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The Music Book

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What does music mean? Can it be more than the sum of its notes and melodies? Can it truly change you? Rob, a musician turned reluctant music critic, poses these questions as everything important in his life appears to be fading—memories of lost love, songs from his old bands, even his hearing. He delves into the music of others to find solace and purpose, and discovers tha What does music mean? Can it be more than the sum of its notes and melodies? Can it truly change you? Rob, a musician turned reluctant music critic, poses these questions as everything important in his life appears to be fading—memories of lost love, songs from his old bands, even his hearing. He delves into the music of others to find solace and purpose, and discovers that the chords and repeated phrases echo themes that have emerged in his own life. The music sustains him, but can it revive him? The Music Book is a story of loss, of fear and loneliness, of a mutable past. But most of all it’s about music as a force, as energy, as a creator of possibility. What might come from the sound of an A chord played just so? Rob listens. And among other things, he finds surprising companionship with a cat; another chance at love; and the courage to step on a stage again and finally, fully comprehend the power of sound.


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What does music mean? Can it be more than the sum of its notes and melodies? Can it truly change you? Rob, a musician turned reluctant music critic, poses these questions as everything important in his life appears to be fading—memories of lost love, songs from his old bands, even his hearing. He delves into the music of others to find solace and purpose, and discovers tha What does music mean? Can it be more than the sum of its notes and melodies? Can it truly change you? Rob, a musician turned reluctant music critic, poses these questions as everything important in his life appears to be fading—memories of lost love, songs from his old bands, even his hearing. He delves into the music of others to find solace and purpose, and discovers that the chords and repeated phrases echo themes that have emerged in his own life. The music sustains him, but can it revive him? The Music Book is a story of loss, of fear and loneliness, of a mutable past. But most of all it’s about music as a force, as energy, as a creator of possibility. What might come from the sound of an A chord played just so? Rob listens. And among other things, he finds surprising companionship with a cat; another chance at love; and the courage to step on a stage again and finally, fully comprehend the power of sound.

39 review for The Music Book

  1. 4 out of 5

    Just another reader

    When I talk about a book, I do not usually start with my experiences as a reader. I prefer giving my take on what the book is about, before going on to what I felt about it. But in this case, the experience of reading the book got me so intricately entangled with my own thoughts and retrospections, that I cannot follow a specific structure or pattern in my review. This is an all-out powerful book - one of introspections and reminiscences. Rob, the protagonist is an erst-while musician who take m When I talk about a book, I do not usually start with my experiences as a reader. I prefer giving my take on what the book is about, before going on to what I felt about it. But in this case, the experience of reading the book got me so intricately entangled with my own thoughts and retrospections, that I cannot follow a specific structure or pattern in my review. This is an all-out powerful book - one of introspections and reminiscences. Rob, the protagonist is an erst-while musician who take music critiquing for a living. Through Rob's eyes, author explores all sentiments of one looking back over the roads that have been crossed. It's mighty hard to categorise this book as music-based, primarily because it is so much more than that! Music is just the premise and platform that the author has chosen to look at an entire life's journey conceived by existentialism. The book touches one's soul many a time, and it is very hard not to empathise with the protagonist's longing for what once was and what could have been. That said, this book is in no way a melancholic take on life - in fact it is everything but that. It reinforces that one is not far from finding one's haven if one knows what to look for and where to look for it. And yes, the cat - if one is lucky enough! I particularly loved the use of the cat as the surprise companion Rob finds - where the author has used the cat as a wonderful abstraction figure to visualise Rob's companionship. I was pretty impressed with the deep research that had gone into the making of the book. The author not only knows his way around Seattle's music circles, but is also adept at analysing the bands of the time, replete with their music and his inferences from those. Being someone who has never visited Seattle in her life, this book was a revelation, and I was left stunned at how much the author has taken in of the city, and how beautifully he has articulated all about it. One can't help wanting to read up all about the bands mentioned and look up the places that figure in the book - such is the compelling flavour that the book adds to the tale. O'Leary is certainly a master of narration - his prose blends so tastefully into poetic recounts at many places, and yet this book gives no impression of being reserved for those with eclectic tastes. The language is a pleasure to read, and the book is hard to put down (I finished it one go, since the moment I started). This is definitely a must-read and I highly recommend it. My rating for the book: 5 stars Review links http://simpliread.blogspot.com/2014/1... https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3... http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Majanka

    Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/book-tou... I love music, but I never stopped to think about the meaning of music, at least not the way Rob does in The Music Book. Rob used to be a musician, but now he works as a music critic, and finds solace in the music of others, while everything around him seems to be falling apart. The book focuses a lot on bands from the Seattle area, offering a whole new music/reading experience for me. I even looked up a few of the ban Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/book-tou... I love music, but I never stopped to think about the meaning of music, at least not the way Rob does in The Music Book. Rob used to be a musician, but now he works as a music critic, and finds solace in the music of others, while everything around him seems to be falling apart. The book focuses a lot on bands from the Seattle area, offering a whole new music/reading experience for me. I even looked up a few of the bands to find out more about them. The book talks about music a lot, as the title suggests, but at its core it tells a much deeper story. A story of loss and loneliness, of things falling apart, and of music as a force through all that, as an energy that makes things possible that didn’t seem possible at first. The book touches such deep topics, that when I finished reading, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, thinking about what I’d experienced while reading, what conclusions I came to. Rob, the main character, longs for the past, for what could’ve been, and it’s a struggle we’re all familiar with. This, more than anything else, made me connect with Rob in ways I didn’t think would be possible, considering he has a far different personality than I have. I thought the book would make me sad – thinking about the past easily does that to me. But I never felt sad while reading, because despite how Rob feels at first, there’s a chance for redemption, a chance for new possibilities, for reaching the unreachable, new opportunities and chances. The prose is, in short, magnificent. The pacing is spot on from start to end, offering an engaging narrative and characters who are realistic and authentic. An unforgettable book, highly recommended to anyone who enjoys literary fiction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Swantje

    It took me a little while to read the book, since I really wanted to enjoy all the thoughts Rob, the protagonist, has, and I'm a slow reader, so my reading got interrupted by other books. I'm really happy that I stuck with it and finally finished. I've enjoyed making and listening to music since I was a kid, but I never thought about it the way Rob did, so I enjoyed this new perspective. I was a bit annoyed with Rob, though, because he drank too much and had sex with women even though he sensed it It took me a little while to read the book, since I really wanted to enjoy all the thoughts Rob, the protagonist, has, and I'm a slow reader, so my reading got interrupted by other books. I'm really happy that I stuck with it and finally finished. I've enjoyed making and listening to music since I was a kid, but I never thought about it the way Rob did, so I enjoyed this new perspective. I was a bit annoyed with Rob, though, because he drank too much and had sex with women even though he sensed it was the wrong decision. And he should have gotten medical care for his hearing problems, too. The ending seemed hopeful, though, despite all the problems. I received this book from the author as a First Reads selection to give an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Gallagher

    For many people, music is simply in the background of their lives, their drives to work, the elevator they take to the office. But for others, music is the driving force of their lives. In "The Music Book", Rob (a former musician) spends his time watching bands perform, reviewing their music and attempting to connect with others who are as inspired as he by the music in their lives. Some of those attempts to connect are not successful, some are. At the heart of this story is the idea that "music For many people, music is simply in the background of their lives, their drives to work, the elevator they take to the office. But for others, music is the driving force of their lives. In "The Music Book", Rob (a former musician) spends his time watching bands perform, reviewing their music and attempting to connect with others who are as inspired as he by the music in their lives. Some of those attempts to connect are not successful, some are. At the heart of this story is the idea that "musicians" are not just those who perform, but those who keep music alive by sharing it, talking about it, writing about it. A thoughtful and enjoyable read from a talented writer and blogger.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary Rowen

    If you've ever wondered if you could survive very long without music, The Music Book will resonate with you. Set against the backdrop of the post-Nirvana/Pearl Jam Seattle music scene, the story follows earnest, likable music writer Rob through dive bars, trendy clubs, strip joints--even a prison--on an alcohol-enhanced quest for love and answers to questions like what does music add up to? And can it really change things? O'Leary's style and tone are reminiscent of Nick Hornby's in High Fidelit If you've ever wondered if you could survive very long without music, The Music Book will resonate with you. Set against the backdrop of the post-Nirvana/Pearl Jam Seattle music scene, the story follows earnest, likable music writer Rob through dive bars, trendy clubs, strip joints--even a prison--on an alcohol-enhanced quest for love and answers to questions like what does music add up to? And can it really change things? O'Leary's style and tone are reminiscent of Nick Hornby's in High Fidelity.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kitiro

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Griffin

  9. 5 out of 5

    Charlott

  10. 4 out of 5

    Justin Bog

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dave O'Leary

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Pooser

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  15. 4 out of 5

    Steve Sengele

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Zitsch

  17. 5 out of 5

    J

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily Gillmore

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Beck

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kat Cannon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Seanna Yeager

  26. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Daniels

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Kass

  29. 5 out of 5

    Malorie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  31. 5 out of 5

    Alice Taylor

  32. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla Tine

  33. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  34. 4 out of 5

    Max

  35. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Peterson

  36. 5 out of 5

    Diane Perry

  37. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

  38. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Needelman

  39. 4 out of 5

    Katie Harder-schauer

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