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The Armageddon Rag Paperback – 14 Feb 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575129557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575129559
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George R.R. Martin is the author of six titles in the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords Part One: Steel and Snow, A Storm of Swords Part Two: Blood and Gold, A Feast for Crows and the long-awaited A Dance with Dragons. A Game of Thrones is now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

He has also written Fevre Dream, the ultimate science fiction horror novel, several collections of short stories and numerous scripts for television drama. He was also the co-author of SF adventure tale Hunter's Run. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Product Description

Book Description

Magic, music, drugs and rock'n'roll in an early novel from George R. R. Martin, author of A GAME OF THRONES.

From the Inside Flap

Onetime underground journalist Sandy Blair has traveled far from his radical roots in the '60s - until the bizarre and brutal murder of a millionaire rock promoter draws him back. As Sandy sets out to investigate the crime, he finds himself on a magical mystery tour of the pent-up passions of his generation. For a new messiah has resurrected the once legendary rock band Nazgul - but with an apocalyptic new beat that is a requiem of demonism, mind control, and death only Sandy may be able to change in time. . . . --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jason Mills VINE VOICE on 27 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
The Nazgûl were the rock band that had it all, but their career was extinguished at its peak when their singer was shot dead at a concert in '71. Now it's 10 years later and their erstwhile promoter has been ritually murdered in a manner that connects with that earlier killing. Sandy Blair, a failing novelist and ex-journalist, finds himself embarking on a quest to get to the bottom of the murder.

The journey takes him across America, interviewing the remaining members of the Nazgûl and meeting up with his old friends from the '60s. In everyone he meets he sees the disillusion and dissolution of the '60s dream, and he struggles to reconcile his life now with the idealism of his youth. Meanwhile he discovers that Edan Morse, suspected years ago of social agitation that verged on terrorism, is trying to engineer an unlikely reunion of the Nazgûl, for some dark and disturbing purpose.

The novel is a requiem for the 1960s: its hopes, its liberation, its friendships and most of all its music. I found myself wishing I was at the concerts Martin so thrillingly describes, and that I could go on amazon and order the Nazgûl's albums! But a bigger ambition than nostalgia becomes apparent, as the book edges into supernatural territory and Sandy Blair's fight to maintain his ideals becomes crucial to the future of the world.

Like everything George R R Martin writes, the novel is smoothly engineered, peopled with richly sympathetic characters, deeply felt and boldly imagined. A powerful and satisfying read.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
Sandy Blair is a former rock journalist turned novelist whose latest project isn't turning out as well as it should. However, when the former manger of one the most vital rock bands of the 1960s - the Nazgûl - is murdered in a satanic ritual, Sandy finds himself drawn into an investigation that leads him back to his roots and to some unsettling home truths. Meanwhile, an engimatic promoter is determined to reform the Nazgûl for a reunion tour - difficult since their lead singer was shot dead a decade earlier - that will have a startling outcome.

Like the opening volume of A Song of Ice and Fire and Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag (1983) is only superficially a genre story. The SF&F trappings don't kick in until very late in the day (actually far later than either of the first two works; nearly three-quarters of the book go by before any SF or horror elements creep in at all), and once more the focus is squarely on the fascinating characters GRRM creates. There is more of a hint of nostalgia here though, as GRRM also grapples with the death of the ideology of the 1960s and 1970s amidst the rise of ultra-capitalism in the 1980s.

The book thrives on fascinating details: the carefully thought-out Nazgûl album covers, the songs, the setlists. Creating a fictional band and making them feel 'real' is an incredibly difficult task, arguably only successfully achieved in parody (Spinal Tap being the obvious example), but GRRM pulls it off here. Knowing that 'The Armageddon/Resurrection Rag' and 'Ragin' don't actually exist doesn't stop the reader wanting to go and download them from iTunes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M J Heap on 20 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Starts out as a murder mystery before changing into something more sinister. I liked the correlation of powerful music with the supernatural - an evocative theme!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blobby20 on 18 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book in November 1984 when New English Library published it as a UK paperback original...glossy black cover, electric guitar, bolts of lightning....I was 14 and loved it. When I saw the hardcover reprint I pulled it off the shelf, dusted it off, and read it again...18 years older it was even better. That's all I really want to say - a fantastic book. I recommend to anyone who wants something different.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marleen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
During the 1960's Nazgûl was a hugely popular hard rock band, the voice of a generation. But in 1971, when a bullet ended both the life of the charismatic lead-singer and the future of the band, an era came to an end.
During those years Sandy Blair was in the midst of the action. An activist while in college and an underground journalist afterwards he was present at the demonstrations and the concerts. He was there when the bullet found the singer and ended a revolution that never really started.
The world, Sandy Blair and the remaining band-members have changed in the decade since the shooting.
Blair, a published author with three novels to his name is facing a severe case of writers-bloc when the former manager of Nazgûl is murdered in his house; murdered in a way that reflects the lyrics of one of Nazgûl's songs.
When the magazine Blair worked for in the 1960's asks him to investigate the murder he can't reject the offer. Intrigued, Blair goes on the trail of a murderer. A journey that will bring him into contact with the remaining members of the once famous band, his own past and a man who wants to resurrect both Nazgûl and the revolution.
Soon after starting his investigation, Blair finds himself haunted by very vivid nightmares; dreams that become darker and more vivid as the date of Nazgûl's relaunch comes closer. Eventually Blair comes to believe that the visions in his dreams will become reality unless he takes some action.

This is very much a story of two parts. What at first appears to be a rather straightforward mystery - who killed the manager - turns into a psychedelic fantasy about halfway through the book.
The reader is lulled into a false sense of security as they commence on a road-trip with Sandy Blair.
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