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Breakdown Lane

Chevy's unlikely new pitchman

Synopsis:Bomber crews contemplate war and madness during World War II

CritNotes suggests: New Jersey ska survivors Catch 22, who avoided potential lawsuits by dropping the hyphen

Sample literary passage: " 'Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?' Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. 'This long.' He snapped his fingers. 'A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man.' "

As translated by the band: "I still remember when we were young and fragile then / No one gave a shit about us because times were tougher then / Feeling so good, cruising the 'hood / Straight into the real world rich kids never understood" (from "Keasbey Nights")

Reading assignment: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930)

Synopsis:A family's ordeal with its matriarch's death, as told by each of the family members

CritNotes suggests: San Diego metal-hardcore Christian band (and apparent Faulkner junkies) As I Lay Dying

Sample literary passage: "When they told me she was dying, all that night I wrestled with Satan, and I emerged victorious. I woke to the enormity of my sin; I saw the true light at last, and I fell on my knees and confessed to God and asked His guidance and received it."

As translated by the band: "Through this pain I refine / Tearing me from within / Screaming to be released but held fast by your love" (from "Torn Within")

Reading assignment:Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger (1948)

Synopsis:Just like it says: nine short stories dealing with suicide, imaginary friends and disfigured loners

CritNotes suggests: Mid-'90s nerd-chic heartthrob Lisa Loeb and her backing band, Nine Stories

Sample literary passage:"He cocked the piece. Then he went over and sat on the unoccupied twin bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple."

As translated by the band:"So what is this weather, and what is this darkness / And why do I feel so alone? / When will it snow, it's been raining for hours / Why do I feel so alone?" (from "Alone")

Reading assignment:To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

Synopsis: A brother and sister discover injustice and their own burgeoning maturity in a small Southern town

CritNotes suggests: Liverpool pop-rockers the Boo Radleys, named after Mockingbird's mysterious recluse

Sample literary passage: "Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks…There was a long jagged scar that ran along his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time."

As translated by the band: "I complain about my looks / I feel bad 'bout my hair / Jesus that's so sad I admit it now / Why should anyone care?" (from "Melodies for the Deaf") -- Christian Schaeffer

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