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Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir

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Sounds Like Titanic tells the unforgettable story of how Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman became a fake violinist. Struggling to pay her college tuition, Hindman accepts a dream position in an award-winning ensemble that brings ready money. But the ensemble is a sham. When the group performs, the microphones are off while the music―which sounds suspiciously like the soundtrack Sounds Like Titanic tells the unforgettable story of how Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman became a fake violinist. Struggling to pay her college tuition, Hindman accepts a dream position in an award-winning ensemble that brings ready money. But the ensemble is a sham. When the group performs, the microphones are off while the music―which sounds suspiciously like the soundtrack to the movie "Titanic"―blares from a hidden CD player. Hindman, who toured with the ensemble and its peculiar composer for four years, writes with unflinching candor and humor about her surreal and quietly devastating odyssey. Sounds Like Titanic is at once a singular coming-of-age memoir about the lengths to which one woman goes to make ends meet and an incisive articulation of modern anxieties about gender, class, and ambition.


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Sounds Like Titanic tells the unforgettable story of how Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman became a fake violinist. Struggling to pay her college tuition, Hindman accepts a dream position in an award-winning ensemble that brings ready money. But the ensemble is a sham. When the group performs, the microphones are off while the music―which sounds suspiciously like the soundtrack Sounds Like Titanic tells the unforgettable story of how Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman became a fake violinist. Struggling to pay her college tuition, Hindman accepts a dream position in an award-winning ensemble that brings ready money. But the ensemble is a sham. When the group performs, the microphones are off while the music―which sounds suspiciously like the soundtrack to the movie "Titanic"―blares from a hidden CD player. Hindman, who toured with the ensemble and its peculiar composer for four years, writes with unflinching candor and humor about her surreal and quietly devastating odyssey. Sounds Like Titanic is at once a singular coming-of-age memoir about the lengths to which one woman goes to make ends meet and an incisive articulation of modern anxieties about gender, class, and ambition.

30 review for Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Holy Milli Vanilli! Or, should I say Milli Violini? While still in college, the author, an aspiring violinist, was chosen to be part of an professional music ensemble. Her duties involved playing her instrument, and selling CDs at shopping malls, AND the 54-city God Bless America concert tour. The catch was . . . she performed before a dead microphone. The flawless music came from a recording. The audiences paid big bucks to see musicians "lip sync" to a CD. The entire scheme was masterminded by Holy Milli Vanilli! Or, should I say Milli Violini? While still in college, the author, an aspiring violinist, was chosen to be part of an professional music ensemble. Her duties involved playing her instrument, and selling CDs at shopping malls, AND the 54-city God Bless America concert tour. The catch was . . . she performed before a dead microphone. The flawless music came from a recording. The audiences paid big bucks to see musicians "lip sync" to a CD. The entire scheme was masterminded by a man referred to only as the Composer, a strange fellow who wrote tons of quasi-classical music, yet couldn't recognize Beethoven's most famous ditty. In a tale too weird to be fictional, Hindman does a wonderful job of conveying the endless monotony of being on the road - from the bland, and uninspiring food at chain restaurants, to the boredom of having to play the same songs over and over again for hours. I know what it feels like to hate a song so much you never want to hear another goddamned note. Despite Hindman's displeasure at the cheesy tunes, and "fake" performances, the music really resonated with audience members. As one woman put it, "It is so calming. It gives me a few moments of peace." Many found the dulcet tones to be both thrilling and a comfort. Still others insisted it sounded like Titanic. Music that sounded just like a movie about an entire society - rich on the top deck, poor on the bottom - headed for disaster. This was a terrific surprise: enjoyable, entertaining, and thought provoking. I'm looking forward to reading, oh, pretty much anything else Hindman cares to write. Many thanks to Michelle from W.W. Norton for a complimentary copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    ”Sometimes I wonder where I've been, Who I am, Do I fit in. Make believin' is hard alone, Out here on my own.” -- Out Here On My Own, Irene Cara, Songwriters: Leslie Gore / Michael Gore ”Vivaldi is in your head. The music you hear is like the blaze-orange clothing the men wear on the mountainsides while deer hunting in autumn. The music is like a bulletproof vest, a coiled copperhead, a rabies shot. The music is both a warning and a talisman. The music tells you things.” ”The music says: What yo ”Sometimes I wonder where I've been, Who I am, Do I fit in. Make believin' is hard alone, Out here on my own.” -- Out Here On My Own, Irene Cara, Songwriters: Leslie Gore / Michael Gore ”Vivaldi is in your head. The music you hear is like the blaze-orange clothing the men wear on the mountainsides while deer hunting in autumn. The music is like a bulletproof vest, a coiled copperhead, a rabies shot. The music is both a warning and a talisman. The music tells you things.” ”The music says: What you feel is real. Follow me. Run.” This memoir is about growing up in the ‘80s & 90s, about growing up in the Appalachian mountain area of West Virginia, and then later on, moving not that far away, but to the Virginia side of these same mountains. It’s about a love of music that began with music from a favourite childhood VHS tape. It’s about a girl who grew up in a rural area, and parents who drove hours every week to see a dream of hers become real. It’s about a town that saw her as having “reeyell talent,” and how life (or at least the people who counted) disagreed. It’s about how she managed to – for a time – find work touring the world, as a violinist. More specifically, she is paid to perform as a violinist before an unplugged microphone, while The Conductor plays the music that is broadcast courtesy of a $14.95 tape player. From a festival in New Hampshire - her first gig in 2002, to China, all around the US, playing more festivals, inside malls selling their CD’s to any shoppers who overheard their music playing, to larger venues, traveling around the country in a beat up camper that was held together by duct tape. It’s about a young woman who struggles with “life in the body,” struggles that many others have faced before. It’s about 9/11 and the war in Iraq. It’s about the 90’s, women’s equality. It’s about how both social media and reality television have changed life in a less-than positive way. It’s about the disparity of ways of life throughout the US, throughout the world. I found this almost impossible to put down, she shares her story in such an engaging way, so vulnerable, and honest about the toll that taking this job took on her physically, to get her through university. This story itself is incredibly engaging, but there is so much more to this than just a composer who has duped hundreds of thousands of people into buying “his” music. ”And if you aren’t a violinist—you who clung to your violin like it was a life preserver, like a prosthetic phallus, like a shield and a sword with which you battled the feeling that you were just an average-looking, unsubstantial, nothing-special girl, a girl who could be thrown under the bus of American culture with all the other girls—then who are you?” Captivatingly candid, this is an thoroughly enjoyable memoir that is relevant to our world today. Published: 12 Feb 2019 Many thanks to W.W. Norton & Company for the ARC

