Friday, November 18, 2011
Review: Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb
Publisher: Harper Perennial
"Crazy Heart" is a beautifully crafted story about a flawed man with a dream. A dream he once attained but has since squandered. This is a story about a talented, washed up, country musician known as "Bad", "Bad" he will always be known as until he dies. He plans to reveal his name on his tombstone and not a minute before. Bad Blake was once a superstar, he had all the fame and money he ever wanted. He's know fifty-seven and just getting by. He's on the road in his pickup, playing small bars, the occasional bowling alley, his money is all gone but everyone still knows him as a great country musician. Bad has had four failed marriages. His only son was taken away by his ex-wife and Bad hasn't spoken to him in over twenty years. The booze and country music lifestyle was too irresistible. He was always at home for a few day, then on the road for a few months. Finally, Bad is offered a great gig, opening for the legendary Tommy Sweet, the man he helped get started. The man he had open for him. The tables have turned and Bad is reluctant to take the opportunity. Bad's life seems to be going nowhere, until he meets a young writer named Jean Craddock. His love for Jean makes him want to be a better man. However, his dependence on the alcohol threatens his future.
I admit, I'm a country music fan. I grew up listening to country music and I know who Hank Williams, George Jones and Kenny Rogers are. I really enjoyed this book. This is the story of country music before the glamor. I felt sorry for Bad but I also knew it was a lot of his own doings. I wanted him to succeed and be on top again. The story was very well written, and I had no idea that Jeff Bridges won an academy award. I had no expectations for this book, and I was very surprised by the story. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, a great read.
FYI: The ending for the Crazy Heart movie is completely different. I preferred the book.