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on 13 January 2017
George RR Martin is one of the greatest authors ever. His writing quickly pulls you into the story, gets you caring about the characters, who are all so real, more real than some fiction characters. They are believable, imperfect people. You are quickly lost in the beauty of the musical world and the cleverly written story which transcends time and materialistic things. It leaves you with a yearning for times gone by with all their innocent beauty and ugly violence, times that existed before I was even born and know little of. The finale is so beautiful and glorious and satisfactory. You are drawn right there into the concert, which does not appear fixed in time, but floats between decades. The only thing that matters, once you have began reading this book is finding out what happens at the end. This is my first time opening a Martin book, but I am now a fan.
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on 1 February 2014
As a novel this will probably have a limited appeal towards a certain audience. It will certainly never possess the mass appeal of the ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’ series. It is an exploration of what happens to a group of people who were either part of a late sixties early seventies rock band known as the Nazgul or were fans/followers/friends of theirs and their desire/belief that their music will affect some type of social revolution. Set ten years after the onstage assassination of the lead singer of the Nazgul the novel follows writer and past friend/fan of the Nazgul, Sandy, as he meets up with those from his past. Meanwhile others who have become more reactionary and militaristic are attempting to orchestrate the Nazgul’s return and bring about the revolution they believe they were denied.

Much of the first half of the book is terribly slow as the lead protagonist meets various old friends and associates. Most are quite well drawn characters but they do feel like they rely on a few clichés. Much of what they go through is based also based around uninteresting self-indulgence. Few of the characters evoke much sympathy.

One of the better aspects of the book is the way that the writing slowly increases in tempo until it reaches quite a pace once the Nazgul make it back on stage. The writing can be quite atmospheric then. The discordant style and pace give the scenes of performances and visions quite an intensity. There is an eerie sense throughout the course of the novel that it is building to something strange and dynamic. It provides intrigue but it fails to deliver on it. The book concludes quite lamely giving the sense that it was about a load of old nothing. The murder mystery element, that is at the forefront as the book begins, seems to fade into the background, the revelation of the murderer a little obvious and unimportant and the main antagonist seemingly forgotten about in the closing stages.
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on 19 August 2017
I have enjoyed every book I have read authored by George R.R. Martin.
For my taste this one is a strong contender for my favorite from him.
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on 10 September 2015
This book is nothing like the song of fire and ice series which has made George R R Martin such a popular author recently and it's not intended to be. This is a story that stands on its own and if you were around in the 60/70s you will enjoy the throwbacks to the music from that era. It's well written and engaging at times but the characters are not as broad as a Song of Fire & Ice. I don't fully understand why this was given such a negative response from critics as I thought the book was decent and well worth a read.
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on 2 March 2014
If you're thinking of buying this on the strength of the amazing Game of Thrones saga, don't. You'd never believe it was written by the same author. I got bored reading it and only finished it because I hate not finishing a book. The best thing about it was the fact that it was written in the early 80s and it was interesting dipping a toe back into the world before mobile communications technology and the internet.
Give it a miss.
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on 13 July 2013
I first came across George RR Martin via "Songs of ice and Fire" series of books which I enjoyed so much I thought I'd try his other writings. I'm glad I did. His story telling is excellent, his style easy to read and his characterisations are brilliant. I intend to read more of his stuff.

If you were into music in the sixties / seventies you will be sure to enjoy this book.
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on 9 October 2017
Good entertainment with a very twisted plot. Half-way sci-fi, half-way sort of horror, but a little slow for the pace of today.
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on 26 September 2014
I was initially intrigued by the idea of a rock and roll murder mystery. But this is ultimately a very silly book. There are far too many dream sequences (yawn) and I found it impossible to believe in a story if which legions of revolutionary people would follow such a stupid, rubbish band.
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on 13 May 2015
rea .sonable story , a bit long winded
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on 11 June 2014
Loved it. Usual George R R Martin high standard.
Very diifferent to Game of Thrones. A must for rock fans.
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