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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,736 ratings  ·  791 reviews
A poignant fictional oral history of the beloved rock ‘n’ roll duo who shot to fame in the 1970s New York, and the dark, fraught secret that lies at the peak of their stardom.

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 jo
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 30th 2021 by 37 Ink
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Mara The most graphic part is about a violent brawl that occurred. There is also explicit language. A specific racial epithet is used multiple times. There…moreThe most graphic part is about a violent brawl that occurred. There is also explicit language. A specific racial epithet is used multiple times. There's references to an extramarital relationship, but I don't remember anything sexually explicit in the novel.(less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  2,736 ratings  ·  791 reviews

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Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved Daisy Jones and the Six - it’s oral history format just really worked for me. So, I was anxious to see what Walton would do with it. Well let me tell you, she moves it up a notch. This is so much more than the story of a musical duo. It’s the story of our times.
The writing is something special. “That’s what the South was like for me. Sweet on the first taste, but something gone sour underneath. It’ll try to trick you, now - the sugar berries and the quiet and those lovely spread out hou
Michael David
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Is this written in the oral history format like Daisy Jones & The Six? Yes. Does it have sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll? Yes. Will it take you back in time like Daisy Jones & The Six? Yes.

Is this the same story as Daisy Jones & The Six? Nope. It is not. Opal is nothing like Daisy, and as much as I loved Daisy Jones, I will say I loved this one even more.

The book starts in 2016, when S. Sunny Shelton is the editor in chief of Aural Magazine. She is w
Catherine Woodward
**Many thanks to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster/37 Ink, and Dawnie Walton for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 3.30.21!**

Opal Jewel is a rare gem, with a cut, clarity, and color all her own. Growing up as a relative unknown in Detroit alongside sister Pearl, she gets an opportunity for a big break when her golden pipes get her noticed at a tiny club. Enter Nev, gangly British red-headed rocker with a punk edge who is looking for just the right unique and soulful voice to complement his tune
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn’t like to dive into an oral-history fiction after the blooming popularity of Daisy Jones and the Six! The storytelling style with interviews, the nerve breaking rising of a band and catastrophic tragic events sealed its members’ faiths! I’m sold with this concept!

It’s not realistic to compare this novel with Daisy Jones and Six even though both of them related with the relationship dynamics of band members and forbidden love story. This book’s main focus in questioning inequality, ra
mina reads™️
Nov 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-anticipated
Larry H
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev , Dawnie Walton's upcoming debut novel, is a sweeping and thought-provoking look at the meteoric rise and fall of a 1970s-era music duo.

First things first: this book is written in the same style as Daisy Jones & The Six , in that it uses interview-type responses to tell the story rather than narrative. It’s an interesting choice and I’ll admit at first I felt it was a little too copycat for me, but ultimately it worked for the story.

It was the most unlikely
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Walton's "The Final Revival of Opal & Nev" takes the tact of telling the story through a series of rock journalist interviews with a former musical duo who had a brief claim to fame as a duo and their promoters, managers, and family members. Opal & Nev were an Afro-Punk seventies duo combining the work of Nev, a British singer-songwriter from Birmingham, England, with a skinny bald militant African-American woman out of Detroit. What Walton does do well here is makes fiction seem like journalism ...more

4.5 Stars

Shared from multiple perspectives, this story centers around a young Black woman named Opal Jewel and the people in her life over time. A Once-Upon-A-Time story of a young, talented, daring Black woman with a promising future in the 1970’s who joins British Neville Charles and his band, their meteoric rise to fame, a fame that ended almost as quickly as it began. One of those groups that rises meteorically, but dissolves unexpectedly, virtually overnight. A catastrophic episode at a con
Jessica Woodbury
A real marvel of a debut. If DAISY JONES introduced readers to the oral history concept as something that could work in fiction, Walton takes it to a whole new level.

Books about fictional bands and celebrities always have some hurdles to overcome. Especially if they are in an oral history or journalistic style, where the reader is always encountering things like "ah yes this important iconic moment that you also remember" about fictional events. There is some of that here, especially around one
I have just finished reading The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Author Dawnie Walton

This is a journey of two rock artists that come together in the 1970’s in New York City. Opal who is a colourful personality from Detroit, and British songwriter/ singer Neville Charles.

