Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rock Star's Rainbow (Kevin Glavin)

I was of two minds when it came to reviewing this novel. On the one hand, I committed to reviewing it, and I believe in honoring one's commitments. On the other, it was far too graphic for me to finish reading. In the end, I decided to give it a go. (Note that this review is only based on 60% of the book.)

  • Overall: 3 ҉
  • Plot: 3/5
  • Originality: 4/5
  • Language: 2/5
  • Believability: 3/5

Rock Star's Rainbow is definitely different from the genres which I typically read. The whole thing has a nihilistic, soul-searching ambiance that reminds me of Garden State for reasons unknown. It's clear that the protagonist is having difficulty with the sense of purposelessness in his life, one which many of us face whether we are billionaires or dirt poor. It's that aching for self-understanding that connects the protagonist to the reader.

The plot deviates greatly from the typical "disillusioned entertainer" that has become quite the fictional stereotype. The enigmatic Hula isn't the all-knowing, innocent girl-next-door, and Rook spends more time treading water than making his way towards firm land. Unfortunately, all of the changes in location and goals, as well as the random insertions of sexual encounters and metaphysical thought, made it confusing to follow just where exactly all of this was leading.

One of the reasons that said confusion may have occurred is due to the author's tendency to gives us too much information. There is an abundance of parenthetical commentary explaining the motivations, backgrounds, and thoughts of characters that we will never see, nor hear from, again. Imaginary people have lives too, but if it doesn't advance the plot, contribute to the theme, or serve some other legitimate purpose, it's superfluous background that detracts from the rest of the book. Another example of this is the constant insertion of brand names and labels. For someone who doesn't know too much about such things, they add another layer of bewilderment.

In the end, I did want to see how it all pans out, but the violence made me too queasy to finish. Specifically, there are scenes involving mutilation and dismemberment that might appeal to many in a Kill Bill sort of way; I just didn't have the stomach for it.

(Review copy provided by the author)


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