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~DOWNLOAD ♽ The Song Is You ☲ Julian Donahue Is In Love With His IPodEach Song That Shuffles Through That Greatest Of All Human Inventions Triggers A Memory There Are Songs For The Girls From When He Was Single There S The One For The Day He Met His Wife To Be, And Another For The Day His Son Was Born But When His Family Falls Apart, Even Music Loses Its Hold On Him, And He Has NothingUntil One Snowy Night In Brooklyn, When His Life S Soundtrack And Life Itself Starts To Play Again He Stumbles Into A Bar And Sees Cait O Dwyer, A Flame Haired Irish Rock Singer, Performing With Her Band, And A Strange And Unlikely Love Affair Is IgnitedOver The Next Few Months, Julian And Cait S Passion For Music And Each Other Is Played Out, Though They Never Meet In Cryptic Emails, Text Messages, Cell Phone Videos, And Lyrics Posted On Cait S Website, They Find Something In Their Bizarre Friendship That They Cannot Find Anywhere Else Cait S Star Is On The Rise, And Julian Gently Guides Her Along Her Path To Fame But Always From A Distance And She Responds To The One Voice Who Understands Her, Than A Fan But Still Less Than A LoverAs Their Feelings Grow Feverish, Keeping A Safe Distance Becomes Impossible What Follows Is A Love Story And A Uniquely Heartbreaking Dark Comedy About Obsession And LossCalled One Of The Best Writers In America By The Washington Post, The Bestselling Author Of Prague Delivers His Finest Work Yet In The Song Is You It Is A Closely Observed Tale Of Love In The Digital Age That Blurs The Line Between The Longing For Intimacy And The Longing For Oblivion I wanted to like this book than I did I tried When I found out it was a love story that included music and I pod addiction it grabbed my interest I wanted to get into the love story and feel what the characters did, but I couldn t I did connect with them through their music addiction, but that is about it At first, I liked the idea of the mysterious love affair and how it started Then it ended up getting to the point where it was downright creepy and honestly, it takes a lot to creep me out I couldn t figure out why she didn t call the cops on the guy with most of the stuff he did that she found endearing somehow Sorry, can t connect with that.It is a rather short book, but it felt so much longer I don t know why We were introduced to characters and then we never found out what happened to them why To me, it just sort of ended The lovers got to a certain point in their relationship and then it was over I think I liked the idea of the book than the actual book. In The Song is You, reformed philanderer Julian pursues Cait, a musician half his age rising to fame on her regrettably named demo tape, Your Very Own Blithering Idiot It s easy enough to predict how this one is going to go, because you ve seen it before.At its heart, the novel is Philips s attempt to share his love of music, but that s a difficult thing to write about Either the references chosen are so pedestrian that they re dated and tedious Audrey Niffenegger we re looking at you , or they are just meaningless nostalgia, affecting only the author Perhaps the worst example of this is the unreadable Love is a Mix Tape, which I had to abandon after not being as touched as the author apparently was by the equation of memories of his deceased wife with early 90s radio hits So, indeed, the most tedious parts of The Song Is You are Julian s thoughts on what exactly is playing out of his iPod, and unfortunately he thinks about this a lot The novel makes a convincing case for a legal limit on the number of times the word iPod should be allowed to appear in a single work of fiction Luckily, the plot moves the reader along steadily, with a few truly wonderful paragraphs and bits of dialogue spread throughout it Phillips begins to redeem himself recounting the hilarious story of Julian s brother Aidan s unfortunate Jeopardymishap, and Julian is at his best when he responds to Cait s constant need for affirmation with On the other hand, if you want a mix tape of people calling you incompetent, I can have one professionally engineered and piped through dedicated speakers hidden in your home, so that you shower and eat and shave your legs and fall asleep to disquieting abuse and then awaken to laughter and caitcalls Unfortunately Phillips balances his wit with an occasional dreadful phrasing On Cait She lived in a one bedroom, like so many people Ian, the band s guitarist, intubates women Not content to look through his CDs peacefully like the rest of us, Julian caroms And so on.So really, it s hard to feel very sorry for Julian when, after he has annoyed us for nearly a whole novel with the constant cacophony of his iPod and iTunes and CDs and live bands and reel to reel players, he has managed to tune out everything important in the actual, real world Time after time, Julian misses the world around him because he s got his music turned up too loud Phillips s New York is a place populated solely by arrogant artists with improbably British names and dog parks, though, so maybe that s not such an awful thing. phillips has a knack for looking deeply into his characters and extracting something that his readers can understand and empathize with on the surface, this seems like a love story it is, in fact, a love story its also a lust story, a sad story, and an unrequited love story i m providing this review just mere hours after completing the book, and, honestly, i almost think i need a week or so of digestion before writing a fitting review this i will say it is painstakingly real human emotion this i will also say i felt slightly alienated from the characters in this one, as i never have in previous phillips novels not to an alarming degree, but to a point where i could at times, while reading, be aware of the fact that i was reading about characters i didn t have much in common with maybe its that i didn t understand their lifestyles enough the surface level career, environment of these characters kept me at a distance, until i could fade back in to the story by concentrating on what was happening inside them phillips is an incredible writer, and i have to assume this is intentional on his part.i was pleased and displeased with the end of the story a compliment in both cases to phillips it felt right, but maybe not satisfactory and i mean the story itself, like how life can be disappointing the writing does not falter at the end i give this 4 stars based on those