That basically familiar way can be summed up by scrolling through the inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, letting the names compose the history of the music ...That sentence starts on page three and marches on relentlessly to page eight.
The writing is transcendentally dense; but highly readable if you switch off your information processing brain and turn on your stream of consciousness. Marcus admitted the book's concept was a ridiculous conceit, adding that 'trying to ascribe the entire history of a form containing hundreds of thousands of exemplars into ten is fundamentally absurd'. Tongue-in-cheek, he suggested in an interview that a contest be held to see what ten songs readers would choose (instead of his own selections), the prize being a copy of his book 'for the winner to tear up'. Eureka! A self-deprecating intellectual!
One Amazon-reviewing reader who had bought the Kindle version declared it: '... the worst book I have ever attempted to read. I deeply regret purchasing it.'
The History of Rock'n'Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus
Summary: Buy the hard copy; this kind of writing doesn't work on screens. Don't ask me why, it just doesn't.