Julie Burchill writes:
But of course the fall of the rock star is not all gloom and doom: it’s not awfully good for human beings to worship other human beings, either as love objects or love slaves. In such situations, it’s not even clear whether we were actually adoring another person or conducting a scenic-route romance with an idealised version of ourselves. My husband, with admirable masculine brusqueness, has noted a phenomenon he calls ‘tearleading’ — that of ululating groups of people getting together to competitively mourn dead celebs on social media — which may well have as much to do with their own sorrow that their lives have not matched up to their teenage dreams as with the deceased.
‘The age of the rock star, like the age of the cowboy, has passed. The idea of the rock star, like the idea of the cowboy, lives on.’ Uncommon People is a gorgeous read, celebratory and bittersweet, both pep rally and memorial, throbbing with insight and incident. It made me think of Jennifer Egan’s great novel A Visit From the Goon Squad — all those lives lived separately but impacting collectively. Hepworth’s is one of those rare books I could hardly stand to pick up, as it repeatedly made me feel quite overexcited, with that strange, vertiginous, oceanic feeling I get being driven fast from slip roads onto motorways, everyone alone yet united, rushing together like corpuscles in a bloodstream.