Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Dead Brilliant by Christopher Ward

Dead Brilliant

Its all slipping away from Roc Molotov -- his band, his girlfriend, and worst of all, his ability to play the game demanded by the star-making machinery of the music business. When the best record he's ever made is about to pass unnoticed, his oldest friend and manager, Uncle Strange, concocts the perfect scheme. Roc will fake his death, on MTV, in front of millions of viewers, assuring massive success on his latest project and the ability to create a body of "posthumous" songs to feed the grieving fans and satisfy his still-active artistic imagination. The plan works to perfection, but the ever-restless Roc finds that being dead has its limitations in this novel that's sex, death, and rock n' roll, played in a satirical key.
Publisher: Dundurn
Publication Date: January 4, 2014

Kat's Review

I have to be honest: I grew up watching Christopher Ward interview musicians on Much Music, Canada's version of MTV. There are some figures from your childhood that stay with you no matter how old you get, and when I saw his name as the author of Dead Brilliant, I knew I was in for a great read. As a veteran of the music business, from interviewing musicians to writing hit songs, he's perfectly qualified to write a story about a washed out musician who fakes his own death to revive his career posthumously. Only Roc Molotov finds that he just might like the peace and quiet being dead affords him.
I thought this book was a whole lot of fun wrapped up in some scary truths about the music business. Roc Molotov tries to remain relevant in a changing music landscape, and puts his trust in his oldest friend, a man too concerned about the bottle line to really care about Roc. Add in a new love interest, a daughter he's never met, and a crazy scheme to fake his own death live on MTV, and I don't see what there's not to love about this book. 
It was fun, campy at times, deep at others, and sometimes bitingly honest about how even the stars age and must fight against the incoming tide of new talent and changing trends. I thought there was just the right mix of seriousness and fun, and I read the whole thing in one sitting. 

Kat's Rating: All-Consuming

If you're a music fan of a certain age who remembers the hair bands of the past with some nostalgia, you will probably appreciate the main character and the story line of this novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

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