Never Mind Nirvana

Never Mind Nirvana by author and attorney Mark Lindquist

Purchase the book: Amazon Never Mind Nirvana

“Hip deep in music, Never Mind Nirvana is a telling inside view that perfectly captures the rhythms and sights of late-nineties Seattle.”
– Peter Buck, guitarist for R.E.M.


“One of my favorite writers is back with a beautifully paced, original novel which moves so fast that once you start reading, it becomes impossible to stop. As swift as Never Mind Nirvana is, it also has a gravity and an underlying sadness that’s not a put-on – it feels real. Mark Lindquist’s simplicity, humanity, and humor are on full display and I totally welcome his return.”
– Bret East on Ellis , author of American Psycho and Glamorama


Never Mind Nirvana is the first novel I’ve read that makes music as important as food, clothing romance — a fresh twist millions will be able to identify with – and the music of Lindquist’s language is a perfect match for the subject. I think he’s the writer to watch in the new millennium.”
– Tama Janowitz, author of Slaves of New York and A Certain Age


Never Mind Nirvana is the perfect book for any guy who has to think about what bands are coming to town before planning a date, for any woman who wants to have her suspicions confirmed about how lonely and strange guys can be, and for everyone who’s ever wondered who’s better: Nirvana or Pearl Jam. Lindquist’s best yet.”
– Peter Farrelly , author of The Comedy Writer and writer/director of There's Something About Mary


“A well-written novel that's part John Grisham and part Nick Hornby. While Lindquist, a real-life prosecutor, can capture the wheeling and dealing of his profession better than most, his true talents lie in his ability to analyze situations and people with tremendous verve and wit. Much like Hornby's 'High Fidelity', this book scores most of its points with wry observations about sex and dating, clever metaphors, in-depth knowledge of American rock music and great dialog.... File under hip.”
– Eric Wittmershaus, Oakland Tribune


“This is the Generation X novel we've been waiting for - the one that captures the zeitgeist perfectly.... Seattle born and bred novelist Mark Lindquist gets it. He does what no on has done as well before.... If Never Mind Nirvana were an alterna-pop tune, you'd find it stuck in your head for days..”
– Margaret Sullivan, Buffalo News


“Echoes and ties to both Hemingway and Fitzgerald ... a millenial cover of these two great writers who also worried about women, sex, and sacrifice.”
– Judy Budz, Boston Globe


“A toe-tapping, shoulder-bopping, music video of a book that hits on a particular Zeitgeist and captures a moment in time ... Pete is a pragmatist, a romantic, a philosopher, and a cynic all rolled into one, with a wry sense of humor playing backbeat.... Lindquist carries the reader to that place of grudging acceptance, where confronting the past, no matter how pain-filled, is the price of admission to a more fully complex, integrated, and abundant life.”
– Bernadette Murphy, San Jose Mercury News


“All is handled with wit and style by Lindquist. Anyone who was ever in a rock band, or part of a scene, or kept searching for perfection without knowing what perfection is, will relate heavily.... Heartfelt and cool, while realizing cool doesn’t count, this is a book that goes beyond hip.”
– Tom Long, The Detroit News


Never Mind Nirvana is solid Lindquist, whose previous works, Sad Movies and Carnival Desires, mapped out modern Hollywood with a precise eye. He's given his story just the right mix of truth and sentiment, with a happy lack of cool irony. The Seattle setting is lovingly drawn, and even if you don't have a passing acquaintance with, say, the Crocodile Club or the ferry to Bainbridge, his brief descriptive strokes carry you gracefully through scenes.... Lindquist's economy is equally in force as he introduces characters such as Pete's mother and sister, his courthouse pals and his paramours. He gives each one a distinct voice, with dialogue that's absolutely pitch-perfect. You know these people. Even the most minor characters—the passing parade of bartenders, waitresses, street cops and strippers—have voices.... As the book reaches its double climaxes (neither one entirely obvious, but both ringing true), it feels as if something honest has been said and a simple story has been well told. And it feels as if we'll probably see a movie called Never Mind Nirvana in the multiplexes sometime next year. But it won't be as good as the book.”
– Eric Brace, Washington Post


“Lindquist deftly balances seriousness with humor.... Never Mind Nirvana smells like a hit.”
– Jeff Ayers, Library Journal


“The humor and tragedy of modern life, growing up, and music are the themes of this delightfully irreverent novel. Never Mind Nirvana holds the reader's attention with its pacey, hip style and easy-to-identify-with delineation of pop culture.... Life today is lived with music as a soundtrack just like a film, and you cannot separate the two. Lindquist's message touches something in most of us.... Never Mind Nirvana deceptively slides into the subconscious and stays there.”
– Rachel Hyde, Charlotte Austin Review


“Hilarious ... witty ... and with commendable subtlety explains a great deal about the relationship between young men and rock 'n roll.”
– David Finkle, Trenton Times