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    “There were just some things you couldn’t do for money. Not because they were particularly difficult, but because you just didn’t want to. Because they weren’t worth your life, which might not be worth much, but was worth something.” God, this book. It’s catapulted itself into my favorite books of all time, but how do I even begin to explain why? Yes it’s about playing the violin (or not playing the violin, however you want to look at it), but the most important parts of this memoir are not about “There were just some things you couldn’t do for money. Not because they were particularly difficult, but because you just didn’t want to. Because they weren’t worth your life, which might not be worth much, but was worth something.” God, this book. It’s catapulted itself into my favorite books of all time, but how do I even begin to explain why? Yes it’s about playing the violin (or not playing the violin, however you want to look at it), but the most important parts of this memoir are not about that at all: They’re about growing up in the ‘90s; they’re about the war in Iraq; they’re about women’s equality, the obsession with reality television, the farce that is “work-life balance” in America. It’s so much easier for me to write about the books I’ve hated than it is the books I’ve loved. Hating something is almost always tangible; it’s bad writing, a shitty plot, boring characters. To love a book is a feeling. It’s a sharp intake of breath, forgetting to exhale, because you can’t believe the words in front of your face. Hindman captivates on two fronts: her recollection of touring America as a fake violinist, and more importantly, her uncanny ability to so clearly describe the unpleasant topics society “swept under the rug” for those of us born in the ‘80s. She recounts the false promises made to young girls in the ‘90s: “Even stranger is that, as people say in the 1990s, It’s the nineties!, meaning, ‘women are equal now.’ A teacher tells your class, ‘You can be anything you want if you work hard enough,’ and then adds, ‘This is true for girls now, too.’ What no one ever says during your entire upbringing is that there has been a cultural price to pay for equality.” The Millennial dilemma of working ourselves to death to create self-worth: “What seems most important is that, for the first time in your life, you chose your health over the extra work that you might have been able to produce, the extra success you might have been able to achieve… And you’ll marvel that all it took was someone—someone whom you thought of as brilliant and hardworking—giving you permission not to put work above everything else.” Anxiety as a social taboo: “Panic attacks serve as confirmation of the very things women spend their lives working to negate: suspicions of female silliness, stupidity, hysteria… At the core of any anxiety is fear, and yours is this: You have lost control over everything. You have spent years working hard under the belief that hard work matters, but you are suddenly struck by the idea that nothing you do matters.” And how surprisingly purposeless her dream of being a post 9/11 war correspondent was: “There is no way to know that the new America will have very little interest in learning anything accurate about the Middle East...it will be more difficult to make a living by providing accurate information about the Middle East to an American audience than it will be to make a living by fake-playing the violin.” I admire Hindman’s ability to talk so candidly about the traumatic events of her life. Her story helped me process many of the questions I’ve had throughout my life but have never received sufficient answers for. See more of my reviews: Blog // Instagram

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    A violinist and Eastern Studies major who is struggling to pay her way through Columbia gets a job that seems to be more than she ever hoped for. She is going to be playing professionally for audiences across the U.S. It turns out to be fake — the music is played through speakers, never live. "While this is a memoir about being a fake, this is not a fake memoir. This is a memoir in earnest, written by a person striving to get at the truth of things that happened in her past." From the introductio A violinist and Eastern Studies major who is struggling to pay her way through Columbia gets a job that seems to be more than she ever hoped for. She is going to be playing professionally for audiences across the U.S. It turns out to be fake — the music is played through speakers, never live. "While this is a memoir about being a fake, this is not a fake memoir. This is a memoir in earnest, written by a person striving to get at the truth of things that happened in her past." From the introduction. Jessica Hindman grew up in Appalachia among some of the most impoverished residents in the country. It's interesting though, the gripping poverty seemed normal to her until she considered it later, through more mature eyes. Children are so flexible. Almost anything can be made to seem "normal". "And as you listen to the other kids talk about their life goals, you realize something else: You are someone whose upbringing was upper class enough to make you believe you could make music for a living, but lower class enough to provide no knowledge of how to do it." pg 10 After some serious struggles through puberty with her body and self image, Jessica ends up following her boyfriend to Columbia University, where they almost immediately break up. But her troubles to pay the astronomical tuition bills are just beginning. "The Composer," the man behind the music and the tours Jessica eventually goes on, seems to know very little about music himself. "And then, The Composer asks me a question that — had it come from any other musician, let alone a Billboard-topping classical composer who has performed with the New York Philharmonic — I would have taken as a joke. ... "I like this music," he says of the opening to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. "What is it?" pg 20 Despite any concerns she may have, Jessica perseveres in the job anyway, because her tuition requirements leave her little choice. It nearly ruins her mind and body before she finds a way out of her predicament. Along the way, you can't help but hope for her to succeed. "After several more customers mention 'Titanic,' you begin to realize that most of The Composer's compositions sound very 'Titanic-esque'. And you notice that the more the songs sound like 'Titanic,' the more customers want to buy them." pg 47 I enjoyed this memoir so much not just because of Jessica's life, which is fascinating, but also because we have so many things in common. I am the same age she is, lived through the events of 9/11 in a collegiate setting (as she did), started out as a music major but changed to something else, and the similarities go on. I've also experienced crushing anxiety with the same physical symptoms she describes. It was eerie, really. "A million times more than any other emotion or experience, fear has the strength and ability to mangle her into something different from what she truly is, something phony and fake and cowardly. And now, surprised and twisted and disoriented and broken as she is by fear's sudden arrival, she realizes that she needs to fight it, fight for her life." pg 223 But you don't need to be anything like Jessica to appreciate what it means to be made to feel like an impostor in your own life. To know that you can be doing better, but you're just inching along. To dream big but live small. Recommended for readers who enjoy memoirs about a life filled with difficulties, but also hope. If you have a background in music, you may like this book even more, but it's not required to understand it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest What a strange book this was. Even though it's a memoir, it kind of reminded me of MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION because of its tongue in cheek narrative and critical examination of what living in the U.S. during a post-9/11 society means for the population. But it's also more than that - it's the very strange journey of a violinist from the Appalachians joining a "fake" orchestra where she and the other musicians played in concert hal Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest What a strange book this was. Even though it's a memoir, it kind of reminded me of MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION because of its tongue in cheek narrative and critical examination of what living in the U.S. during a post-9/11 society means for the population. But it's also more than that - it's the very strange journey of a violinist from the Appalachians joining a "fake" orchestra where she and the other musicians played in concert halls across the U.S. and China into dead microphones. At first, I really enjoyed Jessica's journey. She chronicles her intro to music and her financial and social struggles through college. To separate the befores and afters, her misadventures with the concert and the infamous "Composer" are told in first person, and everything taking place in the past is told in second person. I liked her literary references and her cutting observations. I liked that she was able to make fun of herself and the ridiculous situation. I think the problem was that I signed up for the memoir about her fake orchestra hijinks, and ended up with a lot of tangents that were at first amusing, but then quickly became exasperating. I was skimming fairly heavily by the end of the book, having grown bored by even her interactions with the Composer and the reluctant participants in his orchestra scam. I guess you could say that I've been spoiled when it comes to juicy scams; I've been watching too many refinery29 YouTubes and reading up on r/antiMLM threads. This wasn't a bad book and it entertained me for a little while, but it wasn't the hilarious laugh-out-loud quirky experience that I was hoping for. I'm kind of surprised by all the hype, to be honest. It was just another bland memoir of someone trying and failing to make it in New York. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!    2.5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bruestle

