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University of Death: reviews online now

26 February 2008

Book cover: University of DeathI've just uploaded a page of reviews and testimonials of my novel 'University of Death', which I hope I'll be able to add to over time.

I'm particularly grateful to Mike Edwards, best known for his work with Jesus Jones, and Colin Vearncombe, best known for his string of hits as 'Black', for taking the time to read the book and put a thoughtful testimonial together. Although I have written for music magazines in the past, I'm not exactly a music industry insider, so these testimonials do a lot to add credibility to the book's view inside the music industry. Colin said:
"I cried 'til I laughed. There are some great ideas in here... and a few I hope the industry never hears about!"
Mike said:
University of Death is the most enjoyable, imaginative and perceptive insight into the plight and possible future of the music industry, a novel that illuminates as well as entertains. The best thing about it is its insight into how the music industry works, why it is dying and where it may very well be going.

I particularly enjoyed the way it shows how technology is abused by marketers to manipulate our subconscious. This rang true because some of the technology used in the story already exists and has been used in similar, albeit not quite as sinister (yet?), ways.

University of Death has a love-hate relationship with the music business, being cynical and reverential at the same time. The portrayal of the industry is both accurate and funny - it's hard not to identify with many of the characters in there.

The twist at the end fooled me but fitted in perfectly with the themes of the book. When I finished reading, the story made me feel optimistic, that there was an exciting new beginning for the music business.

University of Death is well worth buying if you like pop music itself or if you're interested in the machinations of the music industry.
On a personal level, it means a lot to me to get these reviews because these are the singer/songwriters behind two of my favourite albums ever, and whose entire careers I've followed. Black's second album 'Comedy' is sublime: moody and ambitious production matched with charismatic songs. And the third Jesus Jones album 'Perverse' still fizzes with energy, even after 15 years of listening to it.

I've also uploaded the reviews posted on Lulu by other readers on the new reviews page.

Today, I also found the first press coverage for the book, which is at local news site Herts24.

PS: Visit Colin's site to download his live album for free, including songs new and old played with a full band line-up. You can read my review of this April 2007 tour on my blog. Mike is currently in the studio with County & Western band The Blazing Zoos. Its debut album is due for release in Spring 2008.

University of Death:
Download the first two chapters | Author interview | Buy now


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