Incomplete by J.D. Levin is a powerhouse work that weaves contemporary music history into a riveting narration of the highs and lows of the music industry. Levin takes a fresh approach to this topic from the perspective of the former rock star turned high school English teacher who is perfectly content to leave the past forgotten. That is until a determined student begins to suspect our mild-mannered educator might be more than a grammar and literature junkie. Through her dedicated probing, we come to witness a breathtaking story unfold of young kids creating music for the art of it. Over the chapters, readers watch a group of adolescent high school students create a band that evolves before the audience’s very eyes. Levin captures a flurry of musical history from more well-known groups such as The Beach Boys and The Ramones to lesser-known favorites such as The Breeders and Weezer. Levin does an exceptional job of touching on a variety of acts that dramatically impacted the music industry over the years. We are guided in our tale by our storyteller not the lead singer but the vital songwriter who turned simple words and phrases into moments that would last a lifetime. Through his perspective, we come to see how isolating and lonely the stage can feel, particularly for the talented individuals who experience the stage at such a young age. Faced with depression, anxiety, and industry pitfalls, our young storyteller reluctantly shares his experiences in front of the lights, why he left the industry, and what improved his mental state, or who rather. Beyond music history, Levin captures the significant relationships, both romantic and platonic, that develop over and around music. Our author’s use of language is engrossing and moving. Time and again readers will find themselves rereading passages for their poignancy and intuitiveness. Brilliantly, Levin states, “some things are more important than rock and roll…a reminder that music—even great music—is only one monotone color in the broader palette of life.” A fascinating read for its awareness and depth, readers across disciplines and capabilities will appreciate the content and consideration of this work. Although the content may speak to an older audience who has experienced the hills and valleys of life, early readers will garner a number of life lessons. Moreover, younger readers will appreciate this approachable survey of a generation’s musical scrapbook. Levin’s Incomplete is a five-star work that will leave readers anxious for the next installment!
|Page Count||372 pages|
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