A thoughtful, elegantly written book that will particularly appeal to musicians and music fans.


Drago (Winter, 2016, etc.) departs from the horror genre in this existential tale of an ex-rocker’s late-in-life coming-of-age.

Dante Rose is currently the assistant manager at grocery store Food Castle, but he still plays local solo gigs here and there. He also obsesses about his time, eight years ago, with Thorn, a rock band that almost made it big before its lead singer, Joe Mars, left to form a new group. His wife, Penny Rose, also believed in the dream of Thorn, and the couple chose not to have children in expectation of its success—a decision that’s now eating at them both in different ways. Drago painstakingly constructs his characters, revealing information during mundane events—store checkouts, employee small talk, a poker game. Several events help to define the characters and propel them toward self-discovery: Penny finds a lump in her breast; criminals pass counterfeit bills at Food Castle; Clark Gufney, one of the employees, finds his wife cheating on him; and Dante hunts down and reconnects with his former band mates. Each storyline resonates off the others like the notes of a chord. Drago generates interest through the tension of awaiting doctor appointments and test results, the camaraderie of Dante and his fellow workers, and the unraveling mystery surrounding the band’s reunion—which, in Dante’s mind, hinges on the enigmatic Thorn destroyer and possible redeemer, Joe Mars. Throughout, the book is packed with musical minutiae, from the names of famous and obscure bands, musicians, and songs to the chord structures of Dante’s songwriting. Drago also wields character names like a literary grenadier: Dante, who journeys through his own personal hell; Thorn, the memory that’s forever stuck in his side; Mars, the militaristic force that controlled the life and death of the band.

A thoughtful, elegantly written book that will particularly appeal to musicians and music fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-17231-5

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Gold Avenue Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 4, 2018

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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