6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It Was a Fine Time for Music and Protest,
This review is from: The Armageddon Rag (Paperback)
Ok, nowadays, when you hear Martin's name, the instant association is (deservedly) with Game of Thrones. But Martin is far from a one-dimensional writer, as this book proves.
Here we find ourselves immersed in the modern world of the eighties, looking back at the music scene of the sixties and seventies, through the eyes of disillusioned journalist/novelist/former radical Sandy Blair, as he investigates the rather grisly murder of a rock band promoter most closely associated with the hard rock band Nazgul, whose lead singer was assassinated while performing. The trail leads through Sandy's sixties friends and associates and on to the SDS and other super-radical groups.
All very normal, could-have-totally happened - till Martin throws in a quiet, subtle, never totally in sight brush with the supernatural that, by the end of the book, just might make your hairs stand on end and have you totally confused as to who to cheer for.
Martin details the music, the belief in change, the youthful optimism of the counter-culture and their defeats and clashes with authority that is sure to invoke strong feelings of nostalgia for those who lived through and were part of that period. At the same time, he shows just what happened to those who were part of that time, as they aged and were faced with the realities of work and supporting a family. There are quotes from various songs of the period throughout the book, some as chapter headings, others woven into the dialog, that do much bring the period to life (for those that remember those songs). His characterization of Sandy is excellent, and many of the supporting characters come through as very distinct, believable, and in many cases somewhat eccentric people. His ending is excellent and surprising, suspenseful right to the final climax.
There's an awful lot to like here, though perhaps it might not resonate as well with younger readers, though even they should be captivated by the both the finely drawn characters and the suspense. As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)