Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Lee Kravitz Book Tour Review
6-15-10 University Book Store
I am telling you more action can happen at one author reading than any crappy 3D vampire romance movie. Two things happened that I had yet to see before. More on that later
So fresh off an appearance on the "Today Show" comes the very nice and charming author Lee Kravitz, who wrote the very nice and charming book "Unfinished Business" which is his personal story of purging out all the personal demons of his life.
After running a high-powered high stress job as the executive editor of Parade Magazine, Kravitz made the mistake of allowing his career define him. (Think of the old Harry Chapin song "Cats in the Cradle") Hell, the man didn't even find time to attend his beloved Grandma's funeral.
The sand slips under he feet; the tide goes out and Mr. Kravitz is unceremoniously fired flat on his ass. (Think of "Up in the Air") The culture he once found himself so apart of has vanished into the evening of ex-coworkers no longer available for companionship and he finds himself taking into account all that he has abandoned and undo what went wrong.
On his journey, Kravitz pays money owed from over 30 years ago, he visits his aunt who has been isolated from his family, faces down his grade school bully, taking us all on the kind of personal journey that people can relate. Now he is out to encourage others not to make the same mistake/
It's "Ivan Illyich" meets "My name is Earl" with a little "Eat Pray Love” I got it.
I liked his reading style as Mr. Kravitz reads from his book in a nice loud voice but drops to living room conversation during his talk with the audience.
Then the first strange thing happened,
Mr. Kravitz is a communicator happy with the intimacy of the audience. He makes people comfortable. This author reading turns into a focus group. Intelligent, well-meaning conversation taking place among strangers as they express concerns of today's work place and world problems while Mr. Kravitz moderates with pleasure. For a moment it was really nice,
Remember this is the University district. Cutting edge, academic and post avant-garde grunge. We are four block from where "Alice and Chains" singer Layne Staley died of a heroin overdose. It’s colorful here.
Two guys arrive late. Street corner poets, freelance writer, jailhouse lawyer types who scratch out a vice by getting petitions signed and working the car washes.
One sounds like Mickey Rourke in the beginning of "Johnny Handsome" (go ahead You Tube it) and he is there promoting his buddy who has "an interesting story” So the "interesting man" begins to describe his life story to Lee Kravitz at the expense o of the audience. The crowd dynamic changes and people begin to shift in their chairs as this guy begins to take over.
To his credit, Mr. Kravitz handles the questions with class and tries to move the subject but the "interesting man" contributes more after the next question, and I really hate when I ask the speaker a question and one of the audience members feels they need to answer. DAMN IT.
Then Johnny Handsome breaks in on about another story by the "interesting man" and the crowd is now standing up to leave as if they have suddenly contracted a rectal cyst. Mr. Kravitz is calm but tries to step away from the podium announcing its time to sign books. The "interesting man" and his promoter move to his signing desk and continues to pitch Kravitz ideas of his book as the store closes.
If this were J.K. Rowling her security detail would have put these guys in Lake Washington but Mr. Kravitz handles it with aplomb, obviously not wishing to create another situation he may have to atone for in his next book.
I hope Lee Kravitz sells 100,000 copies and inspires the world to change. I wonder if he will ever come back.