Sunday, September 20, 2009

That Summertime Sound by Matthew Specktor + Giveaway!

From the publisher:

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!

That Summertime Sound was released August 30th!
Genre: Fiction
3/5 Stars
Review copy provided by marketing & promotions company

That Summertime Sound Website (is awesome)
Purchase That Summertime Sound

Readable Excerpts

Audio Excerpts (more on the website):
Morgan Freeman reads "This is Never Going to End"
Jeremy Irons reads "The Devil in It Somewhere"

Giveaway time!

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.


  1. I love listening to music that says what I am feeling and putting it into words I can't find. I love lots of different kinds for all different situations.


  2. I lvoe music because each different genre can put me in a different mood.


  3. Music relaxes me and helps me process all my emotions.

  4. Tweet

  5. I love listening to music while I'm driving because it helps me relax...
    thanks for the contest.

    adbcoz (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. I love listening to music because it helps me sort out everything in my head.

  7. i posted this giveaway at:


  8. I love when you can feel like you can relate to a song, when it brings up memories like you're reliving them

    jpetroroy (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. I like listening to music because it's calming.

    :) Erica

  10. Anonymous2:02 PM

    I listen to music to help pass the time. It allows me to forget about the rest of the world when I hear a great song.


  11. I love listening to music because it helps me think and motivates me.And in a weird way completes every moment like when you listen to the perfect song for a specific moment.

  12. I love music because it makes me feel more alive and helps me if I'm depressed or enhances my mood is I am extremely happy.


  13. I love music, especially live! The emotions expressed become universal when they're in the catchy package of a song. This book sounds like it would help me discover some new artists, which is always exciting.


  14. I love listening to music for pure enjoyment...LOVE.


  15. This sounds like an awesome book! Please enter me.

    I like to listen to music for two reasons! 1: I enjoy it. 2: It helps me think (at a low volume combined with pacing)! It’s me feel happy/better(if I’m in a badm ood) and relaxed/energized.(depends on song and mood).


  16. I love music because it transports me to a different place and time. Like when I hear a certain song that my mom used to listen to all the time when I was little, or maybe a song that my girlies and I used to sing together back in the day when we were all together and able to just hang out.

    imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

  17. I love music because it is a getaway for me. I listen to it whenever I am in a bad mood or even a good mood. It relaxes me and I love to sing out loud! :)

    This book sounds really awesome! Great contest!


  18. I love music because when i'm listening to music, I'm temporarily away from reality.

    linna.hsu at gmail dot com

  19. I don't really know why I listen to music. I think it's because...exactly that reason. Music verbalizes feelings that have no name. A good song makes you feel something, hear something the artist couldn't begin to explain. It's just music.

  20. Music is a language all its own. It is a universal language that brings people of different races and religion into one complete harmony. Sometimes a song will evoke images or memories and make me cry on the spot (like Ray Lamontagne's music). There could be tears of joy or sadness. Music is a way to express feelings you didn't even know were there. Music is a way for me to escape. It helps lead me to my comfort zone. It can be therapeutic in so many ways. Music is one of my passions. The ability of a songwriter to create lyrics that bring people to tears just blows my mind. Music has saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

  21. I love listening to music because so many songs can conjure a specific place, smell, person, or time in my past like nothing else in this world. I also love to play music as well. It's one of my favorite modes of expression : )

    amanda n.

  22. Also posted this on my blog:

    amanda n.

  23. +1 Comment:
    I love listening to music because it relaxes me and takes me to another place. It helps me deal with difficult situations.

    +1 Tweet!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  24. I was in Columbus, Ohio in 1986, a Freshman at The Ohio State University and I can tell you that it was quite a scene. Between live music venues like, Bernies, Apollos, Ruby Tuesdays (not the chain restaurant), Crazy Mamas and all of the dance bars both gay and straight, an emerging art scene and a group of kids who felt left in the dust by the baby boomers, there was a lot happening. I spent a few years going out every night---every night. And living in COlumbus was like living in a vortex, sure you wanted to leave but the easy cost of living and cheap rent always brought you back. I want to puke when I see the super clean upper class shopping center that inhabits the once skeezy bar strip on OSU's south campus. Why kids today want to dress up like daytime soap stars and pay too much for drinks is beyond me.

  25. Listening to music, depending on the style either helps me concentrate or clear my mind and veg out. I love that.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...