7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I can't turn it off, turn it down, wash it off, or get it out of my head. This book has really gotten to me.
Did you ever notice how full of feeling some Beach Boys songs are? How "Good Vibrations" is a jolt of pure happiness and hope, a ray of sonic sunshine? This is a book for people who've noticed things like that. But "Glimpses" is much more than a love letter to great music or a document of the late sixties --it's a shamanic journey into human powers of healing, repair, and redemption through spiritual and emotional connection.
The book is actually set in the late eighties: Tienanmen Square, Lockerbie, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Milli Vanilli, Richard Marx, Martika... The ordinary-guy protagonist, stereo repairman Ray Shackleford, becomes able, through music, to enter altered states of consciousness and being--he closes his eyes, sinks into the music, and he's twenty years in the past, with the Beatles, with Jim Morrison, with Brian Wilson.
IMO, here's where the author turns what could have been a straightforward novel of time-travel into a shamanic journey of raw spiritual power--because it's NOT the past Ray is visiting, as his actions there never affect the present. I'd argue that he's entering the collective unconscious of our species--a sort of matrix of memory and desire. While in this realm of the unconscious, Ray Shackleford, music lover and accidental shaman, meets the musical gods of the late Sixties, on a mission to save their great works lost to mental illness or death. Instead of just repairing stereos, he tries to repair the past: the lost life, the lost futures, and the lost music.
Amazingly, the human drama of Ray's everyday life is even more compelling than his nonordinary travels. His personal journey is of equal importance to his musical journey, and mirrors the healing he undertakes in reshaping the past--dealing with the destructive emotional legacy of his dead father, and exploring, forming, and reforming his attachments to friends, lovers, and family. This isn't just a book about fantasy encounters with musical icons, about a music-lover's "rescue" of the great lost albums of the sixties. Primarily, it's a story of yearning and redemption in one human life. Read this book if you love the Beatles or the Yardbirds or Hendrix or the Beach Boys (especially the Beach Boys) or the Doors or Dylan or Janis or Love or Van Morrison or any of the great musical pioneers of that era, or any of the great musical pioneers of any era, anywhere. Read it if you are drawn to the unstable edges of human experience where reality and desire intersect, making beauty and pain and healing and fear and love and music. "Glimpses" is like nothing I've ever read before--simple, beautiful, powerful, moving, important, unpretentious, full of hope and life, yet unafraid of the terrible costs of growth and love and change. Almost nothing in the book is less than earned, or real, or right. This book is holy in its way, to me, a woman who loves music, a woman who has her own happy endings to hope for, her own journeys of redemption and growth to take.
This book deserves to stay in print forever. Like all beautiful things that do good in the world, it should never be lost.