    I won this book through a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.... Unfortunately I could not get myself to finish this. I really hate not finishing a book and I usually force myself to suffer through it if it’s bad or not something I’m into, but now that I am getting older, I am learning that there are tons of books I want to read in my lifetime, and it is okay not to finish the ones I don’t like. That might seem obvious to some of you, but my OCD-ness qualities make it difficult for me to d I won this book through a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.... Unfortunately I could not get myself to finish this. I really hate not finishing a book and I usually force myself to suffer through it if it’s bad or not something I’m into, but now that I am getting older, I am learning that there are tons of books I want to read in my lifetime, and it is okay not to finish the ones I don’t like. That might seem obvious to some of you, but my OCD-ness qualities make it difficult for me to do! I don’t have much to say about this book other than the fact that I was beside myself with boredom.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sonja Arlow

    *** Friend: You really played in a fake orchestra touring the whole of America? Jessica: Yep, we were all playing in front of dead microphones and the crowd could never tell. Friend: So do you feel guilty having conned hard working folks out of their money? Jessica: It wasn’t ME, it was the composer… Friend: Kinda like Milli Vanilli, it was not them it was their manager. Jessica: Exactly Friend: Wow that’s so interesting you should write a book about it Jessica: To be honest my life has not been very i *** Friend: You really played in a fake orchestra touring the whole of America? Jessica: Yep, we were all playing in front of dead microphones and the crowd could never tell. Friend: So do you feel guilty having conned hard working folks out of their money? Jessica: It wasn’t ME, it was the composer… Friend: Kinda like Milli Vanilli, it was not them it was their manager. Jessica: Exactly Friend: Wow that’s so interesting you should write a book about it Jessica: To be honest my life has not been very interes ………. Friend: No no you should totally write a book, I am sure everyone would want to know about your poor upbringing in Appalachia Jessica: I know my father was a doctor and we were never technically poor but boy did I suffer to pay my tuition for Columbia University, my trips to Cairo and my apartment in New York *** Sigh, the story could have benefited from a firm editor. The narration jumps from first to 2nd person with no real consistency. Jessica had an uneventful upbringing, the privilege of attending Columbia University, got paid very well to play in an orchestra (even if it was a fake one) and took this one tidbit of her life and stretched it out like taffy to make a full novel. Some of the author’s musings about life, religion and politics were good but not enough to save the book for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This is the sort of book you stay up too late reading. I usually stick to fiction, because a character's life as invented by the author has to be more interesting than the real lives of people around us. But Jessica's account of working for The Composer is weirder than fiction. Sure, it's a story about being a violinist in fake concerts, but also manages to be a study on the nature of memoir, reality, growing up female in the nineties, undergraduate class conflict, a tour of America at war, and t This is the sort of book you stay up too late reading. I usually stick to fiction, because a character's life as invented by the author has to be more interesting than the real lives of people around us. But Jessica's account of working for The Composer is weirder than fiction. Sure, it's a story about being a violinist in fake concerts, but also manages to be a study on the nature of memoir, reality, growing up female in the nineties, undergraduate class conflict, a tour of America at war, and the unreliable narrator in our own heads. I really appreciated the vulnerability she put into this book. It allows even a reader with the most boring life to relate to the sometimes crazy experiences the author had. While Jessica is critiquing her young self for her inability to make a living doing something important, I'm admiring all of the ways that she at least tried, harder than most people ever try at anything. Before I even finished reading this book it was obvious that she had managed to do something important and creative: This book is brilliant. I can't wait to read what she writes next.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    Incredibly bizarre, but FASCINATING. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Incredibly bizarre, but FASCINATING. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This memoire stuck with me while I was reading it. I kept turning her ideas over and over in my mind while I was out and about. Chiccehitto Hindman's revelations when she entered Columbia about class, money and genuine talent versus "smoke and mirrors" are particularly timely. There is such a disconnect to reality these days thanks in part to technology and also to network effects. Many products presented to us are funneled through these two constructs and have very little to do with the actual This memoire stuck with me while I was reading it. I kept turning her ideas over and over in my mind while I was out and about. Chiccehitto Hindman's revelations when she entered Columbia about class, money and genuine talent versus "smoke and mirrors" are particularly timely. There is such a disconnect to reality these days thanks in part to technology and also to network effects. Many products presented to us are funneled through these two constructs and have very little to do with the actual value of what we are consuming. It's a cynical perspective but certainly valid. I think we are all seeking real heroes, genuine talent, brilliance and ideas that rise above the noise of marketing and money. My hope is that we find better ways to identify and reward these people and these products. I very much enjoyed this book and recommend it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Rodrigues [decafJess]

