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Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled
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Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Thanks for letting us know about your book, Bert and welcome to our group.

message 2: by Bert (last edited Nov 18, 2011 11:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bert Murray Patti, thanks for the welcome! Happy to be here! My book is about a young man who lives for the Beatles so it makes sense to be here on the UK Amazon Kindle forum!

message 3: by Bert (last edited Nov 21, 2011 12:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bert Murray Here are four blog reviews of Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled:

Stephanie at review

bookshelves: fiction
Read from July 12 to 16, 2011

There are few books that are written with college age young adults in mind and even fewer who do it so well. Author, Bert Murray, delivers real insight in the life of Colin Preston, a nineteen-year old guy who experiences drinking, parties, and first love in his sophomore year at college.

Colin lives in the dorms where he falls in love with Jasmine, a newly arrived freshman. Colin loves Jasmine’s beauty and her free spirit. She does yoga, eats strictly vegan, and makes what seems like sincere proclamations for a better world, not to mention that she is extremely sexual. Only there is something not quite right about her and Colin finds himself constantly trying to hold on to a relationship that isn’t working.

Karl, Colin’s best buddy, doesn’t understand why anyone would want to waste their young life being tied to just one girl, after all, Karl wants nothing more from girls but casual hookups. As a matter of fact, Karl spends quite a bit of time needling Colin over Jasmine.

Then there are parties, the campus pub, Collin’s new friend Chester, the not so normal guy who hangs out in the dorm basement smoking too much pot, and Mrs. Vesquez, an eccentric professor who becomes a major player in Colin’s life.

Colin Preston Rocked and Rolled by Bert Murray has all the makings of a cult classic. It is set in the eighties, the references to great music and artists are made throughout the novel, and it is written with raw honesty and emotion. The life of Colin and his friends are exposed in such a way that the reader is able to relate to them personally. If you are not one of these characters, you know people like them.

I would recommend this book for mature teens through adult. Young adults will find this a good read for its coming of age story while older adults will laugh out loud at Colin’s attitude as they watch him go through things that they may remember themselves.

Rating - Five Stars

Krystal at

Need a good summer read? Colin is a typical sophomore in college. The reader will be immediately immersed in the novel. Colin is one of those characters that a reader will be unsure about. Is Colin a sympathetic character? Is he too neurotic? Yes, to both questions in this case. Colin isn't the most mature character, but that is actually a great quality to this novel. Colin shouldn't be extremely mature, he's still a kid in many ways. He does, however, show flashes of maturity throughout the novel; this gives the reader the impression that Colin is making progress and growing up to be an adult.

The reader is also introduced to Jasmine, a girl that Colin lusts after. She won't gain the reader's trust or sympathy. However, she makes for a good addition as well. Imperfect characters are essential to a novel. They make the novel seem that much more real. She is what many may refer to as "easy" during her college years and she whines a fair amount. Colin believes this "paragon of virtue" to be his soul mate, even though he is warned by several of his friends against her. This belief causes many problems for Colin through the course of the novel.

The characters are all pretty easy to identify with in one way or another. The plot is pretty good, will keep the readers' attention for the most part. The dialogue varies from the humorous to the serious-especially the dialogue in Colin's own head. The ending is a good one, the reader will not be disappointed or left on a huge cliff-hanger. This novel will be enjoyed by young adults/adults.

Rating - Four Stars

Kitty Bullard

I had been trying to get a copy of this book since March and finally received one in early June. I can honestly say that it was well worth the wait! This book is a story of coming of age, learning your true self, and realizing that first loves don't always last. It's also a story about deception and betrayal and how selfish people can be, but it's also about realizing this is not the end of the world and you can move on and be alright.

Colin Preston is a young college Sophomore with his entire life ahead of him, when he meets the one girl, Jasmine, that he thinks could be the one he finds his life is no longer his own. He begins to cater to her whims and even puts up with a certain amount of abuse, physical, mental, and emotional. He soon realizes that friendships are not always what they seem, that even the most trusted people can let you down and life is definitely what you make of it and you should never let anyone else live it for you.

I advise you to go on this journey with Colin Preston, pop in an old Beatles CD, sit back and relive those college years, or at least see them through the eyes of this young man! It's a story you won't soon forget.

Rating - Five Stars


The year was 1985. Madonna was making waves up and down the Top 40 charts. The Bee Gees were ‘staying alive’. Colin Preston was in his sophomore year at Elerby University; the toughest period in his life.

I remember seeing this book again and again in various giveaways from GoodReads and LibraryThing and I never won it. Until the author directly contacted me and graciously offered to provide a copy of the book for review. I received this book in the mail before my trip to San Francisco (in fact, a trip to San Francisco on a Greyhound bus was mentioned in the book. That was exactly what I did).

Colin Preston Rocked and Rolled is the debut novel of author Bert Murray. It has a big cast of characters that a lot of readers can relate to. As the author said, this is not a YA novel. It’s not an entirely adult contemporary either. Somewhere in between. Having already gone through college, I definitely saw and even went through some of the situations mentioned in the book. And yes, I am old enough to remember what a cassette tape is. If I were a young teen picking this up, I would probably see this as a cautionary tale or “the older kids are crazy” kind of thing.

So Colin falls in love with the most beautiful girl on campus, Jasmine. She’s one of those trust fund babies with one foot stuck in the Age of Aquarius. Colin’s best friend is Karl, Mr. Popular. Among his other friends Big Ty, Mrs. Vesquez and her cat Quixote, Liz, Susan, and my favorite, Chester, the stoner. Things don’t go the way Colin would’ve wanted it and eventually, he uses booze and sex to numb the pain. With a little help from his friends (oh, Beatles!), Colin finds a way to recover and get his life back on track.

