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A Song for the Asking (A Kane Novel Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Steve Gannon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the drama of the High Sierra to the beaches of Malibu and the streets of Los Angeles, A Song for the Asking tells the story of a family struck by tragedy . . . and of the courage each member must find to survive. Filled with candor, compassion, and humor, A Song for the Asking is a deeply moving novel that celebrates the enduring strength of the family spirit.

"Rarely does a first novel come along that is both electrifying and unflinching in its portrayal of a family in turmoil. In an intense and poignant debut that brings to mind the powerful dramas of Pat Conroy, Steve Gannon tells a story that is quite unforgettable. Deeply moving, compelling, and filled with candor and compassion, "A Song for the Asking" is, in a word, remarkable, and signals the emergence of a major new talent" Bantam Editorial Review

" . . . well-drawn, convincing characters" Kirkus Reviews

"Gannon writes brilliantly of the high hopes and shattered dreams, the love, laughter, tears, and pain that make up the family experience. His wonderfully dense and complex characters and his provocative plot combine to produce a heartrending, heartrending novel. An impressive debut." Booklist

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The classic psychological roles assumed by the children and spouses of alcoholics surface in this affecting, if maudlin, debut novel about a family held hostage to a parent's alcoholism, and about the son who must stand up to his father's tyranny in order to make them whole. Futilely defended by Catheryn, his gifted cellist mom, Travis Kane, a 16-year-old piano prodigy, is a distant second to his older brother and a football hero, Tommy, in the battle to win the affection of theirs hard-drinking father, macho LAPD Detective Dan. Over the summer preceding Tommy's departure for college, the situation deteriorates as the obsessive-compulsive detective tries to play superhero on the job and?in an atmosphere charged with animosity over the Rodney King incident?finds himself in hot water over accusations that he used excessive force. The family endure one melodramatic crisis after another, precipitated by Dan's rapidly degenerating behavior. One particularly unlikely event occurs when Tommy's nine-year-old brother, Nate, shoots dead a young punk who is raping his 15-year-old sister, Allison. Incredibly, the younger siblings not only conspire to keep the rape secret but agree to let Allison shoulder the blame for the shooting. Also troubling is the absence of insight into Dan's childhood and the abruptness of the act of disobedience that leads to the final tragedy. Although this novel makes a sincere effort to render the insidious impact of alcoholism, Dan's final plea for forgiveness will impress readers as only the last in a series of notes struck off-key and with too much stridency.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA. The father in this novel about one family's summer makes Pat Conroy's Great Santini look like Ward Cleaver. He is a tough-as-nails, bullying LA detective; his wife is a concert cellist with a vein of resolve to make the marriage and family work. Although Dad treats all the kids equally badly, it's clear that his favorite is the oldest, a jock who's due to go off to college on a football scholarship. The next oldest is the chief character, Travis, 16, a talented classical pianist with, predictably, a special bond to his mother. His father is determined to toughen Travis up and make him macho. Allison, 15, sells her first story to a science fiction magazine. Last is Nate, nine, who retreats under the porch of their Malibu house when his father causes trouble. Each of them undergoes a crisis of huge proportion that sends the last half of the book almost over the top and into melodrama. Even the family dog has a crisis. The good writing and well-drawn characters that involve readers from the beginning are what save the story. These two factors plus an exciting plot make this a real page-turner for teens, who will also enjoy the dialogue and the family dynamics. Be forewarned that there is a stomach-churning rape scene necessary to the story.?Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2878 KB
  • Print Length: 387 pages
  • Publisher: Steve Gannon; 2 edition (November 29, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - if this is a first novel, keep them coming! February 27, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all - this is listed as a Young Adult book. I would NOT consider this to be anything but a book for adults or possibly very mature older teenagers. This is an excellent book, depicting life in a dysfunctional family led by an alcoholic, controlling despot of a father. I found it hard to believe that this was Steve Gannon's first book. The writing was clear, concise, evocative. The characters were exceptionally well drawn. Yes, there were some weak areas but the overall power of the book steamrolled right over the weak areas for me. The book made me cry, scream and cheer - not bad for a first time author. I read in the Amazon reviews (posted by the author) that the sequel to this book "Kane" will finally be out this year. Long wait but hope it happens.

WARNING: offensive language; very graphic rape scene; physical, verbal and emotional abuse scenes.

EDIT May 19, 2013: I just reread A SONG FOR THE ASKING for about the 4th time. I'm getting ready to read the next book in the series Kane and wanted to refresh my memory. This is a great, powerful book and I'm looking forward to reading KANE and the 3rd book in the series Allison.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant moving, penetrating gem of a novel. March 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I decided to write this review before looking at any of the others in case I was affected by them and my review not entirely my own but influenced, even in part, by other reviewers and commenters.

