I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-10-22
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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?
Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb is about this washed up country singer named ‘Bad’ Blake. Bad Blake has been on the road doing concerts in bowling alleys and bars, while on the road he finds romance.Unfortunately, he also has some vices to deal with.
Crazy Heart sort of reminded me of the film Walk The Line, only replace Phoenix with some old dude. Essentially country music isn’t all she stole my pick-up truck now I’m going to get a dog and drink a beer, twang twang twang. Really, it’s about the life of the unglamorous, and Bad’s life reflects this. Bad spends much of the book drinking Jack Daniels, reminiscing about being screwed over by Tommy Sweet. Crazy Heart was about how there’s a seedy underbelly within country music. Oh, and also continues on the theme of how fame doesn’t last, and how most people are not glamorous and just doing the best they can.
The writing in Crazy Heart was fairly solid, I mean Cobb has got some style. However, I felt an emotional disconnect with the characters. Perhaps I have trouble relating to a guy who spends most of his time inebriated. Now, this is not to moralize, hell no. I just didn’t connect with Bad Blake. I thought he got himself into a lot of situations, and didn’t have a whole lot of pity for him.
On the one hand, I doubt it was the author’s intent to have the readers pity Bad. I think as readers we are supposed to have a glimpse into how ordinary heartland folks are, and how unaware people are of the drug/party scene of such a ‘safe’ genre. Also, we are supposed to see how dependency can really mess up your life, and how hard it is to give up the ‘crutch.’
To be fairly honest, I am quite lukewarm on Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb. While it kept me flipping pages, it wasn’t the greatest book I’ve ever read, I’m not an evangelist for it. But, in saying that it is also not the worst book, either. It was sort of ah, well that was an alright read. I think if you’ve had dependency issues, maybe you might love this book. Or if you love some old time country music. Or hell, if you are just passionate about music, you may love this book. I’m not any of those things. I like country music, I also like music, but I’m not passionate about either. That aside, I am curious as to how this book translated on the silver screen. I will definitely check it out when it’s on DVD.
While reading Crazy Heart, I suggest you drink Jack Daniels on the rocks. Then you can be just as drunk as Bad Blake, and I suppose get more involved with the story. 😉