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Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    An American Original

    Pistonhead is not what I expected. This gritty, touching, funny, poignant novel talks about what it means to be successful. It also delves into the nature of creativity through the deft comparison of the assembly line and Charlie's activities as a songwriter. Definitely recommended for everyone who is looking for a good personal journey story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Pistonhead Rocks!

    At last a rock novel that tells it like it is! Here is the story of a guy who hasn't made it to the top - no limousines or fancy hotels for Charlie and his Pistonhead bandmates. But he has heart and soul and determination, and even though he faces plenty of obstacles - some funny, some tragic - he keeps plugging away. The characters are real, the onstage scenes will make you feel as though you are in the band, and the factory is something out of Kurt Vonnegut. A great read for anyone from 18 to 80 who wants something more than the usual bland escapist fare.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2009

    An American Original

    Don't be fooled by the heavy-metal setting. Pistonhead is a funny, scary, gut-wrenching look at the journey made by Charlie Sinclair, a guy who plays guitar in a rock band and works in a factory. There is a theme here - the theme of success and how you define it. Well-written, the story is tight and concise and gritty in its depiction of the life of this semi-loser musician who never seems to quite get a break (until the end, but the break he gets is one that he would have rejected on page one).

    It's got a sturdy sub-plot about assembly-line jobs leaving America and the fate of the mentally- and emotionally-challenged workers who will be left in the dust. The romance is there too, but handled without being sugar-sweet: Lisa is a tough gal who helps steer Charlie in the right direction.

    Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I Expected

    I really like the main character Charlie, who is in a rock band and works at a factory on an assembly line. He is a very down to earth guy with a hunger for the best life he can have, but is uncertain how to obtain that life. He is facing a lay off from his factory job, his best friend is addicted to drugs and his mother has a new boyfriend. On top of all that, his fans like throwing things at the band.

    This is the story of one week that will change him forever. What we think we want may not really be what we want, and sometimes our happiness comes from places we never expect. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read about a guitar player who is not your typical rocker. In the end, Charlie is successful, but not the way he expected.

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    Pistonhead in a Nutshell

    When I first came across this book I was hesitant to read it. A rock n' roll book, with a male main character, just did not appeal to me. By the time I read the guest post Mr. Hauck wrote for my blog, I knew I had read the book. The original synopsis does not do this book justice.

    Charlie is in a rock band. They have had some semblance of local success. But this book is so much more than playing gigs, doing drugs and banging groupies. It is about life, humanity and how one measures success. Do you really need the six figure paycheck to be successful?

    Charlie is a down to earth character with a good head on his shoulders. This book tells the story of one dramatic, life altering week in his life. He has to face his best friend's drug addiction, the possibility of being laid off from his factory job, his mother's new boyfriend and anti-fans who like to throw things at the band.

    My favorite part of this book was when while Charlie was working at the factory. I liked how he dealt with all the character's there. His patience may just be uncharacteristic of a rock star. Overall this book was enjoyable, although some of the musical references sailed directly over my head.

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  • Posted June 2, 2009

    The Real Rock Life!

    Pistonhead captures the reality of life for any creative person - musician, actor, artist - who is struggling to "make it." What a riveting cast of characters! The oversexed ex-girlfriend, the smarmy brother-in-law, the hapless lead guitar player of the Viper Crew, the part-time workers on the assembly line, the doomed best-friend-lead-singer, the wacky manager. You will laugh and cry and never look at rock musicians the same way again. It's a slice of life that most of us never see - and teaches us that we need to be careful about what we wish for.

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