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Riffs

The Charts: Top Musical Fiction

#21 Seduced: The Life and Times of a One-Hit Wonder by Nelson George

Seduced: The Life and Times of a One Hit Wonder (1995) by Nelson George The chronicle of a twenty-year stint in the high stakes music industry. “George’s style is, well, seductive, luring the reader into a world that takes in the range of black experience funneled through the music industry.” — St. Petersburg Times Nelson … continue …


#22 Pink Cadillac by Robert Dunn

Pink Cadillac (2001) by Robert Dunn Talented blues musicians come together to cut a successful record, which then gets stolen from them, launching a major effort to recover it. “[T]he pervasive passion for music [provides] the novel with a steady heat.” — Kirkus Reviews Robert Dunn’s Wikipedia page Robert Dunn’s Site BUY FROM AMAZON (Coral … continue …


#23 Music from Big Pink by John Niven

   Music from Big Pink (2005) by John Niven Witness the birth of the iconic record through the eyes of a fictional character by the name of Greg Keltner.  “This well-written first novel captures not just some of the dreams of that bygone era, but the way those    dreams died.” – Gary Kamiya for … continue …


#24 The Exes by Pagan Kennedy

The Exes (1998) by Pagan Kennedy A songwriter and guitarist form a band a week after they break up. “[The Exes] offers a basic 4/4 beat, something you can groove to, but underneath is a lovely swirl of countermelodies and sounds that are unfamiliar, but engaging.” — Salon Magazine “Kennedy combines the skill of an … continue …


#25 A & R by Bill Flanagan

A & R (2000) by Bill Flanagan A music exec struggles to fulfill his job description while remaining fair to the artists he represents. “Is there a better, funnier, truer novel about the contemporary music business? I don’t think so. A&R is that extremely rare, satisfying thing-ferocious satire with a moral compass.” — Kurt Andersen, … continue …


#26 The Life of Byron Jaynes by James Howard Kunstler

The Life of Byron Jaynes (1983) by James Howard Kunstler A story of the 1960s rock music scene. “Kuntsler’s knowledge of rock’n’roll comes through on every page. I’ve read it more than once. And I’m always sorry that it ends…” — customer on Amazon James Howard Kunstler’s site BUY FROM AMAZON (Coral Press gets credit)


#27 The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich

The Painted Drum (2005) by Louise Erdrich A Native American antiquities dealer comes across a magical drum from the Ojibwe reservation. “Erdrich draws us into her exquisitely detailed world effortlessly . . . Hard to believe, but Erdrich just keeps getting better.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred “Erdrich’s compassion is coupled with her skill and her … continue …


#28 Killer Diller by Clyde Edgerton

Killer Diller (1991) by Clyde Edgerton An ex-con convinces a university to let him start a gospel band as an outreach ministry. “Wonderful…Clyde Edgerton tells us another of his lovely tall tales.” — Los Angeles Times Book Review “I read “Killer Diller” years ago and had forgotten how great it was until I saw it … continue …


#29 A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler

A Slipping-Down Life (1970) by Anne Tyler A teenager becomes obsessed with a rock musician and decides to get his attention at all costs. “Tyler’s characters have character: quirks, odd angles of vision, colorful mean streaks and harmonic longings.” — Time Magazine “While set in the unique surrounds of small town America of the 1960s, … continue …


#30 Crossroad Blues by Ace Atkins

Crossroad Blues (1998) by Ace Atkins Blues historian Nick Travers investigates the mysterious death of a colleague in this first book of the Nick Travers mystery series. “CROSSROAD BLUES is like a classic song–the right feeling, the right note, at the right time.” —B.B. King, Blues Legend and author of BLUES ALL AROUND ME Ace … continue …