Monday, April 2, 2012

The Session

Mike Dennis is best known (to me, at least) as the writer of hard-boiled crime fiction. His two novels set in Key West (Setup on Front Street and Ghosts of Havana) both have a 50s-ish, Mickey Spillane feel to them, though set in the present day, and are well worth your time. (I found Setup on Front Street particularly appealing.)

Mike hasn't always been focused on writing tight, hard-hitting fiction. Like me, he was a free-lance musician in a previous life. (Mike was far better and more successful than was I.) It's this previous incarnation he draws on for his recently released story, "The Session."

Since I don't do that whole giving away the plot thing in reviews, suffice to say "The Session" is about a first call studio guitarist in LA whose paranoia about who might be coming up to usurp his status reaches unhealthy levels. It's easy to succumb to melodrama in a story like this; Dennis resists. Told through the eyes of the guitarist, the story shows all the hidden insecurities too many successful musicians are prone to, and the debilitating affects they can have on professional and personal lives. All of this is told in an understated, thoroughly believable style that lends gravitas to the message. Dennis doesn't need to make the reader feel any particular way. Read the story and you'll get it, or you're not paying attention.

As a recovering musician myself, I highly recommend "The Session" to musicians, as well as to anyone with a musician in their life. It will help either understand what being a free-lance musician is like as well as anything I've read or seen. It's available on Amazon for $0.99. It might be the most insightful dollar you ever spend.

1 comment:

Mike Dennis said...

I appreciate the good words, Dana. Good to see someone "getting" my stuff.

You're right, I do believe any musician (or anyone who lives with a musician) will be drawn to THE SESSION.

Thanks again.