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Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Armageddon Rag by George R. R. Martin

From Goodreads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin comes the ultimate novel of revolution, rock ’n’ roll, and apocalyptic murder—a stunning work of fiction that portrays not just the end of an era, but the end of the world as we know it.

Onetime underground journalist Sandy Blair has come a long way from his radical roots in the ’60s—until something unexpectedly draws him back: the bizarre and brutal murder of a rock promoter who made millions with a band called the Nazgûl. Now, as Sandy sets out to investigate the crime, he finds himself drawn back into his own past—a magical mystery tour of the pent-up passions of his generation. For a new messiah has resurrected the Nazgûl and the mad new rhythm may be more than anyone bargained for—a requiem of demonism, mind control, and death, whose apocalyptic tune only Sandy may be able to change in time . . . before everyone follows the beat.

Like many many others of you I am a fan of George R. R. Martin through his A Song of Ice and Fire series, beginning with A Game of Thrones. I discovered it almost 10 years ago, long before there was a show, and was drawn in. I knew he had written other books, I have a few on Mount TBR, but I had never seen The Armageddon Rag before.

I discovered it when I re-discovered my local library systems and the fact that I could check out an e-book from them without ever leaving my house. Not that I don't love browsing a library, I do, but just the fact that I could do it RIGHT THAT INSTANT when I found it was awesome, plus hey, it's an e-book so no fees, they just yank it from you when time's up!

So why am I featuring The Armageddon Rag? Well, first of all, I was curious to see what else GRRM had done and it's 30 years old. It only has 1,035 ratings on Goodreads unlike A Game of Thrones which has 468,650 ratings, so I thought chances were good that a lot of people like myself didn't even know it existed. I had one friend wonder how she had never heard of this one when I posted the link for friends to see on Facebook, and I said well, probably you had not heard of it because it might be older than you are! It may also have been out of print and re-issued because GRRM was doing so well later on. My final reason?  I like Rock Fiction and the cover was neat looking. ;)

Did I like it? Sure, it kept my attention, the story was solid though I didn't really connect with any of the characters.  But then one does not simply like A Game of Thrones either (insert picture of Sean Bean here).  In fact one is usually cursing that cruel GRRM by the end of it, even as you're reaching for the next book. There were a few spots where I was cursing him again in The Armageddon Rag, really man?  Did you really have to do that to him?!  So I guess there is one parallel between the two.  Otherwise, I honestly would never have known it was the same author, which isn't bad, it just shows what a broad range GRRM has written.

The book gives a huge nod to J.R.R.Tolkien, the band being named the Nazgul, the lead singer was nicknamed Hobbit and references are made to The Lord of the Rings in the songs and artwork of the band.  I'm of mixed feelings about that aspect, but in real life the work has been inspirational to many musicians from Led Zepplin to Enya so this feature of the story is not unrealistic.  By itself it is an interesting supernatural mystery in which the main character gets in touch with himself and what he really cared about by reconnecting with the friends of his past.  He becomes involved in a movement to bring the iconic Nazgul back to the limelight, narrowly averting a summoning of epic proportion by not allowing the history of the Nazgul's last fateful concert to repeat itself.

I definitely recommend it to those who are interested in all of GRRM's work, but not if you are specifically looking for something to get you through to the next book of A Song of Ice and Fire, it's just a completely different type of story.

It is available on Amazon right now, so possibly also at other places.  See GRRM's website for more information on the author and his work.

1 comment:

  1. I need to grab a copy... checking Overdrive for it isn't a bad idea.


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