Jacobmartin's Reviews > From Blue to Black

From Blue to Black by Joel Lane
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's review
Oct 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 1990s, books-containing-dangerous-ideas-l, english-stories, hipster-irony, running-in-the-90s, music, contemporary-fiction
Read in October, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Oh wow. Not often does a book take me utterly surprised.

I wasn't expecting much from this music fanboy novel (I'm not well versed in music fandom in general, which left me a bit lost before I Wikipediaed and Youtubed the songs mentioned, after which things began to shape together) - but WOW, I was so surprised that what I was actually reading about was the story of a LGBT rock band inspired by Morrisey or something.

It's not like they warn you that the characters come out of the closet randomly as they begin to snog another man in the midst of a sweaty, boozy pub, but I wondered, would I perceive a book differently if I knew or didn't know this book was about gay men in a rock band?

What DO you do when book characters are suddenly not only out of the closet, but getting jiggy in your face without so much as shame in their identity? That's what I found an odd yet compelling drive to read this, because the book jacket makes no mention of this in the blurb - you experience the full blown burst of homosexuality hit you in the face first hand without so much as a hint, and much like decent rock and roll in the punk genre I think that best reflects the shock that really good rock can deliver to your system.

This book doesn't baby you at all, it slams your head right into the cold ice bath the beers are floating around in, and some of the characterisations here can chill you to the bone. It just floored me that male characters could be introduced as gay in such a way that it was like "whatever, I like snogging dudes, what's your problem mate?" - really this shouldn't detract from the rest of the book (it doesn't) but sudden sexuality in a book where you just don't see it coming is always going to raise a few eyebrows when you expected a kind of Nick Hornby style novel instead. I'd recommend it to music fans, and people who want to try something interesting.
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10/25/2010 page 55

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