Book Review: ‘Rubber Soul’ by Greg Kihn
SEPTEMBER 18, 2013
Well boys and girls, it’s time once again for a couple disclaimers before I break into my review of this book:
1. This was the first full length book that I read entirely on a Kindle. I like real books with paper pages and page numbers, so this alone was a challenge when all the Kindle would tell me was a percentage of what I had already read. Is this going to be a factor in my review? I dunno!
2. I’ve said it before…I don’t like fan fiction. BUT…I had to catch myself because I realized that I do read fan fiction about Edgar Alan Poe. In fact, I’m kinda obsessed with it! So let me correct myself, I don’t like Beatles fan fiction. I like my Fab Four the way I like my soap and men…99 44/100% pure!
On to the review:
Rubber Soul is the latest in a series of novels by Greg Kihn. Yeah…THAT Greg Kihn…the man behind ‘The Breakup Song’ and ‘Jeopardy’. Apparently, he’s been keeping himself busy these past several years with a radio show and authoring books. Who’d a thunk it? This latest installment is a murder mystery featuring …you guessed it…The Beatles!
I must say that I love Greg’s writing style! What an easy and peaceful read this book was even as I struggled to get used to reading it on my Kindle (or KIHNdle). No flashbacks and not overloaded with too many characters. But I will admit, I almost didn’t make it past the 2nd or 3rd chapter when the main character becomes, what I consider, a little too involved with The Beatles. I understand that Mr. Kihn stayed true to the Beatles story during their early years, but there was a moment where I felt he crossed the line a bit with mixing his fiction with his fact.
*Note: I have it from a good source that Greg Kihn had never heard of ‘fan fiction’ up until 2 months ago even though he’s been writing it for years. Go figure…
I finally picked the book back up after a couple days of questioning why I had decided to read another Beatles fan fiction book (because he’s Greg ‘fu-kihn’ KIHN…that’s why!), I marched on through the digital pages and can say that it became a much better read with the Beatles taking a back seat to the main character up until the end when the plot thickens and draws our boys back into the story. At this point, I could no longer put the book down until finding out ‘Who done it?’
I must say, Greg did his homework on the Beatles for this book. I do believe there is one obvious error when he writes that Stu and Astrid were married…they never got that far before Stu passed away.
I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles
RUBBER SOUL (EBOOK EXCERPT)
Greg Kihn continues to pioneer the rock thriller genre with Rubber Soul, a murder mystery and an action packed ride through Beatlemania, featuring The Beatles themselves.
Dust Bin Bob runs a second hand shop at the Flea Market on Penny Lane. He has an extensive collection of American R&B singles that he gets from Merchant Marines returning from Baltimore and New York. The action starts when he befriends four lads from Liverpool by the names of John, Paul, George and Ringo and becomes their lifelong friend, sharing the vinyl that will start a revolution.
From then on, it’s a rocket ride from The Beatles earliest days in Liverpool to six shows a night in Hamburg to the Cavern Club to The Ed Sullivan Show and full- fledged Beatlemania.
Along the way, Dust Bin thwarts a plot by Marcos loyalists to assassinate the Beatles in Manila after they snub the Marcos family, blowing off a reception at the palace and narrowly avoiding an international incident. It could have happened!
NBC called Greg Kihn “Rock’s True Renaissance Man.” His career stretches from the dawn of punk and indie rock to the discos of the 80’s to the glory days of MTV. As a pioneer with the legendary Beserkley Records, he helped write the book on revolutionary west coast rock and roll, toured the world, appeared on Saturday Night Live and American Bandstand, opened for the Rolling Stones, jammed with Bruce Springsteen, and won awards for his worldwide #1 hit Jeopardy and The Break-Up Song, famously parodied by Weird Al Yankovic.
About the Author
Greg Kihn is the author of four previous novels including Horror Show, nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. In the 90’s, Kihn started a radio career and spent sixteen years hosting the top-rated morning show for KFOX radio in San Francisco. He was inducted into the San Jose Rock Hall Of Fame in 2008 and the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2012.
The idea for Rubber Soul originated with Greg’s interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Patti Harrison, Yoko Ono and drummer Pete Best. The historical details are 100% accurate. When he asked where the Beatles found the rare American R&B 45’s that constituted their early repertoire, Best revealed that it was from Merchant Marines who carried the records back to Liverpool from America. From there came the fictional Dust Bin Bob, a character who befriends the Beatles from their penniless early days and saves them from an assassination attempt in the Philippines during their world tour in 1966. After a lifetime of rock & roll, and decades on the road and behind the microphone, no one else but Greg Kihn could have written this story.