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In this comic, wildly energetic first novel, Clive Beresford is a failed music fanzine writer in his early thirties who fears that his best days are behind him. The turning point came when Lance Webster, the lead singer of Thieving Magpies, the band that Clive is obsessed with, self-destructed on stage right before his eyes. Years later, Clive has discovered that Lance has moved in down the block. Desperate to meet him, but more desperately nervous, Clive concocts an ill-advised, alcohol-fueled scheme to befriend Lance and land an “earth-shattering exclusive” interview that will revive both their careers. With the story shifting between Clive’s life-changing Magpies past and his frantic present, Tim Thornton has written a warmhearted, uproarious view of friendship, hero worship, and the full-blast power of music.From the Trade Paperback edition.read more
I really enjoyed this, despite knowing less than half of the (real) musicians mentioned. Musical obsession and the power of writing, topics I like a lot. Now, I want to check the listening suggestions at the beginning of each chapter- if I can get the book back from my 21-year old daughter. Clive definitely grew on me over the course of the novel.read more
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A buddy comedy with a Nick Hornby vibe, this debut novel from British musician Thornton charms from the very first chord. As a schoolboy in the late '80s, Clive Beresford is a devoted fan of indie band the Thieving Magpies. Lance Webster, the band's frontman, becomes Clive's hero, a pop culture god Clive follows from gig to gig. After Lance publicly self-destructs and disappears from the public eye, Clive stumbles into an adulthood of failed romance and dismal job prospects and wonders if he'll ever get out of his rut. But after he discovers his former idol living a few doors down the street, Clive makes painfully awkward contact, and the two begin an unlikely friendship with Clive pretending to be clueless about who his neighbor is while secretly intent on writing a tell-all book. Thornton nails the changing music scene of the past two decades, combining real-life artists with the imaginary Magpies, and effortlessly captures the magnetic allure of great rock ("The album gave me an unprecedented sense of belonging. Or at least, the potential of belonging"). Best of all, though, are the quirky lead characters, two has-beens who jump-start each other's lives. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved