From Publishers Weekly
Halpins amusing fourth novel explores what happens when you mix art, love, friendship, business and childrens cartoons in the Age of Aquarius. Its 1972 and Levon, Peter, Sarah and Julie, a group of idealistic young musicians, are holed up in the basement of ATN studios in New York City, attempting to write educational jingles for a Saturday morning childrens program called Pop Goes the Classroom. The group is led, albeit astray, by Pamela Sanchez, a brown-rice-and-millet-eating, aura-reading semifamous folk singer. At first it feels like a dream job: no regular working hours, free food stolen from the employee cafeteria, a warm place to crash and all the dope they can consume. The gang is briefly blissed out, but the freewheeling atmosphere cant survive the office politics, crash-and-burn relationships and selfish manipulations that run rampant in the hazy basement studios. Like the groups songs about George Washington and the magic of the number nine, this novel is clever and infectious. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The prolific Halpin, who writes for both children and adults, combines his trademark humor and love of music in his latest winning novel, which focuses on the summer of 1972. Four talented young people—Sarah, Julie, Levon, and Peter—are hired to write songs for a new children’s educational television program called Pop Goes the Classroom. Given free rein, free food, and free pot as well as a basement recording studio, all (except for advertising-jingle pro Julie) think they’ve landed their dream jobs. They are soon throwing themselves into writing songs about the “funky solar system” and “nine’s magic multiples.” Their work is loosely monitored by a once famous folk singer, whose predilections for younger men and inedible vegetarian fare provide plenty of comic relief. Romantic entanglements, the struggle to balance work and creativity, and some vicious politicking give the four young musicians a full dose of the working world. This feel-good novel, with its clever plot and immensely likable young cast, should appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, including those with nostalgic feelings for the Saturday-morning television programs of their youth. --Joanne Wilkinson
See all Editorial Reviews