    I know I'm posting this review early, but I just have to share. I'm going to cut to the chase and just come out and say that this is one of my favorite books that I have read in a long time and I want every woman I know to read it and we will all be in one huge book club. On its surface, it is a memoir of a woman who spends a few years of her young adulthood faking it as a professional violinist. The Composer, a man who is never named specifically, has written simplistic orchestral music that soun I know I'm posting this review early, but I just have to share. I'm going to cut to the chase and just come out and say that this is one of my favorite books that I have read in a long time and I want every woman I know to read it and we will all be in one huge book club. On its surface, it is a memoir of a woman who spends a few years of her young adulthood faking it as a professional violinist. The Composer, a man who is never named specifically, has written simplistic orchestral music that sounds suspiciously like the Titanic theme song, and pays semi-professional musicians to fake-play along to a soundtrack. The crowd never knows the difference, and the author becomes an accomplished violinist who really isn't that great. Yet, there are nuanced layers to the story that make it rich and engrossing: - Ms. Hindman had a world-class education in Middle Eastern studies during 9/11, but no one was interested in what she had to share. - After growing up in Appalachia and finding herself living among the children of the 1% in New York City, she feels that she must (literally) work herself to death to validate her existence. - Fascinating discussions on what she refers to as "life in the body" -- the struggle every woman has in coming to terms with her body and the space it inhabits. I'm calling this is as my favorite book of 2018. arc received from the publisher

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    I always enjoy stories featuring amateur musicians (cough cough Station Eleven), and this was no exception! Hindman's experiences with the Composer, and her struggles to get in that position, are unique and remarkable, and I found her voice to be a perfect fit to narrate those experiences. To me, the most interesting aspect of the memoir was the author's ability to dive into the psyche of America; what do those Ruby Tuesdays and mall performances really tell us about the soul of America? Travel I always enjoy stories featuring amateur musicians (cough cough Station Eleven), and this was no exception! Hindman's experiences with the Composer, and her struggles to get in that position, are unique and remarkable, and I found her voice to be a perfect fit to narrate those experiences. To me, the most interesting aspect of the memoir was the author's ability to dive into the psyche of America; what do those Ruby Tuesdays and mall performances really tell us about the soul of America? Travel narratives carry their own unique interest; we started to hear about the flavors of Georgia, but it felt like we didn't get as much after that. What about New Mexico? Minnesota? (dare I ask -- Ohio?) The snippets that popped in later were great -- loved the shout-out to Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale! I would have loved another hundred pages or more to go into depth about her tour in China and the steps she's taken to get from music to her current career in teaching and writing. I would've enjoyed more about the technical aspects of playing so quietly all the time, or about her mental routine to survive it, or her friendship with Harriet. I would've been excited to read deeper analysis about the America that was so taken with this music. I want more of everything! That said, the book had an easily digestible length, and makes it easy to recommend to others. Fans of coming-of-age memoirs, careers in music, PBS specials -- you're in for a bite-size treat!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Waddell

    This is an amazing story! I found myself shocked by many of the twists and turns in the author's life, the bizarre situations she found herself in, the ways she found to get by through all of it. But what really makes the book great is the author's style: direct, curious, unflinching, playful. Nearly every page has something that makes me think about some unobserved detail in life -- what we mean by "make a living", how it's often the most inauthentic things that authentically touch people's liv This is an amazing story! I found myself shocked by many of the twists and turns in the author's life, the bizarre situations she found herself in, the ways she found to get by through all of it. But what really makes the book great is the author's style: direct, curious, unflinching, playful. Nearly every page has something that makes me think about some unobserved detail in life -- what we mean by "make a living", how it's often the most inauthentic things that authentically touch people's lives, how smiling is so often demanded but can signal unseriousness. I've read books that delighted in these sorts of observations before, but they were usually using them as distancing techniques, wry, above-it-all. Sounds Like Titanic is nothing like that. Somehow it manages to be clever and playful, while still being vulnerable, compassionate, and honest. An amazing book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This memoir was interesting in the beginning but then dragged on and became very repetitive. I read about half of it and skimmed the rest. It just didn’t hold my interest. I agree with my friend, Alyson - wanted to know who “The Composer” really is!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    dnf p. 31. Written in the 2nd person. Grew tired of reading the word, "you," in every line incredibly quickly. (She referred to herself as, "You.") Did not find a character to get invested in as no one here had any personality. Timeline kept jumping. I couldn't figure out what was going on, or indeed if anything was going on, & I started to fall asleep the 2nd time I tried to read it. So I'm done. dnf p. 31. Written in the 2nd person. Grew tired of reading the word, "you," in every line incredibly quickly. (She referred to herself as, "You.") Did not find a character to get invested in as no one here had any personality. Timeline kept jumping. I couldn't figure out what was going on, or indeed if anything was going on, & I started to fall asleep the 2nd time I tried to read it. So I'm done.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Knobby

    This book was amazing. If I highlighted books, I would have marked the shit out of this. The story that the author tells is the true story of how a West-Virginia-turned-Columbia-student went on tour in the early 2000s with a few other musicians and The Composer — a man who "created" violin and pennywhistle music. Though she was a decent violin player, the author's talents didn't mean anything since she was helping The Composer to sell a lie: no matter where the ensemble went, from a suburban mall This book was amazing. If I highlighted books, I would have marked the shit out of this. The story that the author tells is the true story of how a West-Virginia-turned-Columbia-student went on tour in the early 2000s with a few other musicians and The Composer — a man who "created" violin and pennywhistle music. Though she was a decent violin player, the author's talents didn't mean anything since she was helping The Composer to sell a lie: no matter where the ensemble went, from a suburban mall to a live taping at PBS, she was "playing" softly so that what everyone heard was the piped-in music from a Discman. And the music? It was basically the Titanic soundtrack, modified just slightly. As the tour continued, the author reflected on how everything was making her question reality, and by the time she was done, she needed psychiatric help. But the real story is the philosophical questions that the author asks throughout: why did she go along with it? What judgment do we have on her character? And that goes even deeper, into class and social strata (middle-class Appalachian hick vs. millionaire coastal elites that make middle-class Appalachian hicks look like poor people), what it means to be a woman, and especially what it means to be a Millennial woman. She's on the upper end of the Millennial spectrum (born in '81 it looks like) but everything she mentioned about growing up as a girl during that era was just... UGH I felt SO SEEN. Even the dedication at the beginning of the book made me feel seen: To those with average talents and above-average desires. I don't know if someone outside of the Gen Y/Millennial range would relate as hard as I did to this book. I feel like a Boomer would read it, smile, and move on. Or Gen Z would read it, puzzle over it, and set it aside. But y'all, if you are in that sweet middle spot, you'll so understand everything about what Jessica talks about. From trapped in the body (of being a woman), to the Iraq war, to struggling to pay rent, ugh this book made me FEEL. And it's wonderfully written. This book is my 2019 Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman where I tell everyone to read it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Navi

