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The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters by M.…
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The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters

by M. J. Beaufrand

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As someone who was a teen in Portland in the 80s, I really wanted to love this book. I wanted it to capture the feel of the scene that I skirted the edges of. Instead, it offered a sanitized version of Portland's punk culture. As young suburbanites, it's possible the kids would have been unaware of some of the seedier aspects of the scene, but for there to be no reference to drug use other than a little pot seems beyond naive. There was no violence, except at school. There was also the weird mega-microbrewery at a time when the Portland microbrew culture was just coming into being (the McMenamins started brewing in 1983 and the Widmer Brothers opened their brewery in 1984). Even the single mention of Satyricon--the Pine Street, Starry Night, and 13th Precinct never even got that much--had the patrons swilling microbrews. Which, no. And, yeah, I know it's fiction and it's not meant to accurately reflect reality, but this was so far from the reality of the scene it wanted to evoke that it was somewhere between sad and laughable.

BUT...

I liked the story. I liked the characters. The writing was snappy. Had it been set in another place and time--one I wasn't as familiar with--I would have enjoyed this book immensely. ( )
  BillieBook | Mar 1, 2016 |
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In 1983, a band led by a David Bowie lookalike prepares to compete in a battle of the bands at a possibly evil brewery, and must also cope with the fact that bass player Evan is getting sicker and sicker, much like his best friend Noah's abusive father did before his death several years earlier.… (more)

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