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Pretentious Paperback – July 11, 2016
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James McAllen has the best of both worlds in his debut novel, Pretentious; a book which is anything but. And his protagonist, Zac Miller is one such character. a middle-aged rock star from the era of "alternative" music, Zac is a tortured soul grappling with a series of dialectic tensions. He is the naturally gifted athlete who chose the path of music instead. Since he can no longer play the game, he surrounds himself with the ghosts of baseball past. He is the loner who lives on the outskirts of one of the biggest tourist destinations in the state. He has a taste for alcohol, but he loses the ability to function whenever he drinks it. He is the eternal adolescent whose aging body is beginning to belie his youthful facade. He is the loving father distanced and partially estranged from his sons by circumstances of his own creation. He is the would-be husband who retreats into solitude. He is the creative, musical force who can no longer bring himself to perform in public or to release new material. He is the band leader who can't bring himself to reconnect with the guys in his band. In short, Zac Miller is a many of many conflicts, and one cannot help but be caught up in his struggles. In spite of ourselves, we care about this man. We care about his long-suffering ex-wife, and his long-suffering, would-be next wife. We care about his teenage sons, and their futures. We want to see the band get back together, and we want that damn album released at long last. And best of all, when we get to that last page, we don't want the story to end. We know that Zac Miller is still out there, and we can't wait to see him again.
The author clearly knows both writing and music. If you like either you will like this book. If you like both, you will love it..