Misfortunes of T-Funk, by Barnaby Hazen

5_17_17 Misfortunes of T-Funk

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An interesting fact about the Kindle version of this novel. It comes with four audio tracks (linked in the text) that pop up during the narrative. Living in BFE with the world’s worst internet, I couldn’t listen to them during my reading. I do encourage others to try this and see how it affects the mood. It was a very unique reader engagement concept (as well as marketing promotion).

 

The story itself is about Theo and Judah surviving the misfortunes many new bands go through. All the while they’re trying to maintain their education and relationships. Except, once you get sucked into the time-consuming world of music, it’s not that easy.

 

I learned a lot about the music industry reading this novel. I also learned quite a bit about music itself. An excellent level of detail and explanation went into constructing the musical narrative. Grasping the ideas discussed shouldn’t be too difficult for those with a basic understanding of music.

 

Relationship-wise, this novel did a lot right. Both Judah and Theo have differing circumstances, but they’re realistic. They’re healthy (for the most part). They have their fair share of ups and downs and I liked how they got handled.

 

The story itself was good. The writing needs some editing. Breaking up paragraphs and sentences would help keep things from becoming too jumbled. Within the chapters, things bounced around between perspectives, people, and situations. Without breaks. I found myself reading the same page a few times to see where I missed a scene change. Passage of time was also muddled.

 

As a character-driven novel, I liked the style. As the story unfolds we learn more of the intricate details that flesh out their development. I’m not talking about when they were born or what their parents do, but their fears, their hopes. What drives them. What holds them back. Their emotions feel accessible for the readers. It helps them come alive. I wasn’t a fan of the information dump at certain points in the story. It changed things up, however, by utilizing both dialogue and narration to tell. Dialogue did get a little clunky without much action in between. The character interactions remained solid despite.

 

From small nightclubs to Jimi Hendrix’s grave, Misfortunes of T-Funk manages to encompass the raw drive it takes to succeed as a band. The let downs, the frustrations…and, in the end, the ability to rely on other people. With a little polishing, this could slide into the top-10 charts without trying.

 

Buy it here!

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