“Enough heart to be occasionally touching, and very often entertaining.... Lindquist understands how easily and how imperceptibly pop music can weave itself into one's everyday life, enriching it in both tiny ways and big ones.... Pete may not have it all figured out yet, but without sentimentality or excessive hand-wringing, Lindquist opens up the possibility that he just might.”
– Stephanie Zacharek, New York Times Book Review


“Jane Austen in reverse ... first rate cynical witticisms ... written on ice cubes in 86 proof ink.”
Kirkus Reviews


“Gritty and graphic, funny and forlorn, the novel covers old-fashioned ground about adulthood and responsibility in a distinctly modern way.”
– Mike Chisier, The Tampa Tribune Times


“Reading Pick of the Week: Never Mind Nirvana is not, as the title might suggest, a history of the Seattle grunge scene, but an irreverent and funny novel about the Pacific Northwest's sonic boom and subsequent bust. The book's action swirls around Pete Tyler, a former grunge musician-turned-county prosecutor, as he grapples with a midlife crisis while trying a case of date rape that polarizes the music scene of which he was once a part. Author Mark Lindquist, a Seattle native, leaves no punk rock unturned, as he quotes actual song titles and lyrics, cites little-known dive bars and club appearances made by local musicians (everyone from members of Pearl Jam to obscure PacNorWest combos like the Fastbacks, Girl Trouble, and the Murder City Devils). Every detail, down to a stripper's multiple piercings, rings true. Though not autographical per se, the novel, in part, parallels Lindquist's own life. Lindquist gained admittance to the literary Brat Pack, which included Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis, with his first novel, 'Sad Movies,' (1987). But after the publication of a second novel, Carnival Desires, Lindquist put his writing on hold to attend law school, and became a deputy prosecutor in the Pierce County Special Assault Unit. His first-hand knowledge of legal procedure as well as the Seattle rock scene, and his sense of irony combined with an ability to nail a character's quirks make Never Mind Nirvana laugh-aloud hilarious. In addition, the reading will be a homecoming of sorts: Lindquist spent much of the mid-'80s in Los Angeles as a screenwriter, alternately hobnobbing with the movie-biz elite (including then love interest Molly Ringwald) and slumming around the underground Hollywood rock scene (he was a fixture at L7 gigs and after-hours haunts like the Zero One). At readings, Lindquist's delivery is deadpan and witty. ”
– Pleasant Gehman, LA Weekly


“Few books can appeal equally to the passionate music junkie and the contemporary music fan as does Mark Lindquist's Never Mind Nirvana.... This is the renaissance novel, a reality-based tribute to rock, a modern spin on the age-old male question of when to settle down, and a gripping courtroom drama, all interwoven with sharp comedy and even a few Clinton jokes. What more can you ask of contemporary fiction?”
– John Thomason, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel


“One of the many pleasures of Never Mind Nirvana is in its rightness of local details.... Lindquist's penchant for the truth pays off, for his novel gives us a Seattle we can recognize.”
– Claire Dederer, Seattle Times


“The soundtrack plays continuously in Never Mind Nirvana. This latest novel from Mark Lindquist, whose 9-to-5 job in the Pierce County prosecutor's office surely provides atmospheric grist for the story, also draws gleefully on the author's affinity for Seattle's music scene. For those who have been at all tuned in for the last decade or two, Lindquist provides a dimension rarely, if ever before, exploited to this degree in modern literature - from Alice Cooper to Alice in Chains, from Hole to Sleater-Kinney, from the Young Fresh Fellows to (of course) that definitive grunge band fronted by the late, lamented Kurt Cobain and mentioned in the title, the music provides both subtext and mood. The story line of Never Mind Nirvana focuses on Pete Tyler, a deputy prosecutor who is halfheartedly trying to extricate himself from a severe case of arrested adolescence. At one time he had been lead singer of a one-hit-wonder grunge band, and during his off hours he still hangs out at all of the Seattle hot spots — the Crocodile Cafe, the Pink Door, the Speakeasy, the Alibi Room. But at 36 ("almost 40," he laments) he is getting a bit long in the tooth for this. The dating scene is as brutal as ever, and the routine of hard drinking and one-night stands is taking its toll. Pete finds himself further estranged from his old haunts when he is assigned a high- profile, date-rape case at work. The alleged victim is an 18-year-old-groupie, the accused is a local rocker of about Pete's age. Our hero cannot avoid the uncomfortable parallels between this case and the dissolute episodes in his own life - there but for a few crucial details and the grace of God goes he. Pete decides he needs to get married, but locating a suitable bridal candidate is not easy. His family looks on with bemusement. Pete's well-off, widowed mother exercises admirable restraint in her counsel. Sister Katie is more outspoken. A Gen X-er who once wore the severe black uniform (clothes, hair, eyeliner) of the day, she has married a Microsoft executive and started a family. "It's a huge relief when you get involved with someone to the point where life is no longer just about yourself," she tells him. Never Mind Nirvana is frenetically paced, caustically funny, rich in grunge/punk ambiance and rife with Northwest music scene lore. It is also surprisingly moving, as Pete takes stock of his life and seeks a new direction. A number of settings with considerable visual appeal, a slew of outrageous characters, the obvious musical tie-in and a sex-on-the-Monorail scene all suggest a calculated awareness of this property's cinematic potential - the bittersweet ending even evokes a silver screen classic, though Seattle as Tara is a bit of a stretch. Don't be surprised if a movie version eventually shows at a multiplex near you.”
– Barbara Llyod Michael, Tacoma News Tribune


