The Busker

The Busker[Read] ➲ The Busker By Liam Murray Bell – Three cities two years one chance from the author of the critically acclaimed debut So It Is shortlisted for best first book at the Scottish Book Awards 2013 comes the hard hitting story of a young ma Three cities two years one chance from the author of the critically acclaimed debut So It Is shortlisted for best first book at the Scottish Book Awards comes the hard hitting story of a young man determined to find his voice Plucked from obscurity in Glasgow Rab Dillon is about to become the next great protest singer Seduced by promises of stardom carrying only the guitar given to him by the girl who broke his heart he travels down to London There he records the debut album that will speak to the dispossessed the disenfranchised and disheartened One year later he is sleeping rough on the streets of Brighton A modern day ballad set across three cities and two years The Busker is a richly comic exposr of the music industry the Occupy movement homelessness suatting and failing to live up to the name you almost share with your hero It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart. Meet Rab Dillon He’s the hero of Liam Murray Bell’s moving second novel The Busker which tells of a young Scottish singer who leaves his native Glasgow for London after winning a recording contract with a record company of dubious standing When Rab’s first album bombs his naivety leads him into dire straits homelessness and eventually a whole heap of soul searchingThere is much to admire in this novel a flowing lyrical writing style; some genuinely laugh out loud moments; deftly drawn characters major and minor and a clever three tiered setting and plot Since the opening scene tells us of Rab’s fate as he sits morose and drugged up on a stony Brighton beach what grips the reader throughout is not what will happen to Rab but why it happened and how – this makes for an intriguing story and an absorbing oneA compelling insight into the record industry and the Occupy movement an exploration of creativity and a painful yet truthful look at growing up The Busker is an important – and touching – novel that explores a life on the margins Let's get one thing out of the way Rab the narrator is not a very good person He's young talented and all too aware of his skills Bell wisely divides the novel between Rab's home of Glasgow his time as a promising new singersongwriter based in London and his burnt out busking and homelessness in Brighton As the narrative skips around we learn about what went wrong with this poor soul's aspirations and how much he is to blame for his own situation It's beautifully written and a bittersweet journey right to the final page Sorry not a fan of this book at all The main character is utterly dislikeable and I'm totally not surprised things didn't work out for him he deserved all the misfortune he got from his bad decisions and selfish actions It gets 2 stars for describing and highlighting aspects of homelessness but it could have still done that and been a much better well rounded bookAdditional commentsI just read another review that says Rab the main character is essentially a good person that has bad things happen to him I disagree He cheats on his best friend then treats the girlfriend badly he can't even be bothered to listen fully to her wholly justified reasons for not accompanying him to London because he's busy flipping between porn sites on his laptop; he talks to her like dirt is a misogynistic arsehole for much of the time; and his comments to her when their relationship finally ends are appalling and unforgiveable Generally he swans around wasting other people's money on his various bad habits expecting constant handouts and whining when they're not forthcoming He thinks he knows better than everyone else whether they be well meaning friends Ewan who does his research but Rab won't listen or professionals with experience that Rab simply doesn't have Oh and when his manager doesn't conjure up the successful career that Rab feels he's owed despite seemingly having only 3 songs and not playing them very well when he's on stage and admitting himself that they're not as good as they could be he petulantly attempts to break up his manager's marriage He's not naive he's nasty Having been in around the fringes of the music business for the last 7 years there was a lot in this book I recognised and for the most part it's very accurate There's Rab Dillons playing every night all over the country and Bell puts together a pretty fair representation of many of them and ties together a story that's both crushingly realistic while retaining an optimism The three cities all have their own uniue feel to them all with very different albeit intertwined stories told within their boundariesWhat I particularly liked was that Bell was very honest about what an arsehole his protagonist could be without making him out to be some sort of anti hero about it While he's not inherently evil or overtly bad I would stop short of saying Rab's particularly likeable It's a bold move one that may not please everyone but I think makes the story compelling It's Once with a bit grit an occasionally bitter drama rather than a romanceOn that note some of the fringe characters who would often be shown unfavourably to a lay public were actually represented uite fairly The perspectives of slightly cringey managers and big bad label bosses are implied in an even handed manner which a lazier salacious telling of the story wouldn't bother with Again it's an important nuance which makes it less of a black white tale than the one we often hearDefinitely recommend you pick this one up 'Wow' is my initial reaction to this book I picked it off the shelf in waterstones because the cover attracted me and the blurb sounded like it would be suited to me It turned out that it read like this book was written for me I loved the use of the three cities North to South and the fact that the story moves chronologically but cyclically in that each bit is leading to the next location It's strange how I was on the edge of my seat with the details of events even in the instances where what's ultimately going to happen has already been given away in a previous chapter Details really do matter especially when you're as emotionally invested in a character as I was with Rab At the start I actually read him as older than he was Although clearly immature and blinded by wild ambition he was so realistic and 'tough' that it definitely didn't come across as a story about an initial teenager at all If you're interested in music busking politics folk anxiety depression and the complexities of people I would highly highly recommend Oh look there's a lot to like about this book I particularly like the flashback structure being organised geographically The three subplots are each allowed to end organically and still come together in a cohesive whole Thematically the book is similar to Tim Connor Hits Trouble in that it is concerned with the increasing commerciality of life TCHT is set in the Higher Education sector and deals with that in detail whereas this book deals with a wider range but with its most detailed description of the music industry The aspect that I particularly like is that economic issues are only considered peripherally by the main character The flashpoint of each subplot is the protagonist not understanding the aspects of economic reality that the respective antagonists have chosen to focus on The protagonistantagonist description is not that accurate in all cases but you get the point A good read They say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but in this case I learned not to judge a book by its first page I received this book in a Good Reads giveaway and was really looking forward to starting it as the blurb really appealed to me However by the end of the first page I'd decided that this wasn't a book for me Drink drugs and bad language are a somewhat alien world to me However I am so glad that I persevered Very uickly I found myself caught up in Rab's story Yes he made mistakes but he was essentially a good person and I wanted things to work out for him I'd love a seuel to know what happens to him next GOODREADS GIVEAWAY WINIn a brave choice of bildungsroman protagonist we follow a callow and self centred youth as he incrementally partially believably begins to redeem himself

Paperback  ¿ The Busker Kindle ¼
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • The Busker
  • Liam Murray Bell
  • English
  • 02 January 2016
  • 9781908434371