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The Frontman (Contemporary American Novellas) Paperback – December 11, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jon Frechette was born in the Philippines and raised in Tokyo and San Francisco. After a youth spent playing guitar in punk bands, Jon moved to Southern California to study film at Chapman University, from which he graduated summa cum laude. An avid cyclist, Jon now lives in Los Angeles, where he tries to avoid being hit by cars. The Frontman is his first novella.
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Product Details

  • Series: Contemporary American Novellas
  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Black Hill Press (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615734960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615734965
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,287,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Frontman" is a book about a musician teetering between the pursuit and loss of his dream - to lead a successful and meaningful band. It's a story we can all relate to: how far will we follow our passions and at what price? The story gives voice to our fears and hopes in a style that is both effortless and rich. I started reading the book at 5am on a stop-over in an airport after a tiresome 3-hour plane ride. I couldn't put it down. It's a fast read and I highly recommend it. Like a great film, you leave wondering about your own choices, relationships, friendships, family, and passions. A great story, well told.
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"The Frontman" may sound like it's about a pretty specific--and well tread--story at first glance: A young man's ennui, set in the middle of the trendy New York music scene. But what author Jon Frechette manages to do by the final pages is make this story universal, the specificity of the topic giving way to something larger that anyone with creative aspirations has gone through and can relate to. He does this by truly focusing on what drives said ennui, rather than wallowing in it, and offering this tale in an unassuming, insanely READABLE style. I found that refreshing and worthy of praise.

Another thing to praise would be Frechette's structure, starting with a concise and clear introduction of both lead characters (Will and Leah), then branching off to tell their stories from their respective POVs in alternating chapters. Now, this is something lots of authors have attempted lately, some of which more successful than others (Murakami, naturally). Frechette commendably inhabits both the male and female perspective, and the dueling thought processes coalesce by the end in a tangible and rather lovely way. Again, this is a unique and genuinely introspective way to deal with something that might seem familiar.

In the end, I think that's what all good writing should strive for: Taking something familiar and having something new to say about the topic. (I know, I know...who am I to say?) Frechette accomplishes this through both style and details. And, again, it's just so readable (it flies by). Recommended for anyone attracted to these kinds of stories, but might be put off by the familiar description. Don't be. It's worth the read. (And, for the record, I wish I could give this 4 and A HALF stars)
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I really enjoyed the writing. It never feels like you're stretching your vocabulary and using a thesaurus. It all feels very very natural. I think your themes really resonated with me as far as growing up and settling down doesn't necessarily mean you're giving up your dreams. People change and it's extremely easy to have a cynical eye towards that (on others as well as yourself), but it's more about making yourself happy. A critical eye and a cynical eye are not the same thing. I particularly liked the returning of his former roommate in the bar and you really approached that cynically, to spin it on its head in the following chapter. I felt at the end the characters had grown a small but effective amount.

One criticism I have is maybe Michelle's character could have sounded a little more grown up. I think you could have had some great juxtaposition there and emphasized a little more the difficulties of two people in very different places in life struggling to remain friends. Also, I felt like her husband/boyfriend (Scott?) was a bit of a silent prop and could have been an interesting character to explore. Once again, these are pretty minor and didn't hinder my enjoyment.

Overall I really enjoyed it, but I have one more question. Do you really hate yuppie brunches that much?
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Format: Paperback
Jon Frechette vividly depicts the life of Will Jarrett, an aging but aspiring Brooklyn musician, as he confronts the choice between his passion or the pursuit of family life. When Will connects with a woman who also questions what success and happiness means to her, he is forced to reconcile that one's dreams can change with the passage of time. Through Will's struggles with love, friendship, and his own ambitions, Frechette composes a moving and thought-provoking portrait of early adulthood that lingers long after the final page.
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