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The Armageddon Rag: A Novel Paperback – January 30, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend this book, but as I write this review, the question I ask myself is, "Exactly *whom* would I recommend it to?" When I first picked up the Rag, I was dubious. Of course I loved Song of Ice and Fire, and I found myself quite impressed with most of Martin's horror and sci-fi works as well... But I didn't have much confidence in an out-of-print horror book with a hippie/seventies/classic rock setting.
Fortunately, I read it anyway, or I would have missed out on one fabulous book.
But will YOU like it?
-If you occasionally find yourself enjoying episodes of VH1's Behind The Music, or the movie Almost Famous, you will appreciate Martin's meticulous attention to the music industry.
-If you are a fan of Stephen King, The Rag will make you feel right at home.
-And, if you've enjoyed any of Martin's other writings, you're sure to approve of his style here as well.
The bottom-line is, this is one book that truly doesn't deserve to be out-of-print, and thanks to Martin's rocketing popularity- it soon won't be. As soon as you can, give it a try!
So in a cost-for-entertainment analysis the book wins hands down. But what about a time-for-entertainment analysis? How does it make out there?
Not bad, actually. In what wasn't a departure for him at the time, the novel is basically a very subtle horror piece, but the kind that doesn't involve wolves or vampires or mummies. Instead, it brings forth kind of an existential problem: "Did I do all of that for nothing?"
The story is basically the aftermath of a 1960s counterculture that we always knew about but is slightly skewed. Sandy Blair is a fellow who was active in the sixties protesting and trying to mess with the system, only to now be much older and finding that the system kind of won, writing hack novels and wishing that he felt more fulfilled. Leaping on a chance to do a story for a magazine he once started about the murder of a promoter for perhaps the most famous rock band you've never heard of, he embarks on a long journey across the United States, and by doing so, travels deep into the tattered soul of the country.
Sort of. The main portion of the novel consists of Sandy visiting old friends in turn, many of which he hasn't spoken to in years, and thus discovering what they've been up to since those idealistic hippie days.Read more ›
Set in the 80s (when it was written) this novel is a sort of "rock-n-roll horror mystery", about a novelist (closely modeled on the author?) who has trouble meeting publisher's deadlines. Instead he decides to play detective, investigating the recent death of a slimy 60s promoter. He sets out on a road trip in which he digs up former 60s buddies, while investigating his prime suspects - the surviving members of "the Nazgul", a fictional-but-legendary band known for its dark, Satanic, Tolkien-themed imagery, broken up since the assassination of their lead singer. Meanwhile the hero begins to find himself plagued by dark visions of undead hordes, blood, fire, and human sacrifice (themes we also see echoed in his unfinished "Ice and Fire" meganovel).
It sounds interesting, but runs too long, with anticlimatic results. I advise reading quickly, letting the "road trip" aspect of the novel wash over you, and not wasting mental energy trying to solve the murder mystery.
This novel sold poorly, and the author blames it for nearly killing his writing career. But it is no worse, and perhaps somewhat better, than his two prior novels (DYING OF THE LIGHT & FEVRE DREAM). I like that the author seems to have emerged somewhat from the nihilistic funk that drove DYING OF THE LIGHT.
But a quest for moral meaning that idolizes the lost 60s can only lead to a silly, unconvincing, result. The dark apocalyptic imagery (the most powerful aspect of this novel) is ultimately brushed aside as shadows on the wall, except that the defense raised against them seems far more illusory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read "The Armageddon Rag" when it was first published, but the wounds still fester. I'd had such high hopes for the book--it combined elements of Sixties counterculture... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. McCrackan
A must for Deadheads, and everyone who enjoys Martin's storytelling.Published 3 months ago by maplesugar
A little roo supernatural for me. But interesting 60 s back ground.Published 7 months ago by Pat Whitcomb
One of the most mis-quoted lines is from The Art of War.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. Read more
Am half way through "The Armageddon Rag" and am loving every page of it. I am so glad I was able to locate this copy. If you are a George R. R. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Catherine Brighton