I’m not one for book reviews…generally. At least not the grand, sweeping kind. I believe that, generally, people should read things themselves and make their own informed decisions—I may love something, you may hate it. But I had to share the fact that I recently finished Dan Holloway’s novel, Songs from the Other Side of the Wall, and…well, it is absolutely brilliant. Dan is an unbelievable writer who’s recently started his own publishing house called eight cuts gallery, and is one of the big brains behind Year Zero Writers (which I’m part of). Dan is also contributing a wonderful short story to Sex Scene, the anthology I’m curating.
Here’s the official synopsis of Songs:
After her mother walks out and returns to England when she’s just a week old, Szandi grows up on the vineyard in Hungary that has been in her family for 300 years. Now 18, Szandi is part of Budapest’s cosmopolitan art scene, sharing a flat and a bohemian lifestyle with her lover and fellow sculptress, Yang. She has finally found her place in the world. When she discovers that her father has only weeks to live, Szandi must choose once and for all: between the past and the present; between East and West; between her family and her lover.
Songs from the Other Side of the Wall is a coming of age story that inhabits anti-capitalist chatrooms and ancient wine cellars, seedy bars and dreaming spires; and takes us on a remarkable journey across Europe and cyberspace in the company of rock stars and dropouts, diaries that appear from nowhere, a telepathic fashion mogul, and the talking statue of a bull.
And honestly, it really is an exquisite piece of writing from beginning to end (the ending floored me…in the best way possible). The characters are real, and the book held my attention from beginning to end—I actually found myself caring about these people, bummed out when it ended. (Honestly, since I finished the novel a few days ago, I’ve been thinking about it constantly… To me, that’s the mark of a good book, something that sticks with you for days like that.)
Again, I don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot, so you can all go in fresh and just enjoy the hell out of it, but Songs is definitely worth your time and money and I highly recommend it (assuming my opinion matters to you). Dan has made the book available a myriad of ways (I downloaded an e-version of it), all of which you can find right here.