    Oh, how I loved this memoir! I listened to it on audio and the narrator did an incredible job. I felt so invested in Jessica's story and could not stop listening. The author has a very unique voice with a great sense of humour. I am very excited to read whatever she comes out with next. Oh, how I loved this memoir! I listened to it on audio and the narrator did an incredible job. I felt so invested in Jessica's story and could not stop listening. The author has a very unique voice with a great sense of humour. I am very excited to read whatever she comes out with next.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth☮

    I picked this up because my daughter plays the violin. I kept reading because I found it all fascinating. Chiccehitto Hindman "played" violin for an ensemble for several years to help pay her tuition at Columbia University. She refers to her employer simply as The Composer throughout (although a quick internet search indicates who it may be). She seems to have a love hate relationship with this man, yet she needs the money, so she puts up with the ego and the disrespect. This is more than just a I picked this up because my daughter plays the violin. I kept reading because I found it all fascinating. Chiccehitto Hindman "played" violin for an ensemble for several years to help pay her tuition at Columbia University. She refers to her employer simply as The Composer throughout (although a quick internet search indicates who it may be). She seems to have a love hate relationship with this man, yet she needs the money, so she puts up with the ego and the disrespect. This is more than just a memoir about these difficult years playing for a man that allowed a CD to impress audiences across the U.S. This is about feeling comfortable with who you are and making the most of your talents. It's about being a woman in a man's world and learning how to embrace the many opportunities that fall in your lap. Chicchehitto Hindman writes with honesty about coming into adulthood. A time just as perilous as being fourteen about to start high school. I'm glad I picked this up on a whim.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    4.4 ⭐ Well, that was...different. I'd say it's too strange to be fiction except there were one or two incidents that seemed contrived. For the most part, though, it felt like an honest memoir, at times brutally so. Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman may not have turned out to be a virtuoso violinist but she's not bad on the (computer) keyboard. The book's hook is Hindman's career, while an impoverished student, as a "fake violinist." Her studies at New York's Columbia University were floundering; her hil 4.4 ⭐ Well, that was...different. I'd say it's too strange to be fiction except there were one or two incidents that seemed contrived. For the most part, though, it felt like an honest memoir, at times brutally so. Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman may not have turned out to be a virtuoso violinist but she's not bad on the (computer) keyboard. The book's hook is Hindman's career, while an impoverished student, as a "fake violinist." Her studies at New York's Columbia University were floundering; her hillbilly rural music lessons couldn't compete with the child prodigies and kids who went to Julliard when they were 4. She's thrown a lifeline, for both her pride and her finances, when she's hired to play in the Ensemble of The Composer, a music promoter who's become moderately popular with his bland, feel-good instrumental music, all of which sounds like the soundtrack to the movie Titanic. The catch is the Ensemble doesn't actually play it's instruments loudly enough to be heard, the music comes from studio produced CD's which Hindman and her colleagues synch to. Doing a "Milli Violini" Hindman calls it. The Ensemble crisscrosses The United States in a battered RV, playing in shopping malls and community halls. The book also follows her academic life as she switches from music to Middle Eastern studies (she's in Cairo during 9/11) and eventually to literature. The book's focus, however, is on the ever increasing blurring of the line between truth and lies; not only her fake violin performances, but the run up to the invasion of Iraq and the WMD; reality television (one of Hindman's many student jobs was to do the original research for what eventually became the Teen Mom TV series), as well as the lies we tell ourselves to survive. She points out it's not always easy to separate out the fantasy. For all of his musical fraudulence, Hindman goes easy on The Composer because he treats his audiences and fans with respect and because he truly believes he's producing music that comforts them- he does actually compose his highly derivative music- he just doesn't preform it live. Hindman's dry, sharp humour is evident throughout the book. I like her critique of Russel Crowe's fake violin playing in the film Master and Commander and her keen observations of The Composer, her fellow musicians and the many people she meets in her travels. She's a talented writer and a remarkably determined individual. Sounds Like Titanic offers much to think about and even pointed the way to other interesting authors I hadn't heard of. It's a fine finale to my year in books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Udai

    Playing in front of a dead microphone while pre-recoded music boomed through the speakers, Hindman toured America with a well-known composer pretending to perform live music. This book follows her journey as she struggles to separate what’s real from what’s fake. This book was deeper than I expected. It took me to Hindman's childhood where she played the violin and everyone in town thought she has a “reeeyal” talent. Fast forwarding to her entering college to discover that her talent is just belo Playing in front of a dead microphone while pre-recoded music boomed through the speakers, Hindman toured America with a well-known composer pretending to perform live music. This book follows her journey as she struggles to separate what’s real from what’s fake. This book was deeper than I expected. It took me to Hindman's childhood where she played the violin and everyone in town thought she has a “reeeyal” talent. Fast forwarding to her entering college to discover that her talent is just below bar. She switched major to middle eastern studies and went to Egypt and then 9/11 happened. She tried to become a journalist and with the help of her studies to show the real middle east, to show that not all Arabs are terrorists only to be rejected by all publications she tried to apply to. It seems like they didn’t want to hear the real story, they wanted to hear their pre-decided one. What is real and what is fake? Throughout the book we jump between the author’s childhood, college years, and her touring with the composer. She never mentions the composer’s name because the moral of the story is not to critique him as a person but to critique us as humans. What really surprised me is that the story had way more layers than the first premise suggests. Written with a great sense of humor this book was a superb read. And as a fellow mediocre violinist I was touched, I was pleased.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dann

