Three Pianos: A Memoir by Andrew McMahon | Audiobook Review

Why Did I Listen To Three Pianos: A Memoir by Andrew McMahon?

When I was a teenager, during the dark ages, I had my emo phase. One of the bands I was obsessed with was Something Corporate. Their music just spoke to me, even though I had no life experience. I have been privileged enough to have seen Andrew McMahon in concert twice — once while in Jack’s Mannequin and once while he was on tour for In The Wilderness. So, when it comes to celebrity memoirs, I was actually really excited to listen to Three Pianos: A Memoir. I genuinely like and enjoy his music and plus there’s the nostalgia factor. Also — I wanted to learn more.

What’s It About?

Three Pianos: A Memoir is obviously a memoir about McMahon’s life. The book starts off with his childhood in Winnetka then McMahon moves around with his family to California. His father gets addicted to drugs. There’s pain and trauma. Eventually the book delves into Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. We learn about McMahon’s experience having leukemia. Also, about his own struggles with the life style of someone in the music world — parties, alcohol and drugs. The book is told through the framing device of three pianos that McMahon feels especially connected to — with some of the book actually being addressed to the pianos.

How Did I Like Three Pianos?

I think because I am used to celebrity memoirs, I knew what to expect going in. Going into Three Pianos, I did not expect a masterpiece or anything. Instead, I expected to learn more about McMahon’s life and gain insight into his music. I got that, frankly. This was a very interesting audiobook with a creative framing device. I do think that if you choose to read this book you should read the audiobook edition — there’s a little something special about the audiobook edition. Also, this book really did take me back to when I had Punk Rock Princess and Konstantine on repeat.

How’s The Narration?

If you read Three Pianos you must do it via audiobook. The audiobook is narrated by Andrew McMahon himself. It is very short. The length of the audiobook clocks in at 6 hours 39 minutes. It never feels slow or overlong. One of the highlights is that various parts of the audiobook feature piano music. I thought this really enhanced the experience of reading this book. For real, if you have even been touched by McMahon’s music, be sure to give this audiobook a shot — even if you are a reluctant listener.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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