It’s the summer after his freshman year of college, and the 19-year-old narrator of Matthew Specktor’s That Summertime Sound has two options: return home to Los Angeles, to a city and a family that hardly notice him; or journey to the heart of America—Columbus, Ohio—for a summer of unexpected and life-defining experiences.
Set against the Columbus music scene of the 1980s, Specktor’s lead character treks to Ohio in search of his favorite band, Lords of Oblivion. Headed by eccentric frontman Nic Devine, Lords of Oblivion are the antithesis of the popular New Wave sound of the decade. The narrator quickly adapts to life in Columbus, dressing in the local thrift store fashions, finding an on-again off-again girlfriend, going out, sleeping late, and above all, seeing live music. Eventually, he meets and befriends Nic Devine, cementing a friendship that will define the summer.
That Summertime Sound reads like a music encyclopedia with constant references to seminal bands like The Feelies, Hüsker Du, Pere Ubu, and Uriah Heap. Specktor’s cinematic prose is so visual that the music and characters become a reality. That Summertime Sound captures the vibrancy of youth and the thrill of summer. It’s about going along for the ride, because you can, when you can choose yourself before choosing responsibility.
That Summertime Sound was an interesting book. It read like a love letter to music lovers. I love how the author gets across how music can make you feel if you really listen and are really invested in the music. It was encompassed in the story of a guy spending the summer in Columbus after his first year of college. He heard Columbus was the place to be so he went back with a few college friends to see for himself.
For some reason this book (which is only 268 pages long) took me a significant amount of time to read, over a week. I think it had something to do with how detailed the language was. And because of that I think it would make for a great book to listen to in the audio version, to be able to really take your time with it.
To me the book had a few too many plotlines so it made it hard for me to focus on one thing because I wasn't sure where to place that focus. I think to me the one standout plot was about the un-named main character's interactions with his favorite band that he goes to Columbus to see, Lords of Oblivion and its frontman Nic. I did like how some of the characters were so detailed with rather large back stories in a few cases.
But even though it wasn't the easiest book for me to read I'm glad I read it. I'm not sure that I've read anything like it before. It definitely makes me want to explore some of the music and genres talked about in this book! And just explore more music in general!
Review copy provided by marketing & promotions company
That Summertime Sound Website (is awesome)
Purchase That Summertime Sound
Audio Excerpts (more on the website):
Morgan Freeman reads "This is Never Going to End"
Jeremy Irons reads "The Devil in It Somewhere"
Here's how to enter to win That Summertime Sound!
Leave a comment letting me know why you like listening to music? How does it make you feel?
For 1 additional entry blog (sidebar is fine) or tweet (@reply me @mint910) about this contest and leave a separate comment here linking to your post or tweet (only one entry total).
The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S.
Please leave a way for me to contact you if you are the winner!
The giveaway will end October 4th at 11:59 pm Central Time.