Title: Crazy Heat
Author: Thomas Cobb
Who Should Read It? For language and sexual content, I would mostly only recommend this to adults. I think after that, it's got a very specific type of person who will like it. I think thos book is for those that like country music, extra sympathetic or empathetic people, those that have ever had alcohol problems. I also think that it will be appreciated by those that know how to appreciate good, honest writing.
What I Have to Say:
Crazy Heart is, essentially, the story of the downfall of the one-time famous country singer, Bad Blake. It is one of the most brutally honest books I have read. Period. Bad Blake, a chain-smoking raging alcoholic who has done a lot of bad in his life, has trouble with relationships, and has suffered more than your average person, comes across as sympathetic and authentic. He's got problems, and his circumstances are not typical, but he's really just a nice guy trying to get by.
I think it is a testament to Thomas Cobb that he was able to turn such a screw-up into an amazingly deep and confused character with whom the readers will ultimately sympathize and possibly even feel sorry for, despite the fact that all of his problems were brought on by himself. There were times when I wanted to reach out and give Bad a hug. And steal all of his alcohol and cigarettes. But then, I would have been afraid that he'd grope me while I was trying to console him. When it comes to most things in life, he tries so hard, but he just doesn't get it.
In a way, this book is like the country songs it is about. It is straightforward and genuine, and there is nothing (or very little) hiding in the cracks or underneath the surface. It is beautiful and twangy and will absolutely break your heart (and leave it up to you to put it back together), but it will have you laughing and loving along the way. And that's why, despite the fact that I only ENJOYED this book while reading it (i.e. I didn't absolutely adore it), I would still go so far as to call this book brilliant. It IS country, and it gives such an honest portrayal of what life on the road must be like, about the drugs and alcohol and women that come along with being a country singer, that it's hard to believe it might not be based on a true story. Bad Blake is not just someone I once read about in a book, he is someone I knew and cared about once upon a time.
Because of the constant drinking and smoking and LANGUAGE, I wouldn't recommend this book to a younger crowd. It is adults only. And even for all its brilliance, I don't think it's for all adults. I can see how some people might have trouble relating to or sympathizing with Bad Blake, despite how solidly Thomas Cobb describes his suffering.
So it's hard to say. I want to say I highly recommend this, because, as I said, I thought it was brilliant. But if, in the end, you don't sympathize with Bad Blake, you might find it lacking in life.
Summary: At the age of fifty-seven, Bad Blake is on his last legs. His weight, his ticker, his liver, even his pick-up truck are all giving him trouble. A renowned songwriter and "picker" who hasn't recorded in five years, Bad now travels the countryside on gigs that take him mostly to motels and bowling alleys. Enter Ms. Right. Can Bad stop living the life of a country-western song and tie a rope around his crazy heart?
Cover Story: I really like the movie tie-in cover. I haven't seen the movie yet, but the Jeff Bridges on the cover is the PERFECT Bad Blake to me, and the coloring of the cover combined with him with his guitar just perfectly sets up the feel of the book for me.
Now, you want to win a copy? Just fill out the form below! Open internatioanlly! Ends March 23.
Note: Thanks the Michelle @ the True Book Addict, I just noticed that the "other ways to enter" is multiple choice, and I can't figure out how to change the form. Ooops! If you do more than one, please let me know in the "promote my contest" paragraph section!
Disclosure: This book was provided to me for review by the publisher. This in no way affected my review.