A Different Slant of Light
A Different Slant of Light by J.D. Levin builds on the epic musical narrative that began with Incomplete. Where the first installment provides an introduction and establishes the foundation, in the sequel Levin expands to include higher highs and lower lows, all building toward the present day.
Picking up where the first book ends, our lead character Brian Richard “Brick” Smith reflects upon recent conversations and recounts his group’s roller-coaster ride to fame. He branches out from the history of significant musical groups to include producers, record labels, and prominent venues in his most recent work. Readers gain insight into Lowercase Records, Jimmy Storforsen, the Gilman in Berkeley, and the Filmore in San Francisco.
Laboring through feelings of regret and sorrow, Brian recounts the production of the musical group’s first album, preparations for their first major tour, and the subsequent implosion on the eve of greatness. Readers dive deeper into the music industry and witness firsthand his struggle with mental health issues as he tries to balance school, love, musical infamy, and family responsibilities. Ultimately, the balancing act brings our main character tumbling down, leaving him feeling lost and alone.
He shares his rebirth and evolution through his physical and mental health journey to finally heal and find peace within himself. Brian relates valuable adages based on difficult, yet critical, life lessons. Passages such as “Some things are more important than rock and roll,” appear several times throughout the text. These sentiments will remind readers of conversations from the first book and yet reverberate so much more now.
In this piece of rock-and-roll historical fiction, Levin captures the bombshells that come up in life and derail well-laid plans. Our storyteller honestly shares the various ways he has responded, productively and painfully, to significant events sprinkled throughout a lifetime. Moreover, from this place of growth and reflection, Levin is able to provide the reader with thoughtful, objective insights into the complex turmoil of those around our protagonist. Everyone’s journey is an intricate mash-up of choices, circumstances, and responses that speak to their perspective and evolution on the way to finding fulfillment.
Brian guides the narrative to the present day, including personal responses to COVID-19 and the outbreak of the pandemic. Like the first volume, this work warmly garners five stars for its vivid portrayal of the music industry and brutally honest depiction of depression, social anxiety, and other related mental health issues. This work is raw and forthright in a manner that juvenile and mature readers alike will greatly appreciate. Levin does not disappoint! A Different Slant of Light will enrapture readers and leave them begging for more.
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