Sunday, 21 February 2010

Notes on a Bycycle Club

Singer songwriter Wyatt Scruggs and his friends have been drunk for 17 years. They are not ordinary drunks. They are musicians on a mission to play at an annual witch convention.

The Bicycle Club by author and singer/songwriter Dave Schultz is a rollicking adventure/comedy featuring a colorful assortment of characters. It resides comfortably at the crossroads between The Blues Brothers, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Tom Sawyer.

The character development in this tale is superb. The reader is introduced to each of the unique characters at appropriate points in the story with sufficient detail to provide a clear picture. The characters are then further developed through dialog and narrative comment that remains consistent throughout the story.

The story development is not only well conceived but also begins immediately as Schultz sets up each scene with great form and style to maintain our interest from the first page to the very end of the story.

While the subject matter of this dark comedy offers (and requires on the part of the reader) some relief from the moral rigors of ordinary society, the effect is very funny. Fans of Hunter S. Thompson's books or Quentin Tarantino's movies understand this brand of comedy very well and will be pleasantly surprised with Dave Schultz.

While it is hilarious at times, the story is also a character study as it transforms the ordinary, everyday life of a drunk into a deeper philosophical understanding of interpersonal relationships amid humble surroundings. Furthermore, the story delivers a fresh perspective of people who have both heart and a desire to have a good time with little regard for materialistic mainstream culture. They share a thirst for life.

This book also offers adventurous moments, providing the overall story even more depth and entertainment value. I loved the suspense and the imagery during the adventurous night at the ruins. This chapter builds to the climactic scene in which the Dowager completes her ghostly tale in the attic!

But wait! There's more! There is an accompanying volume of music that is also written and performed by Dave Shultz and his band, Purple Hank. Purple Hank was formerly known as The Bicycle Club. If you like Wilco, Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon or Steve Earle, you will love Purple Hank.

Finally, this story and accompanying music has movie written all over it. It has a few cameos and a lot of inside musician humor with the potential to become a cult classic among working musicians as well as music fans. It is irreverent, good fun and guaranteed to produce at least a smile on the face of the most prudent among middle aged conservatives. A truly spell binding literary work that is well crafted and entertaining at its core, I give this book eight fingers, two thumbs, eleven toes and morning wood.

Article written by Del Boland and distributed by permission of Del Boland and is a free online community for songwriters, bands, and musicians.

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