By now everyone should be acquainted with Susan as the brilliant mind behind West of Mars–The Meet and Greet and West of Mars–Win a Book and if you’re not, head on over after reading this. I met Susan back when I had my very first giveaway more than a year ago now. Since then, it’s become my pleasure to call her a friend. She’s funny, witty, sarcastic and charming and all of these qualities shine through in her writing.
Here’s a blurb from the back of the book…
A band’s demo tape is intended to introduce listeners to their music. Likewise, this collection of short pieces allows readers into the fictional world of Trevor Wolff and his band, ShapeShifter.
Originally published online between April 2006 and March 2007, The Demo Tapes, Year 1 brings together the moments that parallel – but never encounter – Susan Helene Gottfried’s debut novel, Trevor’s Song. Arranged chronologically and with introductions to each, this is a must-have volume for anyone who’s ever wanted to hang with a rock band.
First I have to share that in my younger days I was considered a bit of a ‘wild child’. ‘Gasp’! I loved heavy metal and good old rock and roll. I could be found many nights hanging out with the band members late at night after the bar closed. As a side note, I’ve really tamed down over the years. lol. However, I think for that very reason, I really enjoyed this journey through Trevor’s rock n’ roll world.
If you’ve never been to Susans blog West of Mars–The Meet and Greet, she writes about all kinds of things there but for a few years she’s been bringing to life Trevor and all the other characters in ShapeShifter. I started visiting shortly after I started blogging and have enjoyed her writing since. This book is a series of ‘outtakes’ that have been previously published on her blog but brought together in this book along with a brief introduction with some background on each piece.
At the start of the book we meet Mitchell as he’s meeting Trevor. They become friends and eventually form the band ShapeShifter. Each outtake gives us a brief glimpse into the lives of this rock band with everything from green hair to drugs, sex, and foul language; nothing overwhelming but it’s there and should be expected-it’s the reality of the rock and roll world. Not only that but Susan’s characters really jump off the pages. They are real people-rough around the edges and fascinating!
This was an easy book to read. It’s 132 pages and easily read in one comfy session on the couch. I enjoyed it because, for me, it took me back to the old days in some ways. I’ll never go back to those days but I will look forward to the Demo Tapes Year 2 and then Trevor’s Song. I can live vicaiously through Susan’s novels-what could be better!
I have one quote to share about, I think, the power of music…this coming from Trevor…
- ‘That as a band they could reach people and make lives less miserable, even if the misery lifted for only a little bit.’ (pg 51, Shapeshifter by Susan Helene Gottfried)
My absolute favorite outtake is the following simply called ‘Rain’. It was one of the first outtakes Susan did and I think it’s a beautiful piece of writing…
- ‘Mitchell nudged Kerri awake. When she tilted her face toward him, he whispered, “Rain”. She listened. Sure enough, even over the rumble of the engine, she could hear the rain beating on the bus and the sound of water being pushed aside by large wheels. She couldn’t remember ever feeling more safe. “Rain,” she whispered back, pressed more firmly against him, and promptly fell back to sleep.’ (pg 119, Shapeshifter by Susan Helene Gottfried)
So, if you’re a fan of rock and roll or were in a past life, make sure to read Susan’s book, ShapeShifter. You can buy it from Amazon, direct from the publisher Lulu, or direct from Susan and I bet if you ask she’ll even personally sign it for you. Susan does so much for the blogging community, I think the least we can all do is support her in getting publishers to recognize her work. I really want to see Trevor’s Song come to life one day!
Make sure to pop back here tomorrow as Susan is going to join me here at Peeking Between the Pages with a terrific guest post!
Susan Helene Gottfried says
Aww, Dar, this is the best review! I’ll link it to my review page, of course, but I had to tell you how touched I am by your last paragraph. That really made my rainy Monday!
That is a great review! I want to read the book now.
Scrap girl says
This takes me back to my younger days! I have been looking up Arthur Golden after you mentioned him on my blog and I cannot find another book by him. What a waste of a talent.
Child child you say 🙂
Sounds kind of cool from your lovely review 😀
This sounds like a fun book to read, bet my teenage daughter would like this one too!
Great review Dar, I’ll chech back for the guest post tomorrow.
Sandy Nawrot says
Aha! We learn more about Dar! In my younger years, I was definitely into the heavier stuff. I did my time sleeping on the street waiting to buy concert tickets, and the concert itself being an excuse to party for days on end. Wears me out just thinking about it! But this review is way intriguing to me. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!
Beth F says
Super review. And I’ll have to see if any of my ALBUMS (yes, vinyl) still play! LOL! I’ll have to check this out.
Great review.. It sound like a positively fun read! I need a little fun in my life. 🙂
Thanks for the great review, Dar! Isn’t it fun to read a book that brought us memories of our younger days?! 😉 I’ll be sure to check out the guest post tomorrow.
I’ve grown tame over the years, too, lol. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the book as much as I did. I can’t wait for the next installment.
Diary of an Eccentric
Tudor Daughter says
Dar~I am passing onto your the Lovely Blog award. Your blog is very well designed and professional looking. Good job!
Here’s the link
If there is a better way of passing this on let me know :-).
Dar- do you have a photo of the 80’s HAIR? Would love to see that wild child!!! Great review, you have my interest!
Thomma Lyn says
A fabulous review for a fabulous book! And yes, I’ve read it — two times, back to back, and I seldom do that with any book. 🙂
Teddy Rose says
Wonderful review Dar and great tribute to our friend Susan!
I would love to take a trip down memory lane. I was only 14 years old when my sister took me to see The Kinks. She had backstage passes because she was a photographer at the time for the city newspaper. The band invited us back to their hotel to party. I’ll never forget it. Truth though, I’m glad that I have settled down some. That would not be a health life stye to live and I was a lot, lot younger then. LOL!
Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books says
Dar – thanks for continuing to spread the word about Susan and THE DEMO TAPES. I agree with you – Susan (and her Win A Book team) do so much for the blogging community; it’s a pleasure to help her promote this quality book.
My kids wouldn’t recognize their “boring” mother if they could have seen me 20 years ago! 🙂