Entertaining study of the people who collect extremely rare records: who they are, how they do their collecting, what motivates them, and of course the music itself. The book is part history, part sociology, part psychology, and part music criticism.
Petrusich explored a broad range of sources – human, textual, and musical – for the book. She even learned scuba diving to explore the Milwaukee River near the site of a historic record factory (Paramount) where employees allegedly dumped records and cylinders in the 1930s.
While the cast of characters is colorful and entertaining, the music is what the book is ultimately about. The gospel recordings, the country blues – artifacts of what Greil Marcus called the old, weird America. Highly recommended.