The novel takes the reader on a tour of a not-too-distant American past, when fear was weaponized and righteous rage boiled over. Smyer’s debut explores themes of the self in chaos; the prose is clean as bone and the anger is focused and piercing.
Lyrical, brooding, and delightfully dreamlike, the novel is a strange and ruthless journey into the ailing heart of humanity—and a bizarre peek into the mind of a brilliant new novelist.
The raw energy within the novel is uncontaminated, fierce, and dedicated toward a singular purpose: to peel back the reader’s eyes and force them to bear witness to the plight of America’s original inhabitants, lest we forget that non-natives are but immigrants or the descendants of immigrants to this country.
The importance of music—specifically, rock and roll—cannot be overstated when considering this novel. From Iggy & the Stooges to the MC5, Beautiful Music is a veritable crash course in Detroit’s lasting legacy on the music scene; the clanging guitars and screaming singers changed the wiring of an entire generation.