Wrapped by Dennis Nehamen

Wrapped

The First Ever Musical Novel

KIRKUS REVIEW

A hip-hop hybrid of music and prose that tells an implausible love story.

Benny Wright is a journeyman musician who has everything a man could ever want—except a record deal. He has a sexy, adoring wife, two preternaturally talented children, a more-than-serviceable home and a tolerable 9-to-5 job that pays the bills. But when Benny’s last best shot at the big time suddenly vanishes, he believes that he’s a loser and that he must leave his cherished family so that its members may find someone more worthy of their affection. He realizes that simply buying a bus ticket to another town won’t be enough to erase his place in their hearts, so he embarks on a harebrained scheme to make his family despise him. Eighteen original songs strategically embedded into the narrative bring emotional depth to what might otherwise be a wooden, preposterous plot. Readers may find the songs somewhat reminiscent of those in R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet, as they alternately shift from Benny to his family members, giving voice to each character’s plaintive point of view. The story’s secondary characters don’t fare as well, however; for example, a saucy vixen named Cookie whom Benny shamelessly uses to emotionally torture his wife comes off as a two-dimensional construct, and an enigmatic barstool sage who attempts to steer Benny away from the rocks never quite comes to life. Benny’s nemesis and agent Garland may be the most contrived character of all, as he serves the dual functions of torpedoing Benny’s musical dreams and moving in on his loyal wife.

A passionate and challenging but unevenly executed mix of art forms.  

Pub Date: May 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0989057202
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Musical Novels Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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