by Arthur Phillips
In the past, I’ve read quite a few books by musicians, about musicians, or about music in general and none of them have ever quite done what I wanted them to. I can’t really describe what I’m looking for, being a musician myself, but this one has come the closest of any of them. Here’s a brief sample of what I mean:
A piece of music’s conquest of you is not likely to occur the first time you hear it, though it is possible that the aptly named “hook” might barb your ear on it’s first pass. More commonly, the assailant is slightly familiar and has leveraged that familiarity to gain access to the crisscrossed wiring of your interior life. And then there is a possession, a mutual possession, for just as you take the song as part of you and your history, it is claiming dominion for itself, planting fluttering eighth notes in your heart.
So anyway, our main character, Julian, is a music aficionado who always seems to be listening to his iPod. He has 8,146 songs at his disposal – ready for any occasion. One night, he’s out walking in New York and happens upon a new band with an inspiring young Irish singer. The girl is magnetic and Julian is immediately drawn to her and her music. Most of the book tells the story of how their lives intersect – or you know – don’t.