Saturday, 24 February 2007

The Rooms by Declan Lynch

The Rooms
Declan Lynch
Hot Press Books

IT’S GREAT to see a book coming out of nowhere, and this is what’s happening with The Rooms, long a sleeper. Why? Book clubs, I’d guess.

Ex-rocker Neil lingers soberly on the quaking bog between wannabe and has-been, memory warmed by two hit singles, a hit album and a flop album. And years of hysterical drinking.

The writing is fabulous - though there's carelessness, as when Neil's history with his old pal Jason is repeated word for word at the end of the book.

He’s now living in that rockstar-beloved ambit of wealthy relics of old decency, roosting in the gate lodge of a Caribbean-accented fashion designer called Jamaica.

The Rooms are the AA meetings; the rest of Neil's life is taken up writing a ‘tuner’ that’s going to be his comeback, if Broadway returns his calls.

Somewhere there’s a dark memory he doesn’t talk about, much.

But this is alcoholic-land, and Jamaica has her own secrets. By the time she's paying him a wage while keeping him in the lodge, while she hangs out in the big house with her literary idol, it's easy to guess the end.


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