Unforgetable 'Ballad of a Dead Nobody'

Monday 11th July 2011
Courtesy: http://www.lizacody.com/ Below: Source: http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2010/10/postal-love.html. Courtesy: http://www.tineye.com/

Gaberlunzie has been considerably out of commission recently, having received a review copy of "Ballad of a Dead Nobody" and virtually unable to put it down. (He notes en passant that the Royal Mail has developed a stamping bigger footprint for a big first class post and that TinEye is truly clever at discovering where pictures are sourced on the web if you loose the link!!)

 


Now, having read Liza Cody's latest, which is not (alas in some ways) an Anna Lee or a Bucket Nut, but just as excellent,  alignment and interest drawing on music and musicians experience as in Gimme More, Ballad of a Dead Nobody is the remorseless anatomy of musical talent, combined with its amazing strengths and appalling vulnerabilities.

Ballad concerns the brief life of the child and teenager, Elly Astoria, singularily blessed with perfect pitch and given a small Yamaha keyboard, but precious little else, except a dog, eventually.

Her supporting cast are Briony, Ayisha, Finn and Maddy who comprise the Sisterhood band and her other major players are band manager Tom and his sister Carol.

When the murder occurs at a weekend, no murderer can be discovered. A wannabe writer Amy, fired and dumped by writer lover, determines to turn Elly-biographer and starts to re-track the key players. 

It results in a list of eleven potential murderers and no definitive resolution even at the late stage of nine pages to the book's ending!!

No. Don't even try that short cut of looking at the last chapter. You'll only get a long story in an unrelated Devon kitchen, all about a dog called Ruby.

But yes, Gaberlunzie is willing to offer you two vital bits of information that will help you to know when the revelation is about to break.

It's technology, of course, that comes into play in the form of a laptop computer and then the  problems of starting a stalled American automatic car. It's technology that contributes to  "taking the route less travelled" and that has made all the difference.

As ever, this is pure Cody.  A book that does not demand of its readers any "willing suspension of disbelief." It simply delivers totally and often really uncomfortable characters, scenarios and thoughts that will embed themselves in your mind, exactly like that tune you just can't quite be quit off.

Browsing around the Cody site , one wonders how on earth writers are ever going to make a living at $2.99 for the electronic edition on Kindle, Nook and other major platforms! 

Actually why has no-one ever carried Cody's novels into  film? Gaberlunzie has been aching for someone to film "American Gods," "The City and the City" "The Magic Walking Stick" especially since (sigh of relief) they made such a good job of "Dean Spanley."

In Cody's  discussion page, one Kindle commentator notes that: "Your book is better prepped than most with lots of section heads so you can find things even without page numbers [What?! How ever could you review a book without page numbers?] Also no hanging paragraphs, no strange typos. Bravo!!

Gaberlunzie was brooding on acquiring an e-book. He's hastily un-brooding. But he really does like the Japanese query from the Emeritius Professor Masayoshi Yamada of Linguistics at Shimane University re-"porking joke."

Now for the patience bit to await the next novel! Seems like re-reading may be called for yet!

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