Well known to Bay area Jazz fans, nationally acclaimed guitarist Bruce Forman has taken the plunge into fiction in this odyssey-like novel about the seamier side of the Jazz world and the shallowness of stardom His protagonist, Sam Mann, a veteran San Francisco Jazz guitarist yearning for fame and fortune, becomes the willing victim of the devil disguised as the quintessential sleazy agent/manager. Mann is systematically stripped of money, home, and all his possessions in a wild scheme designed to bring him stardom that he apparently doesn't see coming. As would be expected, Forman writes from an insider's point of view, Forman takes us to Jazz clubs, a wedding gig in Big Sur, the recording studio, and into the mind of an improvising musician. Forman has filled his novel with a cast of zany characters that include an loony old retired industrialist, who becomes his employer and benefactor; Hawk Feather, an Indian Shaman; and Scout, a dog that would make Lassie run for cover. Mann's downfall sends him on a vision quest spiritual journey as he strives to right his life and career. He arrives at self fulfillment and spiritual awakening but perhaps too late.
There are no chapters. Forman instead has chosen to divide the book into three sections: Seduction, Redemption, and Revenge. While the spiritual redemption is somewhat overdone, this is a fun read.
by Bill Moody
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