Meno also aces Brian's sudden, revealing connection with the object of his affections late in the book: for just a few minutes, or maybe just mere seconds of closeness with Gretchen in which hormones kick in and their awkward fumbling becomes artful, their bodies connect, their desire flares and then, just as suddenly, it's all awkwardness and embarrassment and things never to be spoken of again. Sounds just like high school to me.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-09 17:21

    I read this book a few years ago. I remember loving it. I want to re-read it someday but at the moment, my copy is back in Canada. :(“‘You never know. That’s the trick, Brian. You never know which times are going to be important until later.’‘Yeah,’ I said, feeling more weird each fucking minute. ‘I guess.’‘That’s why you shouldn’t worry. You should just be happy when you can.’‘That sounds good, Mr. D.,’ I said. ‘Listen, I think I’m gonna head home. I’ll call Gretchen later.’‘Brian?’ Mr. D. whispered, raising his head.‘Yeah?’‘You’re a good kid. In case nobody ever tells you that,’ he said, and I almost started fucking crying right then.”I remember it reminding me of The Catcher In The Rye and Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Maybe not quite as epic but still really absorbing. A great, honest coming-of-age story, full of swearing and self discovery.I was reminded of this book while dying my hair. I remember a part in the book where he talks about how to dye your hair. I can't find the quote on the internets, though.I would recommend it to anyone looking for one of those books full of desperate longing and teenage angst. “…and there was this line in the song where the singer sings, ‘Hang the DJ, the music that constantly plays says nothing to me about my life,’ and when I first heard it, I thought, ‘That’s exactly right, man’.”

  • Alika Yarnell
    2019-05-18 19:39

    I like the way the chapters are very short and just move from scene to scene. And the kid is overall very likable. And there’s some good points to be made about teens, punk, conformity, etc.***SPOILER ALERT***Not sure why Meno skipped over the details of the protagonist losing his virginity. Especially since this is a sex-crazed teenager and has revealed other things to us, masturbating, thoughts of sex, etc, but when we get to that scene, there were no deets whatsoever. I thought maybe we’d get back to them at the end, but nope. I'm thinking that maybe it was a publishing decision but if that's the case, then I'm sorry the author had to butcher his work.Overall, I like the structure (short chapters and a very few instances where the text breaks into columns) and the details of high school life, etc, very fast-pasted, easy to read, entertaining for the most part, I just wanted it to go deeper or move further at the end.

  • Leah
    2019-05-05 14:30

    I read this book a couple of years ago. To be honest, the only reason that I read it was because it was about people who went to the Catholic schools in my area (Brother Rice, Mother MacAuley, Queen of Peace, St. Lawrence), including my high school (even though QoP is only very briefly mentioned). I thought that it was an okay book. I'm glad, though, that I borrowed it from my friend (she rec'd it to me) and didn't waste my money buying it since I have no desire to read it ever again. As the title indicates (or indicated for me at least), the book was weird. But there was a lot of swearing so that was fun. (Just kidding; it wasn't particularly fun.)

  • Jason Jordan
    2019-05-23 12:42

    People know Meno. With his hands in many cookie jars, however, individuals have become acquainted with him through various outlets. After all, he's unleashed three novels – with the fourth on its way – as well as contributed to other publications such as Punk Planet, Sleepwalk, and Bail. But, perhaps Meno's true popularity began to soar due, in part, to 2004's Hairstyles of the Damned (Punk Planet Books), which proves to be both amusing and endearing....Read the rest in the October 2005 issue of decomP.

  • Amanda Fewster
    2019-04-29 18:48

    This is a great book to read for highschool students. It really adresses a lot of difficulties adolescents have to endure throughout their highschool years. It covers everything from developing a taste in music of your own to being in love with a best friend that you can't confess your love to. The language usage is young and raw, making it all the easier to get lost in the world of a punk adolescent figuring out his life step by step. I became very inspired from several kep parts in this story and felt a strong connection to many of the main characters. An absolute favorite, very much deserving a 5 star rating.

  • Roger
    2019-05-21 20:26

    Meno writes like a punk, and I mean that in a good way. He writes with a cutting attitude, direct and profane. At first, I was put off by his style and the meandering story, but the book grew on me, and I ended up liking it quite a bit. It's basically a first-person coming-of-age story, full of all the angst that comes along with directionless teenage years. The plot is thin, but the dysfunctional protagonist pulls you in and along as he tries to figure out what life is all about. If you don't mind dipping a toe back into the muckier side of the teenage wasteland, it's a good read.

  • Maggie Wiggins
    2019-05-18 18:39

    A lot of people carried this around with them in my high school hallway. It's an identifiable, interesting read if you enjoy music and pop-culture references. I enjoy the latter but am clueless about the former, which shut me out of much of the novel. I don't think it's especially groundbreaking, but teens tend to tell other teens to read it, so I'm not complaining. Readalikes include Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn, Peeps and So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld.

  • David
    2019-05-07 14:36

    This is some seriously nice writing, possibly some of the best I've seen from Meno. This character is just voiced so well, it really makes the book for me. It has exactly that raw, emotive force that it needs to bring Brian to life and ends up being about more than just the events inside without getting pretentious. It's gritty, believable, and seriously worth reading.

  • Erin
    2019-05-17 19:44

    True-to-life and incredibly sweet story of a high school student who feels isolated from family, other students, even friends, plus a big ole dose of metal and punk music from the mid to late 80s. Really enjoyed this one, and will look for more from Meno in the future.

  • Kim (iScream Books) Markett
    2019-05-22 12:38

    Such a great book! It was just about one persons life and I cared about what he did in it. I loved that it took place in Chicago and all the music references. I really loved it! Thanks Steph! I want to read more by him!

  • Mrs.Mikulskis
    2019-05-16 16:21

    I never thought I’d ever read a book set in my little hometown of Evergreen Park, Illinois.

  • Mia
    2019-05-22 19:32

    This book doesn't deserve 3 stars, I think, but I'm a sucker for coming-of-age novels.

  • Bridgette Davis
    2019-05-11 12:46

    This was mostly just fun...but the added benefit of the city of Chicago as a setting made it even more worthwhile!