RISING HIGHER by Robert Stuart Nathan


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Lifeless, rock-and-roll roman-à-clef--with the gossipy likes of Rolling Stone, Governor Jerry and siren-singer Linda, Hunter Thompson, Carly Simon, and Clive Davis recycled under different names. The predictable glitziness begins when Nick Shade, a young, rich Time reporter, interviews--and breathes heavily with--singer Carol Reese, she of the chilling voice and luscious curves. Soon Nick is introduced to wunderkind Jed Roman, who hires Shade as his managing editor for a new San Francisco rock publication, Rising Higher. When success piles on and won't stop piling, Jed moves the magazine to New York: new offices, limousines, private jets, Jed's production of the first album of Melanie Lerman, daughter of a publishing magnate (her ambition is a lot more developed than her talent). Melanie will use, then lose, Jed--but he's finally got bigger problems: a sweetheart deal with Nigel Williams of Ocean Records which blows up in everyone's face once Williams is exposed as a slush-funder. And meanwhile Carol, in need of a career boost, hitches up with an asexual bachelor who is California's governor--Danny Clayton. As should now be obvious, Nathan (Amusement Park) hasn't even bothered to be inventive in his à-clef-ing. And his prose is even worse than you might expect: ""Inside the bathhouse, someone was screwing loudly, their moans competing with the music"". . . ""He dug into his veal with renewed fastidiousness."" Only, then, for those with an insatiable hunger for yellowing rock-world dirt; all other readers will prefer Jambeaux or Smokestack Lightning, recent rock fiction in which the music itself expresses a beat instead of only serving as a tacky background credit.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1981
Publisher: Dial