A DEEP SCRATCH IN THE VINYL by Michael Kirkbride


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When two friends fall for the same girl in Kirkbride’s first novel, the bittersweet past of the 1990s revives love and tragedy.

Two friends living in the ’90s inadvertently fell in love with the same girl. Written in the form of flashbacks from the modern day, Scott’s recounting tells of the best and worst days in his life with his best friend, Larry, and his girlfriend, Sonja. Scott meets Sonja first at bar, but the ever-charming Larry accidently and unassumingly charms her before Scott has the chance. Both guys agree Sonja is every guy’s dream girl: She loves rock music and booze, and she’s hot. As Scott adjusts to Larry’s new life with his girlfriend, Scott remembers some of his best times with Larry. Along with an interesting plot, impressive character development will keep readers engaged. Likable characters—especially down-to-earth Larry—and quick, short-sentences maintain the momentum, while the combination of late nights at New York City bars, rock shows, beer and drugs helps set an authentic scene. The book is written in a style that evokes the halcyon days when life was not so complicated and drinking at a bar with friends was perfection. Despite the detailed dialogue, conversations read unrehearsed, as natural as if overheard from two people sitting a few chairs away. Larry, knowing his best friend better than anyone, is well aware that Scott is attracted to Sonja, and he tries to help him get over her. Still, the girl almost manages to tear the friendship apart, and more tragedy awaits after Scott and Sonja’s one-night stand, with serious repercussions for the rest of Scott’s life. The disappointment even carries over into Scott’s modern-day life.

An easy, nostalgic read that’s more sitcom than serious.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 2011
Page count: 184pp
Publisher: Cerro Chato
Program: Kirkus Indie
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