This book was suggested to me by Amazon recommendations - I didn't think it would amount to much, but I took a chance, seeing there wasn't much on the list that interested me, mostly self-published, many if not most of which turn out to be amateurish and disappointing. I expected more of the same with this book depite the five star ratings, many of which, for other novels, seem dishonest attempts by publicists, friends, family and other authors, mostly unpublished, are dishonest at worst and misleading at best. (By no means am I implying this is self-published.)

Enter the Kane family; for the first couple of pages I thought maybe I was in for more of the same, but as the novel unfolded I realized with growing interest that in addition to being a brilliant police procedural, this book was a work of literary note. It was a penetrating, unflinching insightful look into the dynamics of the family of a tough abrasive police homicide detective. Despicable and violent when drunk, he terrorizes his family, especially his son Travis who is emotionally stunted from his father's constant ridicule. Travis' music and his chances of success as a musician suffer because of it.

Kane is a nightmare of a father and husband an insubordinate troublemaker at work, and a misogynist who alienates his only daughter who constantly feels ignored and inadequate. He terrifies and bullies his sons and tries to control his wife's ambitions.

Cathryn, I thought could have been developed a bit more.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Steve Gannon chose a powerful subject for his first novel - the effect of a dominant father on his family - and showed his considerable skills as an author. It is a testing read with emotional and physical child abuse, strong language and rape, but with an underlying theme of family love and togetherness. It is definitely an adult novel.

I found this book after seeing the sequel - Kane - promoted as a freebie. As soon as I started that book I knew that I had to read this book first to understand what had happened to Kane in Song for the Asking.

Dan Kane is a homicide detective in the LAPD who is rough, tough, and mostly successful. He brings his street strength philosophy home to his family of 4 great kids, and his wife (a classical chellist) whose lives he tries to run like a Marines' boot camp. While they all basically love him, they live in constant fear of his ridicule and power over them and consider themselves part of a "screwed-up family".

As in most families the siblings have different personalities. Tommy, the eldest has the athletic and physical skills of his father; his younger brother Travis has the artistic skills and sensitivity of mother and is potentially a prize-winning classical pianist. Ali, the only daughter is also artistic and in her early teens has already had a short-story published. The youngest brother, Nate, is overwhelmed and dominated by his father.

Kane tries to mould them into his ways, hurting all of them in the process but cementing them together in a way that he will probably never understand. Despite all this pressure they become a close family who believe "Kane's stand together, no matter what".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Held my attention for two days February 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While the ending was a bit unrealistic (no way would a family have recovered from the abuse as quickly as this one did), the overall storyline was gripping.It was interesting to read how the kids seemed to be each others' worst antagonists, yet in the individual crises that occured banded together as siblings should.The story was written in a way that I could picture the scenes in my mind, so much so that I wanted to reach into the pages and throttle Kane myself!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars True in every sense
I think every parent will feel the truth in this story. The reality that we all just human and make mistakes raising our children and living our lives I know I did.
Published 1 month ago by Ed
4.0 out of 5 stars Big story about a little family
A well written but savagely gut wrenching story about an improbable family. I found some of the characters too over the top to be credible and the story didn't hold together as a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bruce McLennan
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from a master storyteller.
This is yet another powerful novel by fellow author Steve Gannon. More than just a detective novel, it examines the life of a family; the good, the bad, and the myriad of struggles... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Flyboy51
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Liked the characters in the Kane series.
Published 1 month ago by Glynice A Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great plot, interesting characters! Didn't want to put the book down.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!!
This is a very, grab your soul, good book, One that takes you through every emotion you have and squeezes it thoroughly and then squeezes some more. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mwcats
3.0 out of 5 stars Picked for my library. Go on long trips frequently ...
Picked for my library. Go on long trips frequently and have a large selection on hand so I am prepared. Also part of my Hurricane prep. Once read I shall update the evaluation.
Published 3 months ago by B. Henderson
3.0 out of 5 stars This is the second Kane novel I've read and after ...
This is the second Kane novel I've read and after a few pages I realized I should have read this one first!!! This book was just ok. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Annie
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Characters but Unlikely Story
A Song for the Asking is not my typical genre -- disfunctional family struggling with "real life" events. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chione Skelton
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time
The character of Dan Kane is ignorant and abusive. His wife Cathryn is embarrassingly passive. I could only get through 100 pages before I had to quit. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Frances Yohannan
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More About the Author

Kane Novels - "Thrillers with believable characters, powerful themes, and a compelling emotional core . . ."

STEVE GANNON is the author of several bestselling novels including "A Song for the Asking," first published by Bantam Books. Gannon divides his time between Italy and Idaho, living in two of the most beautiful places on earth. In Idaho he spends his days skiing, hanging out, and writing. In Italy Gannon also continues to write, as well as enjoying the Italian people, food, history, culture, and attempting to learn the Italian language. He is married to concert pianist Susan Spelius Gannon.

Steve's upcoming Kane Novel, titled "L.A. Sniper," will be published by Kindle Press in early 2015.

To contact Steve Gannon, read his full bio, receive updates on new releases, or check out his blog, visit Steve's website at:

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