Standalone rock star love story set in the ’90’s :: Angst ridden, soulful and intensely moving.
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
“No one can rationalize why something so positively beautiful comes from the depths of our pain. I guess that’s what classifies art and artists among life’s ironies…..there would never be a love song if folks were always happy.”
What a soulful emotional and beautiful story! Music themed romances are one of our favourites, though all too often we find the focus weighs heavily on the sex and romance factor of the story, missing the all-important music ‘feel‘ we crave from this theme. As much as we love the romance, we equally hunger the musical aspect; we want to live in the moment, breathe in the enthusiasm and experience the inspiration and the atmosphere behind the scenes.
And on that note, we can declare Lonnie Ostrow’s Poet of a Wrong Generation, a fictional love story between a rock star and the woman who would always claim his heart, set in New York and peppered with real events that shaped our lives delivered with a musical landscape that spoke to our hearts and it was everything we could possibly desire. A real, raw, compelling and heartbreakingly emotional story that at times read like a memoir.
“Perfection is a myth. It just doesn’t exist, unless we accept each other for who we are and what we’ve been through. Love and understanding, it’s the closest we’ll come to reaching it.”
If you’ve ever been inspired by a love song, if a songwriters words have ever spoken directly to you, if you’ve ever felt so overcome with emotion watching your favourite singer/band bringing their words to life in concert, then THIS story is for you. Lonnie Ostrow has spectacularly, truthfully, intensely and vividly captured the heart and soul of a musician with his beautiful words and stunning writing.
‘For one breathtaking moment, two tortured, wandering souls had rediscovered a common spiritual bond.’
If you’re looking for a sex, drugs and rock and roll romance with a self-destructive hero you won’t find it here but what you will experience is a soulful story of a love that refused to die, of a sensitive, talented man whose meteoric rise to fame was inspired by pain, heartbreak and lost love and for whom, fame would come at a price.
It’s August 1991 when we meet 22 year old Johnny Elias; a sensitive, poetic young man whose sole existence revolves around his girlfriend Megan. Johnny, together with Megan, his best friend Andy and Andy’s girlfriend, Jacqui, are enjoying the Paul Simons free concert in Central Park. They have a life full of endless possibilities before them, yet neither could foresee the twist their lives would take after that day, both good and bad.
“Remember: life isn’t calculated in years and days. It’s measured in moments.”
After being hurt and betrayed by Megan following a miscommunication, theirs would be a break up which would see Johnny pen some of the most beautifully evocative, relevant and wistful songs that would launch his career into stratospheric proportions, with critics declaring him the ‘Dylan of his generation.’ In a market swamped with techno and nonsense pop songs, Johnny struck a chord with his meaningful lyrics. Having been signed by Highpeak records, Johnny quickly rose to fame until a bitter cruel manipulation saw him fighting for survival in the fickle music scene.
“The boy you walked away from – the one scribbling in a poetry notebook – he’s become a man with this crazy career.”
Poet of the Wrong Generation at its heart is Johnny’s story. Despite having everything he could want materially, all Johnny craved was stability, love and someone to share in his success. It’s a story of strength, friendship loyalty and love, of a man who never lost sight of who he was, who retained his dignity in the face of continual betrayal. One betrayal would see him rise above and pour his heart out in lyrics, another would shatter his confidence, his world and his heart.
“You were my support system. My reason to believe that life could actually mean something besides endless transition…”
We did find Megan irritating at first and wanted to shake some sense into her, though we knew her actions were not out malice, but merely a young girl still trying to find herself and assert her independence against her strong willed, manipulative and cruel mother.
We devoured this book and everything about it felt so real… until the last 10% when sadly the story took a turn that just didn’t work for us. Whilst we can understand why the author introduced this drama, we felt it was delivered too late and was rather unnecessary. This turn of events felt like overkill, leaving us feeling a little flat in an otherwise honest, gut wrenching and beautifully outstanding story.
The author has indicated he may pen a sequel and if that’s the case, we’ll be all over it because for 90% of this book we were completely swept up in this wistful, potent, captivating, hypnotic fictional memoir, loving every minute and expecting it to be a perfect 5 star read. Had it not been for the drama in the very last part of the book, it most definitely would have been because this book is very special. Now, this is our opinion and the events we alluded to probably won’t bother other readers as it did us.