The book is split into 3 parts. The first part started off well but it became monotonous with all the “Jasmine issues”. How many people and how many pages does one need to show what the other characters thought of her? The story was progressing well enough without all the filler. The “Jasmine issues” gets carried over to parts 2 and 3. There were parts where I wanted to grab Colin and shake some sense into him. He sure could use some Brokeback Mountain wisdom… “I wish I knew how to quit you.” I did like the conversations between Colin and Mrs. Vesquez. And also with Chester. I think that among all the characters, he had the most layers and I felt that I got to know him the most.

The setting is in the 80s but the music selection is definitely 60s-70s. Mentions of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Doors, The Police, Led Zeppelin… the only thing missing from this book is a mixtape to go with it! There’s even a mention of Hair, one of my favorite musicals. I think Liz, Karl, and I would be best friends music-wise. In fact, I drew a heart beside the songs that I really dug. I just found it so frustratingly fitting that there’s a song to every situation that Colin goes through. It’s as if his tape player knows what Colin is feeling and cues up a song for him. I believe that there are certain songs that stir emotions and memories within us but I found this a bit too convenient.

There are a lot of cliches in this book. Pretty girls, hot guys, betrayals, rebounds, music to fit the mood, sex, beer, expectations. It got predictable after a while. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this novel a lot. The cover art is really cool; that’s one of the main reasons why I really wanted a hard copy of this book. It’s an easy read and very entertaining. Not just the music, mind you. I am very familiar with Manhattan and it was nice reading about places that I’ve visited myself – Strawberry Fields, Penn Station, Central Park… even Dalton School where Colin spent his high school years (no joke!). I can easily see this as a TV show produced by the CW Network. I’m not sure how a teen male narrator would appeal to audiences but to me, it was very effective.

Rating: 4/5.

Recommendation: College kids, no matter where you’re from, can find themselves enjoying this. Also, if you like music from the 60s-70s, you’ll find some familiar tunes mentioned in this book.

Bert Murray Here is the Kirkus Review of Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled:

Kirkus Review of Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled

Murray charts a lustily tormented story of first love and heartbreak.

It's September 1985 in the bosky precincts of Elerby University (though it conveys the intimacy of a small liberal arts college) in upstate New York. Colin is entering his sophomore year with a lousy love life and a lousy relationship with his father, but he does have a good friend in Karl (a handsome natural athlete who has a way with women) and in the Beatles—"when you love a band so much that its songs fill the empty spaces inside your head and heart." But along comes Jasmine, a serious dish with lips like butter, who really gets inside Colin's head and steals his heart. Murray's writing is phonetic; Colin's voice lifts from the page—young and inexperienced, star-crossed and love-lost, which will come true soon enough as Jasmine drops him like a load of bricks and proceeds, that very afternoon, to have sex with Karl, into whose room Colin charges without knocking, looking for commiseration and finding betrayal: "'Yes! Yes! Don't stop'…the girl demanded loudly. Her voice sounded familiar." Murray draws Colin with immediate emotional pungency, and he doesn't lose the beat even when the situations turn slapstick. Nor does he tidy Colin up, rather letting him sink into a great morass of self-pity from which he must drag his own sorry butt toward whatever measure of salvation a decent, immature young man can find. Yes, the Beatles do offer the solace of shared experience, of meaning and even a little direction, but it is Colin's slowly gathering circle of friends—a very human society of odd fellows, including a dorm-cellar-dwelling delusional, a dark and mysterious Spanish professor on the run from her demons, big-hearted Big Ty and sweet Liz—who help illuminate the road ahead. Some of the sex scenes carry informational overload, but even then it is more humorous than cringing, perhaps even another epiphany that Colin collects: "There was no disappointment with Twinkies. You knew exactly what you were getting. Unlike Jasmine. Unlike love. Unlike life."

A coming-of-age story with plenty of sting, where love is not only blind, but it blindsides.

—Kirkus Reviews

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments You've certainly got some wonderful reviews, Bert!

Bert Murray Patti, thanks so much for your comment! I really appreciate your interest in my book! I am very excited that Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled is getting some great reviews! - Bert Murray

Bert Murray 99 cents for kindle copy of Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled during the month of March

Dear Goodreads friends and fans,

Thanks so much for the friendly emails and comments! As a first time author I really appreciate all your support! Please let your friends know that kindle copies of Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled are on sale during the month of March for only 99 cents at Amazon.


Bert Murray

Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled
Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled by Bert Murray

Bert Murray Author John Altman on Colin Preston Rocked And Rolled:
"Bert Murray has produced a novel that is simultaneously absorbing, moving and funny - a character-driven page-turner that captures lightning in a bottle, and preserves a moment in time for eternity. I found the Beatles (and especially John Lennon) material compelling on several levels - as a fan, yes, but more so as a symbol of a generation gap, a figure for a grasping adolescent (or adult) to use when trying to figure things out, and as a touchstone - something every character and situation can be informed by."

A Gathering of Spies
A Gathering of Spies by John Altman

Bert Murray M. Newman's 5 Stars Goodreads review July, 2011

bookshelves: fiction

In this debut novel, Bert Murray takes us on a fast-paced, often funny ride back to the college days of 1985. A good-looking and sensitive nineteen year old in his second year at fictional Elerby College in upstate New York, Colin Preston drinks too much, loves classic rock (especially the Beatles) and falls in love with the most beautiful sophomore on campus. The novel is chock full of interesting characters, beautiful people, enthusiastic sex and adolescent angst. This book is very enjoyable and leaves an extremely pleasant after-taste when finished.

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