Byrne’s got a bit of the sly raconteur in him and it marries well with the goal of the book: to discuss how music comes to be through its performance, sale, distribution, recording and audience. His style combines a college lecture (especially in the way Byrne uses photos to illustrate his points) with the experience of talking to a clever person at a party.
If you’re one of those people who enjoys the feel of a book, track this one down in a bookstore just to weigh it in your hands. For a modern work, it has a surprisingly classic feel from its soft, faux-leather cover to the care that went into binding it. It’s only 300-some pages but suggests more. McSweeney’s published it and they’ve given it the same bespoke sensibility they give to other things they create. It’s an approach that suits Byrne’s text well.