Perhaps they can’t buy a thrill, but now Steely Dan fans can buy awareness into the lyrics they’ve debated for almost 50 years. With Quantum Criminals, Alex Pappademas and artist Joan LeMay provide cultural context, educated speculation, and bold visuals illuminating the wild rogues and rascals populating the band’s songs. From the famous (Mr. Lapage, Hoops McCann) to the lesser known (Snake Mary, Pixeleen), you’ll have more insight into their memorable cast. Face it, there may not BE just one story behind each song. But Quantum Criminals sure is a fun excursion into what may (or may not) have been in Donald Fagen’s and Walter Becker’s minds.
Quantum Criminals by Alex Pappademas, (List Price: 35, University of Texas Press, 9781477324998, May 2023)
Reviewed by Rosemary Pugliese, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina