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Glimpses Paperback – August 6, 2010
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From Library Journal
- A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Did you ever notice how full of feeling some Beach Boys songs are? How "Good Vibrations" is a jolt of pure happiness and hope, a ray of sonic sunshine? This is a book for people who've noticed things like that. But "Glimpses" is much more than a love letter to great music or a document of the late sixties --it's a shamanic journey into human powers of healing, repair, and redemption through spiritual and emotional connection.
The book is actually set in the late eighties: Tienanmen Square, Lockerbie, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Milli Vanilli, Richard Marx, Martika... The ordinary-guy protagonist, stereo repairman Ray Shackleford, becomes able, through music, to enter altered states of consciousness and being--he closes his eyes, sinks into the music, and he's twenty years in the past, with the Beatles, with Jim Morrison, with Brian Wilson.
IMO, here's where the author turns what could have been a straightforward novel of time-travel into a shamanic journey of raw spiritual power--because it's NOT the past Ray is visiting, as his actions there never affect the present. I'd argue that he's entering the collective unconscious of our species--a sort of matrix of memory and desire. While in this realm of the unconscious, Ray Shackleford, music lover and accidental shaman, meets the musical gods of the late Sixties, on a mission to save their great works lost to mental illness or death. Instead of just repairing stereos, he tries to repair the past: the lost life, the lost futures, and the lost music.
Amazingly, the human drama of Ray's everyday life is even more compelling than his nonordinary travels.Read more ›
Ray Shackleford is a stereo repairman with problems. A father with whom he had a contentious relationship has died under mysterious circumstances, his marriage is unraveling like a ball string in his fingers and he can't quite grasp the threads to pull it back together, a burgeoning drinking problem, and a career as a rock star that never got started much less going anywhere. But he has discovered a means of escape, by retreating into the past, and not just any past, he retreats to the 60's to help the idols of his Rock `n' Roll dreams reclaim what they've lost, their lost albums. Brian Wilson's Smile, Jim Morrison and The Celebration of the Lizard, and Jimi Hendrix's The First Rays of the New Rising Sun.
I first read this book because I was looking for a nice escapist book to lose myself in for a few hours. I found that. The more I read the more I found myself drawn in, especially to Ray's trips to the past, his getting drawn into Brian Wilson's family, living the Rock `n' Roll lifestyle with Jim Morrison as his guide, and Ray's truly heartbreaking attempts to keep Jimi Hendrix from dying. The question is will these trips to the past help Ray heal the same issues he has in his life?
There is the element of time travel in this book. Is Ray really going back into the past and meeting his idols? Or is he suffering a series of strokes? Glimpses offers evidence of both, giving the reader the choice of which is truly occurring.
On each reading of Glimpses, I found something new in it, some nuance previously undiscovered. I guess one could say that is due to the changing circumstances of my life. But isn't that the mark of any good book? That we can find something new in it from whatever perspective in life we are coming at it?
The writing is OK but not particularly poetic and the pacing is best described as languid. If one is interested in the history of the Doors, Beach Boys and Jimi they will probably like this novel. The Brian Wilson segment is the best (and also the weirdest, as Ray time travels back to 1966 and Brian's Hollywood mansion a lá the movie "Somewhere in Time"), and the Hendrix segment the weakest (perhaps because I cared the most about it and as a 60 year old guitarist, knew more about Hendrix's music and life than I did about the Doors or the Beach Boys).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Glimpses" is one of the best books I've ever read. It probably helps to be familiar and maybe a bit nostalgic about bands that were popular in the 1960's but even so it... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Josie May
This is an amazing novel. So different from anything I've red. It was so hard to put down after Chapter 2.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book was a page-turner (or in the case of my Kindle, a page-clicker!).
The subject was creative--what if the albums that never got made were made? Read more
Classic Boomer tale of the 60s' lost promise and the damage done to all involved, with critical writing as good as I've ever read -- especially that about the Beatles and Brian... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Edvis
A wonderful book by a fine author (who actually lived through the times of the seting in this story. Read morePublished 20 months ago by NittyGritty17
A must for anyone who loves rock and roll from the late 60s, but so much more. Very deep and moving.Published 21 months ago by Steven Caplan
THIS IS AN AMAZING MIX OF DEEP MUSIC HISTORY WITH EXCELLENT CHARACTERS AND A CREATIVE AND ENGAGING STORY LINE. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Lucia Amsden