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The Armageddon Rag Hardcover – 12 Apr 2012
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"The wilder aspects of the 60s--the frenzied idealism, the cultism, the orgiastic rock music--roar back to life in this hallucinatory story by a master of chilling suspense." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Magic, music, drugs and rock'n'roll in an early novel from George R. R. Martin, author of A GAME OF THRONESSee all Product description
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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.
But I was bitterly disappointed.
The story concept is a good one. In early 1980s America, an ageing rock band, once popular but now well past-their-prime, reforms during the midst of a murder investigation of their former manager. A music journalist, and old associate of the band, begins to investigate the murder which leads him to reluctantly work alongside the very people he chiefly suspects as being responsible. A murder mystery layered with pop rock references, and incorporating elements of fantasy and mild horror should go together like Simon & Garfunkel and a Greenwich Village folk festival.
But it doesn't.
The story struggles to form a coherent piece of fiction. In a relatively small number of chapters, the story arc (which starts off slow and measured), beings to progress at a rapid rate. The protagonist, who isn’t particularly likeable and spends a good number of chapters detailing his somewhat exaggerated and repetitive visions caused me to lose interest in him. He also frequently benefits from a lot of good fortune and unrealistic favouritism from the books other characters which always places him in very convenient situations just as the story needs to progress from one phase to next. I continued reading the book believing that the story would unravel to something of epic proportions (this is George RR Martin after all) but the actual revelation of the murderer is such a let-down and the ending is just a massive anti-climax.
I struggled with it.
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I love Martin’s work. Don’t get me wrong, I do not have the most extensive Martin collection, but I have read a...Read more