Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lingering Melody (Book Review: The Song Is You, Arthur Phillips)

"The Song Is You,"  has a beautifully written prologue - about the narrator's grandfather at a Billie Holiday concert. Holiday asked the audience what song they would like to hear, and he shouts "Waterfront." Unbeknownst to the man, the gig was being recorded live and while recuperating from the Korean war, he hears himself on the record. It was such a poetic anecdote, and I found myself instantly instantly engaged to the story. Then the book cuts into modern times, and to the grandson of that man. He is separated from his wife, after their baby has died. There was so much potential to this story, I was so ready to get engaged to it, but it never really caught me. I kept waiting and waiting to connect with the character, but I never agreed with the character's choices. Nor the author's writing. It is more a taste thing, and I will comparing it to a song. When someone sings a song you already know, you either agree or disagree with how a singer sings that song. You may disagree with a pause, or love the way the singer interprets a phrase. This book has a nice melody, but its execution was just not for me. 


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