Book Review The Music Book

coverTitle: The Music Book

Author: Dave O’Leary

Genre: Literary Fiction

Buy: Amazon

What does music mean? Can it be more than the sum of its notes and melodies? Can it truly change you? Rob, a musician turned reluctant music critic, poses these questions as everything important in his life appears to be fading—memories of lost love, songs from his old bands, even his hearing. He delves into the music of others to find solace and purpose, and discovers that the chords and repeated phrases echo themes that have emerged in his own life. The music sustains him, but can it revive him?

The Music Book is a story of loss, of fear and loneliness, of a mutable past. But most of all it’s about music as a force, as energy, as a creator of possibility. What might come from the sound of an A chord played just so? Rob listens. And among other things, he finds surprising companionship with a cat; another chance at love; and the courage to step on a stage again and finally, fully comprehend the power of sound.

In this thought-provoking and inspiring literary fiction work, author Dave O’Leary explores the meaning of music, and the life-changing abilities it has. He takes the reader on a journey through the life of Rob, a musician turned reluctant music critic, who asks himself if music has any true meaning, in light of everything important in his life fading. He explores the music of others, trying to find a purpose in the notes and melodies, and makes a few shocking discoveries about music, the power of change and his own life.

Whenever I read literary fiction, I ask myself if the author managed to convey a deeper message, to change the reader’s view, or at least make them question something. Dave O’Leary definitely succeeds in this area. Through well-crafted, thoughtful prose, he conjures up a variety of questions, not only for the protagonist but also for the reader, and shows the life-altering experience of a man who’s willing to listen.


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