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Posted September 19, 2012
This is a good story that zips along nicely with some strong characters, particularly the MC, CJ. It is interesting to read something in which the focus is as much on the aural as the visual aspects of the scene. They say you should write about what you know and Johnny Walker evidently knows sound equipment intimately. He takes it beyond sound settings for a gig in a club, though. There is a lovely passage in the chapter ‘Hayson’ where he draws an analogy between the sounds of a forest awakening after the winter to an orchestra. Except for the slip with a ‘section of lead violins’ (there is only one lead violin, the section is 1st violins) it was handled in a masterful way.
On the subject of the Hayson, whilst the idea of the instrument has been borrowed from Ghostbusters, it is appropriate that this is a more technologically advanced machine than those backpack affairs. The story would not have worked so well had it been otherwise.
For the first few chapters the author seemed to have an uneasy relationship with the use of first person, present tense, but he really got into his stride from chapter 6 onwards. There are some excellent descriptive passages throughout, of scene and action. A particular favourite of mine is the telling of the Spider Man acts required to sort out the sound system cabling and equipment high up walls and in tight spaces. The dialogue and interactions between the characters are also excellent.
I was never too sure where the story was taking me, but I was completely satisfied at the end in being left with plenty unsaid so my imagination could run on afterwards.
I would have rated this book as a 4 on the strength of the story, the characters, the pace and structure. However, the punctuation is, shall I say, ‘flamboyant’? Use of semicolons, and it feels like there are hundreds of them, is so consistently bad it comes across as an affectation. It’s not much better with ellipses, and use of commas and apostrophes also needs to be corrected.
That said, having schooled my mind to ignore the punctuation, I really enjoyed this story and have no doubt I will read #2 with pleasure.