19 Jun 2014


{*Whilst available to download now the paperback version that Mark kindly sent me is not available until the 28th of June.}

SOURCE: Received for review from the author. The image of the cover is courtesy of Troubador

THE BOOK {According to the back cover}: Charlotte has supported Kyle's precarious musical career for three years. Now she thinks it's her turn. When Kyle doesn't want to play the breadwinner, she looks to a future on the other side of the Atlantic. 

Saxophonist Kyle has no money, no career and has now lost the love of his live. Can an autistic twelve-year-old boy and an alcoholic 'has been' be his salvation?

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: She looked around the bedroom.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 18}:"Kyle". 
Oh God! It was that tone, the red button one! She was going to use the T word. He hated the T word more than anything.
"Look I really can't go on like this. We need to talk."
There it was the God-awful 'T-word'.

MY THOUGHTS:  Though I'd hesitate to Off Key is in any way biographical I think it fair to assume that as a musician himself the author may well have come across similar situations and characters which is what, along with his 'northern humour', makes it such a engaging story. My only niggle with it being that amongst all of the various threads - Kyle and Charlie's relationship, Charlie and Dainty's friendship, Harry's comeback etc - twelve year old Craig's story did get rather lost which was a pity as I felt his character had so much more mileage. 

Still, a great read for those into their music and especially jazz. I'm sure it will appeal to those living in the north east of England who will doubtlessly have heard of many of the places mentioned. And as for those familiar with the workings of your typical Working Man's Club - well, I'm sure they'll be delighted by what we are assured is 'the greatest story ever told about love .... and jazz. 

Worried to begin with that it would be of limited appeal, after all its not every reader who is a jazz loving 'northerner' into live music. A few chapters in I realised my fears were totally unfounded as jazz and location aside the book's central themes of relationships (both lost and re-found), hope and second chances are universal, its characters with all their flaws and idiosyncrasies, their hopes and dreams easy to relate to.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of the author I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.


Literary Feline said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I like the idea of it. It's too bad they author didn't make more of Craig's story, but it sounds like this was a worthwhile read just the same.

Suko said...

I like the sound of this one. Excellent review, Tracy!

Melliane said...

I never tried a book about music but I'm more and more curious to try to see if I like it.

Kelly said...

As I am a great lover of jazz, this sounds like something I would enjoy. I'm not sure if the "northern" humor would go over my head, though.

Good review and I think I'll put it on my wishlist for further consideration.

Kelly said...

I also meant to note (pun intended) how much I like the cover!

Brian Joseph said...

You make some really good points about the Universality of a great story Tracy. I strongly agree with you.

Too bad a key part of the story was underrepresented. i may be in the minority but I am all for longer books if they need to complete all their necessary business.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I haven't heard of this one. How lucky that you got a copy to read and review- and that you enjoyed it so much. It does sound like a great read. Thanks for sharing!

Claudine G. said...

I'm not a huge jazz fan at all, and am glad to read that the story centres on relationships (lost and found), hope and second chances instead of music. Will check this book out.

Barbara Fisher said...

Why do men/boys hate the T word so much? Trying to get my husband to talk about anything is like pulling teeth!
This really appeals to me, not so much the music more the relationships and the setting.
Have a great weekend Tracy.

Aunt Mary said...

I love music but not a big fan of Jazz . I liked your review :)

Gina R said...

From the sound of it, the story/writing style reminds me of John Herrick's work. Well, without the loose thread. ^-^ Great share!