I received an advanced review copy of this title from Touchstone through NetGalley.
Teddy Tremble is a lawyer at a Philadelphia law firm and when we meet him we get the impression that he is vaguely dissatisfied with his life. He is on his way to Ireland to take a deposition for his law firm and he doesn’t seem interested in anything that his going on around him. He makes a few phone calls back home to his long-time girlfriend and he also seems indifferent towards her.
We find out that being a lawyer was not Teddy’s first career choice and he and his band “Tremble” had a rather successful stint in the nineties as a rock band. When their second album was judged a complete flop by the critics the band broke up and all of its members went separate ways. Through a series of hilarious circumstances, Teddy suddenly has the itch to make music again and revive the band. But convincing the other members, who all have very different lives and careers now, won’t be an easy task.
Teddy sets out on a series of road trips to convince each former band mate to make another go at a new album. The first band member we meet is Jumbo, a guitar player and the hot mess of the group, who lives in his ex-wife’s basement and has an odd “career” as a midwife. Jumbo is on board right away with Teddy’s scheme but when Teddy reconnects with his loveable but irresponsible friend again Teddy begins to wonder if he has made a terrible mistake by reviving the band.
The other two members of the group, Warren the drummer, and Mackenzie the bass player, are much harder to convince to drop their lives and rejoin a band whose last hit was more than a decade ago. Warren is a music teacher at a high school and he has a wife and young son; he has no desire to drop a successful career and spend long hours away from his family in order to fulfill what he thinks is Teddy’s midlife crisis. And Mackenzie, with whom Teddy had a fling that ended Teddy’s marriage, is now a sex therapist and Teddy isn’t sure that she will even speak to him. We are left in suspense for a good part of the book wondering if Teddy will triumphantly pull together his band mates for one last musical hurrah.
The strength of this book lies in Abramowitz’s ability to write witty and humorous dialogue and sustain it for the three-hundred plus pages of the book. Teddy is crabby and sarcastic and looks at the world through a negative, yet hilarious lens. It is difficult for an author to sustain such comical quips throughout the writing of an entire book but this author does it with aplomb.
I also have to add that this book is a great read for anyone who appreciates music and wants a trip down a musical memory lane. It is obvious that Abramowitz plays, writes and listens to a wide range of music; his references to Geddy Lee, the legendary bassist from Rush, and quotations from Rush’s hit “Limelight” sold me on his in depth knowledge of music. It would be interesting for the author to make a playlist available on his website of all the great songs and artists that are mentioned in the book.
Last summer one of my favorite books was I am Having So Much Fun Here Without You which was also published by Touchstone. It looks like they continue their streak of excellent summer reads with THANK YOU, GOODNIGHT.