This was fun and entertaining, covering off their ups and downs along the way through the years, as well as all of the political tones that were happening during that time.

I did enjoy this book however I started losing some intere
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it

There were tons of things I loved about this book, but I believe it had the potential to be even more.
I loved the interview style writing. This book had more characters interviewed than I had previously encountered so it was a tad confusing at times and I had to reference back to some characters. That being said, the interview subject was clearly mentioned prior to their part in the book so that was great. In addition to the interviews were passages from “the editor.” Honestly, the book seemed s
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s 2016 and Sunny Shelton, the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of music magazine, Aural, is writing about the story of Opal Jewel and Nev Charles. She has exclusive information that the duo will be making a historic reunion at an upcoming music festival with renewed interest in the former musical sensation all but guaranteed. Sunny’s writing takes us back to the early 1970s when Nev, relocated to New York City from his native England, is trying to make a name for himself as a singer/songwriter ...more
Mackenzie Cool
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For lover's of "Daisy Jones & The Six," "The Final Revival of Opal & Nev" also uses the technique of oral history to tell the story of the rise of the unlikely rock & roll duo, the fateful night that catapulted them to relative fame, their potential reunion years later - and the ugly secret at the center of it all. Walton's characters are both real and complex, striking a perfect balance of human and celebrity. She builds the tension of the story in a way that leaves you holding your breath whil ...more
Katie B
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
An impressive debut novel. And I'll get this out of the way now, do not shy away from reading this book because you think it will be too similar to Daisy Jones & The Six. Other than using an oral history format to tell the story of a fictional band, they really do branch off in different directions. I like both books, but The Final Revival of Opal & Nev definitely tackles tougher topics.

It's the 1970s and Rivington Records based in NYC would love to add some stars to their roster. Aspiring Briti
rose ✨
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
the final revival of opal & nev is a powerful debut chronicling the rise and fall of a 1970s punk rock duo. told in the same oral history format as daisy jones & the six , it is a thought-provoking story that highlights the intersection of music, race, and politics.

while i enjoyed the interview format almost as much here as i did in daisy jones, the editor notes really slowed the forward momentum of the story and disrupted the escalating tension. i would have preferred to hear more of the sto
Feb 28, 2021 rated it liked it
"Isn't that the kind of story we should aim to be telling - how it is that this rock-and-roll music cold reach a sheltered Black girl like me, and make her feel not just seen and heard but empowered?."

I wanted to love this - I did. For anyone who loved similar stories told in a long magazine type interview way - or ones that are looking for a story with substance and backstory and are relevant now, then you'll probably love this.

I just wasn't a fan of the style of writing. It feels disconnected
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
[4+] Do you ever get that warm feeling after reading about a dozen pages of a book, when you think - - this is really good! That's what I felt and continued to feel right up until the last page of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev.

The novel has been compared to "Daisy Jones and the Six" because the format and subject matter are similar -but Walton takes it to another level. She digs deep into the characters and offers a perspective on the racism and sexism of the 1970s music world. Relevant, pote
Britt's Book Blurbs
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Quercus Books for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.

I haven't read anything with a narrative presented in this way before, a story told through interviews and first-person notes from the 'author' (everyone is comparing this to Daisy Jones & The Six which is still sitting in my TBR pile). Because of this, it took me a few chapters to relax into the narrative, I had to keep reminding myself that this was fiction and not
I am very happy about the boom in oral-history novels precipitated by the success of Daisy Jones & The Six; I love this storytelling format. The Final Revival of Opal & Nev purports to be a biography of Opal, a proto-Afro-punk vocalist and model, and Nev Charles, the white British singer-songwriter alongside whom she first found fame. Written by S. Sunny Shelton, editor of Aural magazine, the book tells the duo’s story in their own words, as well as those of their family, friends, collaborators ...more
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Though the premise may sound similar to Daisy Jones & the Six, this novel is completely unique in its execution—and in my opinion, is superior to Daisy Jones (though both novels are fantastic for different reasons). Using an oral history format to delve into the story of a fictional band is where the similarities between these novels stop.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is not only a captivating exploration of the rise and fall of the titular Afro-punk duo, but also explores how racism, sexism
Marieke du Pré
This is a beautiful story, and in my opinion, the story itself definitely earns five stars. It’s an impressive debut and incredibly powerful. I loved the unexpected duo: Opal, the Black girl, and Nev, the green-eyed, ginger-haired singer/songwriter. The story gives an insight into racism in the seventies, and I sometimes asked myself how much progress we’ve made in the fifty years since then.

