Author – Alex Austin
Genre – Urban Fiction
285 Amazon Pages
Rating 5 stars out of 5 Posted 3/30/2018
No. 14 - 2018
My Impressions: dark, gritty, musicians, drugs, the bottom of humanity.
Sam Nesbitt – twenty-two-year-old doofus.
Jillian – singer in a band, druggie.
The Red Album of Asbury Park is set primarily in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The two main characters meet late at night on a train going to Asbury Park. Sam recently left the Army after a four-year tour of duty. He has learned to play the guitar and wants to play in a band. Jillian doesn't tell Sam she has a band and is the lead singer, but she gives him a phone number to contact another musician in her band about a possible opening for a guitarist.
Sam is a doofus. In a truly doofus move, he slices his left hand with a knife and cuts the tendons of the fingers. Of course, that leaves his hand useless, and he can't play the guitar. To get his hand repaired, he borrows money from a vicious, local loan shark.
The support characters in The Red Album of Asbury Park are a menagerie of bottom feeders whose primary goals are to get high or drunk and exist from one day to the next. They are a pathetic lot and Sam and Jillian fit well with their life-styles. The two of them are the stereotypical drunken, drugged musicians.
The plot gets deeply involved with Sam's changing views of his father and step-father and his relationships with his surfer brother and his alcoholic mother.
I almost didn't read this novel because it's not the type of story I choose to read. However, I'm glad I did review it. While it is dark and full of unpleasant misfits who have no hope of propelling themselves to a higher level, the writing is exceptional and made following Sam's struggle for three years worthwhile.
The editing is excellent with very minor errors.
Sentence structure is good.
Character development of the main characters is in depth.
Details are enough to carry the story and heighten the scenes.
The plot is dark and depends on low values.
The writing style is dark. gritty, deep and intense.
If you don't mind reading about the types of characters I've described, I strongly recommend this novel.
Don't be put off by what I consider a terrible book cover. It struck me as being fantasy.
This review was provided in exchange for a free book.
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