Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Drummer -- Anthony Neil Smith

So if you're Anthony Neil Smith, how do you follow up a novel like Psychosomatic? In my comment on that one, I believe I said that anybody who read it would be eager to see Smith's next book. Here it is.

The Drummer is about, well, a drummer, whose name isn't really any of those he goes by in the novel, so we'll just call him Merle, which is one of them. In the late '80s, Merle was in a Heavy Metal band called Savage Night (and they have a song called "A Hell of a Woman"). The band was making a lot of money, or so they thought, but then the IRS came calling. Merle decided that rather than face up to that ordeal, he'd disappear. And so he did.

Now it's fifteen or so years later, and the former lead singer for Savage Night has tracked Merle down in New Orleans. He wants Merle to sign on for a comeback tour. Merle wants to remain anonymous where he is. This leads to the singer's death and to Merle's realization that someone else has been on his trail even longer than the singer. The novel switches from present to past and back again as Merle begins drug- and sex-fueled odyssey through the mean streets of pre-Katrina New Orleans (and down the labyrinthine ways of his own mind). It's tense, dark stuff, a great follow-up to Psychosomatic, and entirely different. Be on the look-out for this one or pre-order it here. You can even read a chapter for free.

And you can read an interview with Smith on Tribe's blog. Check it out.

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