Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Book review: The Band Plays On

Niece, Rick D., The Band Plays On: Going home for a music man's encore. (

"Celebrating his small-town roots and the legacy of his father, Niece (teacher, Ph.D.) shares a heartfelt collection of memories, musings, and poetry."

Yes, I'm sure it was heartfelt, but it meant nothing to me. I couldn't identify with a young boy growing up in Degraff, Ohio, small town, population 900.
I think, if you lived in a small town you might appreciate the stories. I'm not sure. As he writes, "Guys, after all, understand guys!" If so, then why do we need to read about them?

I don't know if it is due to the fact the the writer is male that I couldn't identify with them. Uninterested in his 7th and 8th grade teachers, I just couldn't finish the book. I think the reader is looking something with which they can identify, or at the very least, a main character that draws them in. I found that this book didn't draw me in. He spent much time writing about the other families in the town, and while they are good memoirs, they did not interest me.

I remember reading Bala Boy (2009), a self-published book, and I really didn't want to read about childish antics of a little boy. I raised two boys, I didn't feel the need to read about a boy's myopic childhood, in a book full of spelling and grammatical errors! He and I traded books at the Bala market. It was shocking how bad it was! I couldn't finish it. It didn't bring me into the story. Musings are best left for a blog, not in publication!

Excellent writers can draw you in with clever, witty stories, but short stories have never been my favourite. This story's hook is an event Niece is creating to honour his father, a band encore. A lovely sentiment, but while many of us organize events, it's not something you are eager to turn pages quickly over.

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