Indeed Reverb starts with a bump: Marlowe, the sexy singer who is “corrupting” young and naïve Nick to the dark side, goes to jail after causing an accident in which Nick is injured. Two years in prison, even if it’s more a rehab than anything else. But Marlowe is inside and Nick is outside, hating Marlowe for being the one who put a stop to his burgeoning career. If you are expecting, or are worried, this is a highly dramatic novel, with two starcrossed lovers suffering from separation, don’t worry. The two years go like a blow (no pun intended), and Marlowe and Nick have to face what is between them: is it sex? Love? Hate? It’s for them to decide.
There is a definitive change in mood from the first to the second part of the novel; the second part is more sweet and tender, more romantic. That is clear also in the change the character of Marlowe had undergone: after the rehab, Marlowe is more “present”, he has a stronger perception of reality, he has no more the drugs clouding his minds, and in this way he has a more raw approach to life and relationship. He is less “star” and more “man”; this change is not unnoticed to Nick, and in a way it was at first not a good change for him: Nick was fascinated by Marlowe, the star, Marlowe was like a hurricane, and it was difficult to refuse him something, even your body. The second Marlowe is a man who something needs to be reassured, to be comforted, he is more a taker than a giver (and yes, a little pun is intended). Nick is not sure he likes so much this second Marlowe, but in the end, it’s only with a man like that you can consider to have a future.
Amazon Kindle: Reverb
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (May 14, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott
Cover Art by Laura Carboni