This charming novel charts the last days of rock as seen through the eyes of the four members of the Exes, a painfully hip Boston-area indie alterna-pop band. Each of the four chapters takes on the tale of the band's conception and fruition from the perspective of a different member, producing an omniscient Rashomon
-like narrative that weaves pop reference and nerdy rock-geek sensibility into a combination Harlequin Romance/Celebrity Tell-All. Author Pagan Kennedy is best known for her zine Pagan's Head
and her handbook of all things '70s, Platforms
. She puts that subcultural know-how to work in this fast-moving story about rockers who love their own images more than the notes and tempos of the music they play. --James DiGiovanna
From Publishers Weekly
The fights, friendships, loves and breakups of a modestly up-and-coming Boston band, The Exes (so named because they are all ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends), come to light from the perspective of each band member in Kennedy's hilarious, smart second novel (after Spin-sters). Rock-snob Hank wants the group to be "so obscure and brilliant that just knowing the name of this band would be like saying a password." Lilly, on the other hand, wants to be famous and has what she calls "the stink," which Hank recognizes as the soul and genuine talent he lacks. Shaz is a mystery to the rest of the Exes: she grew up in a devoutly Muslim, Pakistani home but gained her reputation as the bassist for a lesbian punk band. Drummer Walt dropped out of Harvard grad school after a nervous breakdown and has been working in dead-end jobs and struggling to hold on to his sanity ever since. As the band gains a reputation and starts to tour, old romances rekindle and bridges burn, and Kennedy gives us our own insider tour of the indie music business. Yet the hip trappings are just that, trappings: Kennedy captures the voices and the spirits of these young musicians with depth, originality and an imaginative scope that transcends their tiny, incestuous world. (July) FYI: Pagan Kennedy was the editor of the popular zine Pagan and was dubbed "the queen of zines" by Wired magazine.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.