Title: Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down – Rock ‘n’ Roll War Stories

Author: Allan Jones

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

The Blurb

Allan Jones launched Uncut magazine in 1997 and for 15 years wrote a popular monthly column called Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before, based on his experiences as a music journalist in the 70s and 80s, a gilded time for the music press.

By turns hilarious, cautionary, poignant and powerful, the Stop Me…stories collected here include encounters with some of rock’s most iconic stars, including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Smiths, R.E.M. and Pearl Jam. From backstage brawls and drug blow-outs, to riots, superstar punch-ups, hotel room confessionals and tour bus lunacy, these are stories from the madness of a music scene now long gone.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

There haven’t been many careers that I have wanted: musical theatre performer, rock star, author. Those have mainly been the prevailing ones over my 36 years. In all honesty though all I have ever really wanted to do is have a job that lets me stand at the side of the stage of rock and roll history watching my rock star heroes perform. Basically, I want Allan Jones’s life.

In his book Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down I got to sample what this life was like. He has had some of the most amazing experiences and encountered some of the most exciting artists of modern history. I won’t lie to you, reading this book made me more than a little jealous. However, I have to be happy that I books like Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down exist. I know I probably won’t get the same experiences that Jones has had (I work in a high school) so through his writing I get to live them vicariously through him.

And I guess, for now, for me, that is enough.

Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down – Rock ‘n’ Roll War Stories by Allan Jones is available now.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

Title: Here is the Beehive

Author: Sarah Crossan

Pages: 272 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

The Blurb

It happened,
again and again
and
again and again and again.

Together
apart.
In love
in aching.

Tangled
unravelling.

Ana and Connor have been having an affair for three years. In hotel rooms and coffee shops, swiftly deleted texts and briefly snatched weekends, they have built a world with none but the two of them in it.

But then the unimaginable happens, and Ana finds herself alone, trapped inside her secret.

How can we lose someone the world never knew was ours? How do we grieve for something no one else can ever find out? In her desperate bid for answers, Ana seeks out the shadowy figure who has always stood just beyond her reach – Connor’s wife Rebecca.

Peeling away the layers of two overlapping marriages, Here is the Beehive is a devastating excavation of risk, obsession and loss.

The Review

I have always loved Sarah Crossan’s style of storytelling through verse. I love her young adult stories and she is one of the few writers whose new book releases I will anticipate. However, I did find it hard to connect with Here is the Beehive and I think I know why.

Whereas One and Toffee are primarily for a younger audience, Here is the Beehive is very much a novel for adults. It focuses on the extra-marital affair of Ana and Connor and I think it was the quality of the problem that made me feel disconnected. With the protagonists in Crossan’s YA fiction I think I allow an additional level of sympathy. Whereas, I was very direct with my response to Ana and her problem. She, as an adult, chose to act on her feelings and I just couldn’t marry her actions with my own attitude towards them. I disagreed with the infidelity and therefore found it hard to sympathise with her.

However, I believe that this is actually a strength in Crossan’s case. It takes a talented writer to be able to make me read a book if I actively dislike the main character. That is actually quite impressive.

I think you should read Here is the Beehive and see if you have a similar response. Was it the same as mine?

Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan is available from 20th August 2020.

For more information regarding Sarah Crossan (@SarahCrossan) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Publishing (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

Title: The Improbability of Love

Author: Hannah Rothschild

Pages: 408 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Books

The Blurb

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered. Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting – a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called ‘The Improbability of Love’. Delving into the painting’s past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history – and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.

The Review

The Improbability of Love is a low key heist novel about the displacement of an expensive piece of art: The Improbability of love. Within the multi-narrative novel we see crooked art dealers, we see relationships blooming, and we also see the difficulty between families.

It is an interesting story, a bit tongue in cheek, but for me it was a bit of a slow burner. Things get more interesting later on in the novel when the origin of the artwork begins to unfold but it did take over half of the book to get there.

The most interesting chapters were the ones told by the painting itself. It sounds strange but the unique voice of The Improbability of Love was witty, entertaining and a little pompous so it is worth a read just for this character alone.

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild is available now.

For more information regarding Hannah Rothschild (@Hannah71771890) please visit www.hannahrothschild.com.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Books (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.