Monday, September 12, 2005

STUCK OUTSIDE OF PHOENIX by Arthur Edwards (iUniverse)

I wish I could tell you the first time I ever heard of Arthur Edwards was when he submitted his novel to me for review, but I can't. It turns out he was the bass player for The Refreshments, who produced two CDs with Mercury Records back in the 1990's--a band that wrote a song called Banditos which was so infectious I actually drove a former boyfriend mad by my repetitive play of said song. The Refreshments were sort of a mix of The Replacements, Gin Blossoms and Los Lonely Boys.

But I don't review music.

As it turns out, Mr. Edwards can pen a fine novel, too. Two CDs and an MFA later, he has written STUCK OUTSIDE OF PHOENIX, a genuine story about a stalled trek from Phoenix to Seattle just as the Grunge movement is taking hold.

The story is about (unlike, perhaps, the author's real life) the dreams/longings/desires of a would-be rock star, and all of the angst the Gen X rockers had at that time. Edwards nails the moment and the writing is dead-on. Hard to believe, but here we are fifteen years later, with Kurt Cobain having slipped from edgy tragic-rocker to classic-rock icon. And STUCK OUTSIDE OF PHOENIX has captured that time and tells a story highly worth reading--a necessary text as the Gen Xers move to middle age, and now that Grunge has faded out as surely as psychedelia.

The book serves as a technical text while it entertains. Along the journey, you'll be tutored in guitars and amplifiers, get a little rock history (even more for you youngsters), and get a genuine glimpse into the world of stagnant rock bands.

Grab it for $11.95 over at Amazon. It's a cool little diddy. Rock out, people!