I had one problem while reading, though ...

I just didn’t like the format and the structure of the book (i
Geonn Cannon
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A double edged sword of a Netgalley book: I'm very glad I got a chance to read it early, and annoyed I can't tell all my friends to go read it right now. A book very reminiscent of Daisy Jones & the Six without being a retread, it tackles a very different kind of musician and a very different world than Daisy Jones inhabited. The two novels together create a fantastic genre of fictional bands that could stand up with the real acts from that era. ...more
Loring Wirbel
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dawnie Walton has written what might be called an autobiographical musical fantasy. It's not that Opal Jewel or Nev Charles are meant to emulate anyone we might know, but the author-narrator of this tale, like the true author Walton herself, is a nearing-middle-age African-American entertainment editor interested in the convergences of various streams of pop culture - and streams that might have been. Walton describes her own life in so much of what protagonist SarahLena/Sunny Shelton experience ...more
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Happy pub day to this amazing debut! Many thanks again to @simonschusterca for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I finished this last night and I’m honestly so stunned that this is a debut novel. This book is an oral history of Opal and Nev, a musician duo in the 70s that couldn’t be more different.

In 2016, music journalist Sunny Shelton conducts interviews with those who worked with the two and anyone that knew them in anticipation of a reunion. Her interviews did dig deep wit
Monica West
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to call this incredible masterpiece a book! It is ultimately a story about music, family, identity, fame, and race presented in mostly interviews. Walton's journalistic background weaves together the intersecting stories of Sunny Shelton, an ambitious journalist, and the multiple figures who were part of the rise of Opal & Nev, Shelton's musical idols. The interviews are seamless as they provide a full picture of Opal & Nev from everyone in their orbit (including from their own mouths) ...more
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At first I wasn't sure what to make of this book, which is structured as both an oral history and a book within the book. I was wondering if the meta aspects of it would keep me at arm's length. But ultimately, they didn't. I dove down and felt the story deeply, at times near tears and at times laughing at its biting sense of humor. And Opal is one of those characters I'll never forget.

It's incredible how Walton captures so many different characters' voices. This story of rock-n-roll, wrapped up
Marcia Crabtree
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is a timely first novel by journalist Dawnie Walton involving a fictional rock and roll duo enmeshed in race relations during the 1970s and again thirty years later in 2016. The theme resonates even more deeply in 2020. It’s a captivating read with a compelling, iconoclastic heroine. The style is different and noteworthy. It reads like a true biography, and some readers will be tricked into believing that it is, indeed, fact, not fiction.
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Simon&Schuster for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review!

For fans of DAISY JONES AND THE SIX, here comes a novel told through interview transcripts and editor’s notes about Opal & Nev, two totally opposite singers trying to make their place worth in the world of rock n’ roll music of the seventies.

I have to say I am a big fan of this debut novel. The plot, the writing, the characters and the themes explored were all very impressive and well done, and so
Holly (The GrimDragon)
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Yet instantly I knew that this timing was smart. A tour had the potential to excite not only the Mercurials, as Opal & Nev’s old cult of fans call themselves, but a new generation–crowds ready to scream along, with these crazy progenitors of dissidence and dissonance, that Black lives matter, that love is love, that the future is female. Ready to embrace Opal Jewel not as ahead of her time, but as now now now.”

The debut novel from Dawnie Walton, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, is the origin st
Liz Hein
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I can see why this is being compared to Daisy Jones & the Six, and I loved that book too, but this will definitely stay with me much longer.
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Dawnie Walton was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop (2018) and holds a journalism degree from Florida A&M University (1997). Formerly an editor at Essence and Entertainment Weekly magazines, she has received fellowships in fiction writing from MacDowell and the Tin House Summer Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband. T ...more

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