Search The Web

Custom Search

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I Want More.

I have just finished reading The Last Mad Surge Of Youth by Mark Hodkinson. I seem to be on a bit of a reading spree at the moment. It's a fictional account of a rock band from the north of England & especially about the bands singer & songwriter, John Barrett.
Being a big music fan, i must admit i'm a bit of a sucker for novels like this.
Not too long ago i read another, fairly similar, rock music novel, Powder by Kevin Sampson. This one was about a young band from Liverpool.

What is it about young bands from the north of England that attract novelists anyway? Anyone would think that no bands from south of Watford ever get a look in, when it comes to success.
Personally, i think it's all tied up with the idea of lads from a "real" working class background making good. Once again, it makes you wonder if the perception is that nobody from south of Watford is working class. But, maybe that's a topic for another blog, at a later date?

All i can say is that i can highly recommend both books. Especially if you like your music. Both are well written, are easy to read & pretty authentic. Well, as far as i can tell that is.
And that really brings me to the whole point of this blog.

I've come away from both books & others before them, wanting to hear the music that was talked about in the book. Now, obviously, that is not possible, as they are works of fiction. But, it is a little bit frustrating, nevertheless. Throughout the book, you have been buying into these peoples lives & you can almost hear the music in your head, as you read.
I guess that this must be a very good indication of how well written the story is & how much you've immersed youself into that story too. But, it also made me wonder if i'm alone in this?
I very much doubt it. But, it would be good to know anyway.

Now, without giving the story away of "The last mad surge of youth". The ending left a few unanswered questions. Well, it did for me anyway.
And that made me think about another aspect of all of this.
For as much as i want to hear the music that these, fictional, bands produced. I also want to know what happened after the author put down his pen, or walked away from the keyboard.
Once again, this is highly unlikely to happen & for obvious reasons too.

But, that thought, about wanting to know what happened next, can be transferred to just about any novel you've read. Or, indeed, to just about any movie you've ever watched too. Hence the need for all those sequels that you've seen, or read. Well, some of them anyway.  I'm not counting the sequels that were just pure money making exercises. And let's be honest, we've all seen far too many of them recently, haven't we?

However many pages a novel may have, or no matter how long a movie may be. We, usually, come away wondering what happened next.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. I'm not expecting a sequel to Thelma & Louise, or Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid any time soon. But, i expect you get the general idea?

Maybe it would be better if we just went back to the days of fairy tales, where all the stories seemed to end with the words "And they all lived happily ever after"? That would solve a lot of the problems wouldn't it?

So, am i alone in this?
Have you ever wanted to hear the music of a fictional band, or artist? Or, have you ever wanted to know what happened to that fictional character that you've just invested all that time reading about?
Or, is it just a case of me wanting more for my money than is actually reasonable?

Now, what shall i read next?

(And, yes, i do realise that there were some TV sequels to the Butch Cassidy movie. But, that just seems to prove my point about a money making exercise)


  1. I felt like that after the latest Nick Hornby book too - I was imagining the music discussed throughout, but felt that I had experienced the fictional albums (Juliet and Juliet Naked, etc.) through the prose. ...I'd still like to hear it, though ;^)

    As for open-ended endings, that seems to be the norm today in the movies. Did he make the "right" decision or not? The movie makers are afraid to tell you, or they'll upset one or another demographic. Up to you to decide which way it went.

  2. Good call Ken. I'd forgotten about "Juliet, Naked" & it certainly fits into this category. A great book, as are all Nick Hornby's imho.
    Yes, i guess those pesky open-ended endings do save some arguments. It would be a real pity if they were written that way so as to not upset some people though.