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Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Alternative Hero


So I'm reading this book called The Alternative Hero. The story centers around Clive, a struggling music journalist who is trying to interview Lance Webster. Webster is the reclusive lead singer of the Thieving Magpies, Clive's favorite band, and whom just so happened has moved onto Clive's block. This sends Clive on a quest to find out find out why the Magpies broke up so suddenly.  I'm just about half way through the book, so I don't know where it will take me, but I am really enjoying the ride.

One aspect of the novel that really has hooked me is the music references. The story takes place in the early to mid 2000s, however the height of popularity for the Thieving Magpies was the late 80s to mid 90s. This was during the height of the alternative music scene. I absolutely love this genre of music. At the beginning of each chapter, on the top of the opening page we are provided with a "suggested" song or album to listen to. What's cool is the songs or albums are relevant to the particular events of the chapter and to the over arching story.

For me, this small feature adds so much to the story telling process. If you are not familiar with this genre of music, the author is allowing you to hear exactly what music inspires the hero of the story, and how that particular piece of music is reflective of the character's emotional state. Clive lives and breaths music, so knowing the music that inspires him gives us the reader a greater connection to the character.

If you are a big fan of music, I would suggest you check out this book. The chapter I am about to begin suggests we listen to the album Voices of Animals and Men by The Young Knives. Below is a track off that album. Enjoy!


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