    A terrible supposed memoir, Sounds Like Titanic is the self-righteous musing of a con-artist (and not even a good one). Author Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman recounts how she went from an aspiring professional violinist to a fraud, fake performing on stage to CDs with a national tour group. Yet somehow she thinks she’s the victim, shows no remorse for taking part in this hoax, and goes off on long liberal diatribes about American culture. But worse than all that, Hindman has written most of the boo A terrible supposed memoir, Sounds Like Titanic is the self-righteous musing of a con-artist (and not even a good one). Author Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman recounts how she went from an aspiring professional violinist to a fraud, fake performing on stage to CDs with a national tour group. Yet somehow she thinks she’s the victim, shows no remorse for taking part in this hoax, and goes off on long liberal diatribes about American culture. But worse than all that, Hindman has written most of the book in second person, which is really annoying and deflects responsibility from herself and onto “you” (since she thinks using “I” is more fraudulent). At times it’s entertaining and there are some interesting revelations about the music industry, but the “woe is me,” judgmental attitude is just insufferable. Sounds Like Titanic is an aggravating and insulting book that’s no fun to read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert Blumenthal

    This is a fascinating memoir written by a woman who grew up in Appalachia and ended up in New York City. She was better off than some in West Virginia, but she still had her struggles. She turned to the violin to assuage her troubles as she went through public school, yet she never attained a level that would enable her to make a living from her playing. In New York, desperate for money so that she could complete her studies at Columbia, she chanced upon an offer to play for someone she only refe This is a fascinating memoir written by a woman who grew up in Appalachia and ended up in New York City. She was better off than some in West Virginia, but she still had her struggles. She turned to the violin to assuage her troubles as she went through public school, yet she never attained a level that would enable her to make a living from her playing. In New York, desperate for money so that she could complete her studies at Columbia, she chanced upon an offer to play for someone she only refers to as The Composer. I did a google search and it appears to be a man named Tim Janis. His music was somewhat new agey and had a religious bent to it. Mostly, as the title states, it sounded like the music from the movie Titanic. She was soon to learn that her playing was satisfactory for this composer because no one in the audience could hear her. Her mike was off and the violin sounds came from a CD. She termed it Milli Violini, after the famous Milli Vannili who would lip sync at all their concerts. She stayed with this troupe, playing shopping malls, crafts fairs and PBS fund raisers. They were very successful. However, the author experienced some profound problems with anxiety and panic attacks. And she apparently had very mixed feelings about The Composer and her fake playing of the violin. She loved the idea of "performing" in front of people, but was obviously uncomfortable with the fakery of it all. It was a somewhat unique experience that provided for fascinating reading. She gets into how women are treated in the musical and entertainment world, and she also reveals her anxieties and eating disorder during her youth. The narrative was scattered, chapters switching time periods. This had both some positive and negative connotations for the memoir. It is very well written and had some good humor in it. I think I would have enjoyed it just a bit better if she hadn't spent the time on her own anxiety and focused more on the issue of her unique musical experiences.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wynne Kontos RONA READS

    I was practically salivating for a copy of this before its February release date, and the buyers at my store graciously tracked one down for me (as well as a colleague who had heard how I bad I wanted to read it.) The premise was really, really cool. While attending Columbia University in NYC circa 2002, Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman joined a classical music ensemble as a violinist, that as it turned out, wasn't playing music at all but mimicking along to pre-recorded, half-plagerized music that "s I was practically salivating for a copy of this before its February release date, and the buyers at my store graciously tracked one down for me (as well as a colleague who had heard how I bad I wanted to read it.) The premise was really, really cool. While attending Columbia University in NYC circa 2002, Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman joined a classical music ensemble as a violinist, that as it turned out, wasn't playing music at all but mimicking along to pre-recorded, half-plagerized music that "sounds like 'Titanic.'" If you are like me, and "Titanic" was the seminal film of your childhood/young adulthood, then you know exactly what penny whistle whining music I'm referring to. Hindman's account of being a New York college student forced to reckon with the insurmountable wealth one tends to encounter at institutions like Columbia (I have many CU friends, and myself received a Masters from NYU) and what type of wealth one tends to be slapped with upon arrival in NYC, read all too true. Having grown up in Appalachia, the daughter of middle class parents that made them upper class in their small, rural community, Hindman had to adjust her thinking about class and money almost immediately. How one intuits these lessons as a part of one's personality, and how that tends to happen in a uniquely New York way when you move to the city, Hindman writes about with a deftness only gathered from true experience. Those New Yorkers reading this are nodding because they know exactly what I (we) are talking about. In fact, reading about such an ingrained truth in such precise detail can become a little grating. But that's not to say Hindman didn't capture it well, because she did. In a desperate attempt to pay her tuition, Hindman takes the violinist job and soon learns the pitfalls of the ensemble she's just joined, and its ruthless leader, The Composer. He's never named, only referred to as such, and some shoddy Google searches have turned up nothing. (Don't worry, I will keep trying.) Having played the violin since childhood, but giving up the dream in order to pursue Middle Eastern studies, Hindman is excited to be a "real violinist." Cue CD player blasting prerecorded music, her slave labor work as an ensemble member and the psychotic behavior of The Composer and you have a recipe for mental health disaster. Soon Hindman finds herself spiraling into an anxiety landslide, unable to trust or control her own emotions, but desperate for the meager cash flow the job provides. And the ego boost so often gained, however momentarily, when some hick in Kansas thinks she's playing the violin beautifully. There are parts of this memoir that really shine, that highlight the class disparity and the impossible-ness of being a functioning millenial in society (despite the fact that Hindman herself is not a millenial.) Finding work that provides benefits, health insurance, security, money--these are luxuries to so many of us. Hindman knows that, she sees how she has floated on the periphery of so many aspects of her life, as a writer, a musician, a college student, a New Yorker, an Appalachia resident. Her ability to be objective about herself is notable, especially for a reader like me. There's nothing I hate more than a memoir that lacks objectivity. Though the writing is strong, at times it feels like you're being ping ponged around through the different parts of what was once a long form essay. In an effort to spread it to 249 pages, Hindman ruminates several times over about her failed attempts to become a Middle Eastern correspondent, even in the ruin directly after 9/11, but she writes sparingly about her fellow ensemble players, perhaps because she never really got to know many of them well due to their work environment or the fact that they often can't cut it and quit. She categorizes the fans of The Composer's music and her rural neighbors back home, in a somewhat compassionate but clearly categorized way. The Trump-voter comparisons, the eating tuna fish casserole in Walmart clothes comparisons, the NRA supporting, Muslim hating, hardcore Christian comparisons are there in between the lines or spelled out directly. They're deplorables, but Hindman is all too ready to explain why in artful terms. Sometimes she's talking about the differentiation in class that we often must live as young people to understand. Sometimes she's talking about these deplorables, and how exposure to our common man is the only way to understand we're not that different. Sometimes she's talking about job security, or overpriced education, or Middle Eastern conflict, or New York City, or the fact that The Composer is not only a fraud but once tried to kill a member of their ensemble by letting him nearly freeze to death in an unheated camper traveling through Montana in the winter time. But sometimes there's not enough depth or consistency to quite meld it all together. Lastly, because The Composer's identity is never revealed, it seemed glaringly obvious. I'm sure that it was to protect his anonymity as well as to hit us with this literary device that every time his "name" is mentioned we're reminded of what role he is meant to play (and does only in imitation.) But I found myself at every instance DESPERATE to know who he was. There are so many context clues the anonymity seemed a little pointless, her feelings of revulsion so strong that when she decides at the end of the book to protect him I felt confused and a little tricked. Here we've read about this conman who has virtually abused Hindman and her coworkers for years, like I said, nearly KILLED a man (the words "he was capable of killing me" are almost used verbatim) but in the last minute she decides not to reveal what he said to her in their most "honest and revealing" conversation. Hasn't the ship for protecting him or his character SAILED AT THIS POINT? Pun intended. 247 pages of essentially demonizing this man just to save him in the last two. Are we that worried about legal? That's what the naming device felt like, what this build up to a conversation we're not allowed to be privy to felt like: the legal team at W. W. Norton sending gentle reminders through the editing room. Hindman can write, she knows people, she's not afraid to get dark. I have already brought this book up to several friends and family members, and I look forward to handselling it. I guess after all my hemming and hawing, an emotional reaction to a book is what counts. Hindman got me there. I don't know who the Composer is, but I know who Jessica is. Whether the book will have the same effect as say, a long form viral piece remains to be seen, though I will be interested in what else Hindman creates. And I'm sure if Jack Dawson was still alive, he would be too.

