Saturday, February 4, 2012

“Drumbeats” by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart

I confess, this is the first work of Anderson’s I’ve read. Maybe his novels are better. This short story has potential but gave me the feeling that the authors had a word limit so some things were left simplified.

As a Rush fan, I believe the bulk of this story was written by Anderson. I read part of one non-fiction book that Neil wrote and even that much reflected Neil’s affinity for detail. About his lyrics, I've always felt any amibiguity was there purposely, so listeners could easily adapt songs to their own lives. Parts of “Drumbeats” strike me as timid writing. The author could have been more imaginative or redolent, but decided to take the easy way out.

And frankly, what disappoints me just as much is Neil’s afterword. He spends far too much time singing Anderson’s praises (if I may crack a pun). Even if Anderson’s novels are considered successful, maybe not all his works are gems. A little backstory on how they started corresponding is fine and even interesting, but honestly, I wound up feeling all that “Kevin is really, really wonderful” stuff was either forced or Neil felt he owed Anderson something for being a Rush fan.

Because my Kindle tells me how far along I am by percentages rather than page numbers, I can tell you that that the story ended 53% of the way through the download. The rest was Neil’s afterword and synopses of Anderson’s other books. So while I only paid $2.99, there wasn’t much actual story.

On the plus side, the story’s big twist did surprise me. It is a bit creepy but in a good way. I’d definitely like to see the idea expanded, provided a longer story was better written. There were spots where the setting and characters came to life. With more effective showing, this could be a great story.

Then I found out that Sammy Hagar has a book out, and there went $12.99. I’ve read the foreword by Michael Anthony and the first few pages of chapter one. I suspect Sammy made use of his imagination when talking about his childhood, but one wouldn’t really expect much different. I’ll have a review of his Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock next week or the week after.

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