Review of: The Sound of the Night 

reviewed by maxcrisp on 06/22/2011
Credited Review
maxcrisp
jazz man Credited Review
This is a surprisingly well-written story of a musician becoming an artist. A saxophone player finally meets his match and has to rethink his approach to his passion in this well paced piece.

The main strengths are the pacing and the outstanding voice. We are whisked from a good catch line, through a city walk and into a jazz club. There the reader is filled in on the musician's background, before the meat of the story begins. The dialect is natural and above all credible, giving the voice a real presence.

If there is one area which does need some rethinking, then it has to be the flashbacks. There are two suggestions. First, I know that the past perfect has fallen out of fashion thanks to the advent of cinema, but my eyes went a little glazed over in this section, particularly as there are a number of different time frames here. As the writer is clearly ready to bend rules (e.g they was waiting), I suggest putting in a few 'hads' just in the opening sentences of these passages and see if you can sneak back to the simple past. Or change them all the way through... that way the full effect of a change in tense will be felt when the reader comes back to the principle narrative.

Second, and not unrelated, is the transition. The last sentence 'they'll never truly know...' might go better in the next section. Whilst the main character's waiting by the stage, doing all this thinking. After that, this paragraph picks up with 'girls' as the first subject, but then goes on to describe the band and their set. So when 'Boy was they talking' comes in, it's not clear who they is. The girls or the band?

Overall, this is a tightly written, well-felt short story. Aside from a few typos (e.g. Toldeo p.7), it reflects the work of an accomplished writer, who has probably already satisfied that itch.

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