We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Perhaps the streamlined aesthetics of rock ‘n’ roll were never meant to be depicted in the form of the novel. Don DeLillo’s Great Jones Street was no great shakes. And no one even wants to be reminded of Jeff Gomez’s instant indie-rock self-parody, Our Noise. Bearing this in mind, I was willing to cut Neal Pollack, who usually can bust guts with the best of them, a little slack. His newest book, Never Mind the Pollacks—an attempt to mock the purple-haze prose of rock criticism—follows a high-minded buzzkill (modeled on Greil Marcus) commissioned to write an obit for a Dionysian rock crit (based on the dearly departed Lester Bangs) through 260 pages of rock-snob in-jokes. All of this might have made for a funny, acerbic screed in Vanity Fair, but it ends up being the hardcover equivalent of a 20-minute prog-rock noodle. Pollack reads at 7 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at Olsson’s Books & Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-4227. (David Dunlap Jr.)