  24. 4 out of 5

    TraceyL

    This memoir did something I've never experienced before - it made me love the book but hate the author as a person. Since my feelings are so polarized, I'm settling on a 3 star rating. It's crazy that an orchestra was able to fake performances all over the world. That an audience can hear a CD playing, and watch some performers move their instruments around, and believe they are playing. The Composer must have been some kind of evil genius. But the author refuses to take any responsibility for her This memoir did something I've never experienced before - it made me love the book but hate the author as a person. Since my feelings are so polarized, I'm settling on a 3 star rating. It's crazy that an orchestra was able to fake performances all over the world. That an audience can hear a CD playing, and watch some performers move their instruments around, and believe they are playing. The Composer must have been some kind of evil genius. But the author refuses to take any responsibility for her part in the scam. She kept saying how awful it was that people were being conned out of their money. Meanwhile she was the one selling CD's and taking their money, and when asked if the performers were actually playing, she flat out told them "Yes, they are!" She pretended to play her violin for 70 performances, badmouthing the composer the entire time, while collecting a paycheck from him. She goes off on tangents as well about how hard it is for women to become successful in America, and how it's practically impossible to earn a good living while making music, as if that's an excuse for her actions. I think Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman needs to stop playing the victim and looking for sympathy. She's just as bad as The Composer who orchestrated the whole scam.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    It’s difficult to say exactly what Sounds Like Titanic is about - but I can firmly say that it is a captivating, beautifully written memoir that’s well worth a read. In many ways, it’s like one of those Russian nesting dolls: on the outside, there’s the tagline of the book - Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman is a mediocre violin student from Appalachia studying at Columbia who gets a job as a fake violinist for a musical ensemble led by a dude whose formulaic instrumental music sounds just like the so It’s difficult to say exactly what Sounds Like Titanic is about - but I can firmly say that it is a captivating, beautifully written memoir that’s well worth a read. In many ways, it’s like one of those Russian nesting dolls: on the outside, there’s the tagline of the book - Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman is a mediocre violin student from Appalachia studying at Columbia who gets a job as a fake violinist for a musical ensemble led by a dude whose formulaic instrumental music sounds just like the soaring pennywhistle-laden tunes of the Titanic soundtrack. She and the other members of the Ensemble play on dead microphones in front of crowds of people at craft fairs, malls, and PBS-fundraiser theaters while a $15 boombox spews the same six Titanic-y songs at a blasting volume. A book about just this would be fun, funny, and interesting enough, filled with her anecdotes of the eccentric (read: just plain wacko) Composer (cough Tim Janis cough), her initial forays into fake-playing the violin while hawking CDs in small towns in the Northeast, and her strange experiences touring the country in a beat-up RV for the “God Bless America Tour.” But Hindman takes the memoir a step further, one that elevates this book from a one-line summary into a multi-paragraph summary. The next Russian nesting doll is about growing up in Appalachia in the 1980s and 1990s, the proud feeling of moms and pops telling her that she has a “reyell gift” with the violin, being able to overcome the stereotypes of West Virginian outcomes with something that set her apart from her upbringing. The next doll about being a young woman in the 1990s, a discombobulating feeling perfectly captured by Naomi Wolf’s phrase “life in the body.” Hindman describes the dissonance between people telling tween girls, “It’s the 90s, you can do anything!” and tween girls feeling, “How am I supposed to ‘do anything’ in this ugly, horrific body of mine?” She develops an eating disorder, tries to be a “cool girl” and play along with the guys, but only feels set apart by her skill with the violin: a phallic kind of musical appendage (her words, not mine). When she gets to New York City, Hindman struggles with money. The next doll is a portrait of the millennial work ethic, often dragged by baby boomer critics, but exemplified by Hindman’s scrappy hustling, even coming from an upper middle class family. She works hard for the sake of working hard, because she enjoys the business, because she needs the money. As she tours with the Ensemble, she transforms into a Middle Eastern Studies major, the next doll. She even studies abroad in Cairo right when 9/11 happens. She is confident that her Arabic skills and in-depth knowledge of the Middle East will skyrocket her career, making her a shoe-in at any publication that wishes to cover the impending wars and Islamic terrorism. But she’s wrong; she finds that the U.S. doesn’t want context, history, or personification of the exterior threat. They just want the enemy to be gone. Later, during the “God Bless America Tour,” Hindman develops a debilitating anxiety disorder, the final doll. This one is the toughest, unexplainable, terrifying beast - there are few scholars that Hindman can call upon to contextualize it. But she ends the tour and hides in her parent’s basement, literally unable to face any part of the outside world due to her psychological condition. She eventually finds a stable job with healthcare - as she says, the utmost jackpot among millennials - and moves back to New York City. With the Ensemble long behind her, she begins teaching creative writing. She is happy and somewhat stable. This book is marvelously written, engaging, and interesting, funny and depressing all at once. Although I’m not a child of the 1980s, I imagine that (based on other reviewers’ notes) she captures the experience brilliantly. P.S.: I’m waiting on an official soundtrack to this book based on all the pieces Hindman mentions, analyzes, and recommends - who volunteers to make one?

