12 April 2013

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne

Well, I hit about a quarter of the way through The Wilderness Warrior and decided it was time for a short intermission, so I read The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, which I had come across reviewed in Entertainment Weekly a while back.  It seemed both amusing and relevant to my next project, so I got it from the library and read it.

It was, surprisingly, one of the most thought-provoking reads I've had in a long time.  On the one hand, it was exactly what it promised to be, a sort of examination/parody of the phenomenon of child singers like Justin Bieber; on the other hand, it surprised the hell out of me in a lot of ways, building up to one thing and then leading into another.  I am hesitant to give away too much, but I am comfortable saying that it took a surprisingly frank look at the motivations and circumstances of fame, and how it can change people.

I think the most impressive thing about the book was, to me, the masterful use of subtext by the author. I can only dream of so effectively portraying psychological conditions, like fear of abandonment, without ever being on the nose or even directly addressing them.  You can just tell that's what's going through the character's mind.

The ending was quite a surprise to me, too: it completely pulled the wool over my eyes, and was so poignant it had me thinking about it long after I'd finished the book.

I'm really glad I read this book; not only was it a great read, but it will come in handy for my next project, which I won't say much on other than it involves the music industry as well.

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Books: The above.  Back to The Wilderness Warrior.  I am fairly sure I am nearing the formation of the Rough Riders; the last chapter I read was about the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where TR's Boone and Crockett Club had a log cabin built.

Bottles: My Continuum 2010 arrived!  Haven't opened yet but they look beautiful.  Can't wait to taste them!!!  I also drank some Sangre de Toro, a Spanish wine that I've had before in sangria but never tasted by itself.  It was all right but not noteworthy, and I was too busy to take any notes.

Writing: Enjoying doing some character sketches and brainstorming for my new project, while waiting on some proofreaders before sending out my first query about Into the Shining Sun.

Guitar: "Where We Start" from On An Island is proving to be both challenging and beautiful.  I listen to it all the time, but slowing it down to practice it really makes me pay attention to what a great song it is and how beautiful the solo is.