“Lindquist succeeds in writing a stylistic postmodern pastiche of life in Seattle. His description of the city and its music scene is vivid and detailed.”
– Donna Marie Smith, Flagpole


“Pete Tyler is no different from you, and me, and all the other music-obsessed romantics. As fleshed out by Lindquist through believable dialogue and a keen eye for Seattle details, Pete is cast as a late 90s Everyman faced with deciding what to do when music's no longer central and we have to get on with life.... accurate characterizations, trainspotting hooks, and it all rings true.”
– Fred Mills, Puncture Magazine


“Pete's unlikely quest for wedded bliss is told with humor, insight, and honesty. Readers will learn all they want to know and more about Seattle and the city's music scene in the 1980s and 90s.”


“God is in the details. Nothing could be more true with Mark Lindquist's humorous, fast paced, and insightful novel Never Mind Nirvana. The novel is set in Seattle and the way he captures the rhythm and sights, the streets and the smells, the businesses and the buildings is wondrous.... You'd have to be a Seattleite to understand how right-on Lindquist is in his descriptive writing of the Seattle landscape and monuments and of Seattle's legendary alternative rock scene. But you don't have to live in Seattle or the Pacific Northwest to know that Lindquist is also right-on with the thoughts of a man bumbling through life looking for something although not knowing what.”
– Jonathan Shipley,


“Sex, drugs, and rock and roll ... music lovers should get a kick out of Lindquist's smart take on love and life in a Seattle overrun by Microsoft and Starbucks.”
– Jay Webb, Dallas Morning News


“A literary maelstrom of irony and romance.... Never Mind Nirvana might best be suited for a rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon when you wake up late with a hangover after striking out with a date the night before. When that happens, crawl over to the bookshelf and reach for this. Lindquist's frank, quick, humorous musings about love and life and losing should perk you up in no time. ”
– Rosalita,


“Lindquist is good at capturing the unrecoverable flow of life, the chances for love escaping as time goes by. And he doesn't back down.... Lindquist employs his experience as a prosecutor to good effect, and the novel supplies an excellent history of the Seattle rock scene in the 1980s and early 1990s.”
– Barry Johnson, The Oregonian


“A hilarious contemporary tale of urban angst set amid the grunge music scene in Seattle....”
– Richard Rennicks,


Never Mind Nirvana forced me to like it.... I'm surprised when Pete's got to prosecute one of his former grunge peers in a date rape case. I'm delighted that he starts getting somewhere in his quest to grow the fuck up, understand women, and understand himself. He's not predictable and two dimensional - the guy's a legit complicated human who does wise things and stupid things. He's funny and I like him! Good golly! All right, Mr. Lindquist, you've done it, I like your book.”
– Joanna Rubiner,


“Clever, rollicking, delightful ... reminiscent of the coked-up 1980s angst-fests by The Literary Brat Pack, of which Lindquist was a member.”
Tampa Tribune Times


“This is the kind of book creative writing students should be required to read, just so they understand how to write for an audience. Lindquist never loses sight of such readers, and reels them in with such ease that you bet he could turn out lawyer dribble like John Grisham and make millions.”
– Tony Jenkins, Insite Magazine


“A compellingly believable story of drama and internal struggle.”
Portland Mercury


“Finally. Someone who gets it. And can write about it.... Mark Lindquist captures the essence of a movie soundtrack life.... Highly recommended.”
– Michael Walls,


“So I am reading Never Mind Nirvana by Mark Lindquist. More accurately i am bingeing on Never Mind Nirvana. I started this afternoon, I'm on page 215. This is nothing but sheer book bulimia. I am bingeing and it's all gonna fall out soon. But I am loving this. Loving it. Four paragraphs in he's talking about the replacements and "let it be." he mentions "I Will Dare!" how can i not eat this book up in one sitting? I know I am greedy. I was gonna do a whole reader's journal and stuff, but i am not even taking the time to digest it. the story is engrossing, the music is wonderful. The soundtrack is playing in my head. it's making me long for college and the nirvana vs pearl jam debate. It's making me remember the mudhoney show with 80 cent beers. ok, i can't wait any more. there are only about 50 pages left. someone, anyone, read this book. have you read this book? if so, e-mail me, e-mail me, e-mail me, i want to talk to someone about this.”
– Jodi,