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    This book was so good! It made me laugh out loud, which always endears me to a book, and it was about so much more than one young woman's experience playing "fake violin" for a living back in the early 2000s. The book is about America after decades of trickle-down Reaganomics, Fox "News" and out-of-control capitalism. It's about America's obsession with "hard work" which just so happens to dovetail nicely with the raping of the middle- and working-class in service to making billionaires richer a This book was so good! It made me laugh out loud, which always endears me to a book, and it was about so much more than one young woman's experience playing "fake violin" for a living back in the early 2000s. The book is about America after decades of trickle-down Reaganomics, Fox "News" and out-of-control capitalism. It's about America's obsession with "hard work" which just so happens to dovetail nicely with the raping of the middle- and working-class in service to making billionaires richer and more powerful than they already are. Brainwash an entire generation (Millennials) with the idea that the reason why they're failing to have a fulfilling life is because they don't work hard enough and maybe they won't figure out the truth: that the richest of the rich have us in a stranglehold and are the real reason we are dying from overwork and lack of healthcare, childcare, affordable education and vacation time. Sounds like Titanic, indeed. Bravo! Oh, and it's also a fascinating, self-revealing memoir that explores toxic masculinity and the backlash against feminism and the effect that has on the self-esteem of young women.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    I am not a big believer in all of the stereotypes about the generations, but every once in a while something or someone comes along that makes you think that there just might be something to it. In this memoir the self-admitted less than competent musical author picks up a gig faking that she is playing songs that evoke the feelings and emotions of the title song to the movie Titanic. She is paid for this. She travels around the country in a bus pretend playing over and over again. It is clear t I am not a big believer in all of the stereotypes about the generations, but every once in a while something or someone comes along that makes you think that there just might be something to it. In this memoir the self-admitted less than competent musical author picks up a gig faking that she is playing songs that evoke the feelings and emotions of the title song to the movie Titanic. She is paid for this. She travels around the country in a bus pretend playing over and over again. It is clear to her what the gig is, and and many others come and go, but she persists. Seemingly she persists so that she can gather together the sparse notes that accompany her journey so that she can a) make fun of the Composer, b) complain about the people who are happy to hear something soothing and artificially perfect, c) complain about how unfufilled she is, d) complain about how her Ivey school seemed to have prepared everyone else for great careers but not her (but it is not her fault even though she never seemed to visit a career center or ask anyone for help or speak to others about their career plans), e) comment on how unfair it is that her extremely limited time in the Middle East did not prepare her for an exciting career as a journalist and f) digress through stories of her childhood that do little to move the story line forward, but they do seem to fill out what it otherwise a very sparse memoir. We got it. She fake played and was paid for it. The most amazing part to me is that she thanks the Composer at the end, and implies that she is protecting his privacy. This is after she mocks how he stands, sits and seemingly, thinks. Overall I found this book annoying. If this is the voice for a new generation (as some have implied) then we are really descending down a rabbit hole, and I hope Alice is there to catch us and direct us back out.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman has written a memoir of "holy shit allegro" proportion. Her time-hopping memoir spans from rural 1980s West Virginia, to 2001 Cairo, Egypt, to major cities across the United States as a violinist on a mysterious, PBS-favorite composer's God Bless America Tour. At its heart, Sounds Like Titanic is Chiccehitto Hindman's journey of wrestling with life in the body, navigating the crooked gaze of America in its large cities and small towns. It's also a distinctly 21st cent Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman has written a memoir of "holy shit allegro" proportion. Her time-hopping memoir spans from rural 1980s West Virginia, to 2001 Cairo, Egypt, to major cities across the United States as a violinist on a mysterious, PBS-favorite composer's God Bless America Tour. At its heart, Sounds Like Titanic is Chiccehitto Hindman's journey of wrestling with life in the body, navigating the crooked gaze of America in its large cities and small towns. It's also a distinctly 21st century coming-of-age narrative: Chiccehitto Hindman achieves academically, working obsessively to do so, but it's only at the end of the memoir, years removed from the company of well-off classmates with sights set on Wall Street and "playing" violin that she is truly happy with her position in the world. Chiccehitto Hindman's journey is her own, but her insights are those that, if you're a certain age, you know to be true. When future readers want to know what America was like in the early years of the 21st century, Sounds Like Titanic will be one piece of literature they turn to.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Race Bannon

    This alleged memoir was all over the map. I felt that the author was bipolar or something, and she did mention a few times about seeing a psychiatrist. Her writing is so cynical most of the time. She seems almost snobbish when she relates her feelings about conversations she has had with other people and how 'wrong' they are. And yet in a nearby paragraph she will go on and on about how she is a poor disadvantaged Appalachian woman and she seems to project that as if she is unique. Ugh. The story itself i This alleged memoir was all over the map. I felt that the author was bipolar or something, and she did mention a few times about seeing a psychiatrist. Her writing is so cynical most of the time. She seems almost snobbish when she relates her feelings about conversations she has had with other people and how 'wrong' they are. And yet in a nearby paragraph she will go on and on about how she is a poor disadvantaged Appalachian woman and she seems to project that as if she is unique. Ugh. The story itself is a mishmash of anecdotes, not even told in an orderly fashion. The blurb indicated it is about this sham of fake-performing violin music with a man called the Composer. But really that is only half of the book (or less) because the author goes on these diatribes about her schooling, her drug use, her need to 'pee' during concerts, and on and on. Why did I finish it? Well her bio says she is a teacher now and I wanted to find out how she managed to at least achieve that goal in her life. But, alas, she sums that up in barely a paragraph or two. Not recommended despite the accolades in book review periodicals.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nichole

    I don’t know how no one is talking about this book. The story absolutely blew me away

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