weird times i began to feel alienated and because for me, unfortunately, it took a little bit from my experience but high praise, still, to a great writer of the human condition this book is receiving high praise deservedly but i will still toss out there call me crazy that my favorite of his books remains the under appreciated the egyptologist. This fascinating hipster love story isn t quite as charming as500 Days of Summer, but I was enchanted by it anyway The main protagonist Julian is a director with a self consciously astounding collection of music on his iPod, and the novel is generally about his love for Cait, a young Irish rock star on the rise Their courtship is truly unique, as he gives her hard advice to make her a better artist, and she begins writing the next steps of the relationship into her songs As the love story develops, though, the book gets complicated in unexpected but strangely inevitable ways He follows her around like a man in love, and Phillips is a strong author who is able to subtly shift perspectives and introduce enough doubt to make the reader uncomfortably confront the idea that he may also be following her around like an unwanted stalker What if, for example, an anonymous message was from some other admirer What if he is creating his love s reciprocal feelings from inside his own head It is occasionally nauseating and often creepy and kind of exactly how I think hipster love goes.Personally, I am no big fan of hipsters I tolerate them just fine, but I prefer to read about people who are a little mainstream in their pop cultural interests I grew up in the suburbs So even though I liked the main characters in this love story, I greatly appreciated the variety of perspectives presented by the supporting cast Julian s estranged wife brings some gut wrenchingly honest emotion to the narrative, and his genius brother alternates between being hopelessly irritating and intensely sympathetic in a Jeopardyfiasco, I actually had to stop reading for a minute or two because I felt so horrible for the character s honest but irreparable mistake The way music drives this story is a little troubling for me Although I can t really relate I love structure and carefully engineered playlists , I like Julian s strange little obsession with shuffling through his iPod like a Tarot deck, letting randomly selected songs guide him to different decisions I m fine that most of the music he likes is not what I have on my own iPod My main problem is Cait s music I don t get, based on the lyrics that we have in the book, how her career skyrockets with mainstream U.S audiences I may be influenced by her Irish background and my intense dislike of the film Once, but without some phenomenal instrumentation, I would not want to listen to her songs They read like very personal poetry that lacks a universality which is great to produce, sure, but not easy for a listener to grasp and own I wish that Phillips had given less detail about the songs, leaving the reader with enough lines to hit his plot and character points but holding back enough of the other lyrics for the reader to fill in the blanks with a lyrical style of his her preference On the other hand, Phillips could have downplayed Cait s star potential Either Julian should fall for an artist who is about to explode on a mainstream scene in which case, she needs accessible lyrics , or he should see a talent other people are doomed to miss in which case lyrics that appeal to a smaller audience make much sense In this book, though, the actual music doesn t match the stated impact of the music, and I am a little hesitant in my recommendation because of it.This is a really good love story, and a good exploration of the role of art and music for humanity in the new millenium It has real emotion within the bounds of the self conscious hipster affectations, and the story has some great surprises along the way I look forward to reading by this author. The critically lauded Arthur Phillips and his fourth novel, The Song Is You, is a 21st century meditation on love and music that washes the reader in poetic prose and imagery, but ultimately amounts to old wine in a new bottle or for me, just plain old bullshit.Phillips writing is amazingly good, and it s on constant display throughout He s a natural at writing prose that s poetic and effective Much of the praise this novel has amassed is due in part to his skillful writing that weaves narration and description into characters that perfectly fit between the covers of this book The dialog feels real and fits his character s mindsets without overindulging the author s mission to communicate their raison d etre However, the dialog alone cannot keep this book afloat for me while the story drowns deeper and deeper into the quicksand of romantic mushiness.Dialog on display A conversation between a detective and Cait O Dwyer, the Irish pop singer that propels half the book I m performing on Thursday night Do you think I ll be in danger from that dirtbag Difficult to say I m not psychic But if you re inviting me to the show, I ll think I ll pass She nodded twice he finally landed a jab after all her swings but she quickly laughed I wasn t You have to work late, solving a nice murder No No excuse I just don t necessarily think I ll see the best of you under those circumstances Pop music, you know I m not sure I do I think you know that what you do is temporary Cheap It s for kids I understand a person s got to make a living I don t think less of you for doing that to pay your rent But it s not the most interesting part of you by a mile And you can see the most interesting part If your job was dressing up as rabbit in a theme park, would you want me to come visit you and pretend you were a real rabbit I hope you re laughing because you see how right on the comparison is You go sing I d worry if you really thought it was a big deal The story follows a middle aged commercial artist named Julian that once had high ambitions of creating meaningful art, but is now broken of his younger dreams by the death of his two year old son and subsequent failed marriage On a snowy night in New York City, he finds himself in a bar watching the aforementioned Cait O Dwyer sing with her band Somewhat impressed, he buys her demo CD and eventually transfers it to his iPod Through the MP3 player her music comes alive and seems to speak to him personally in a special way that ignites his passion for Cait and for life again As Julian is already a musical junkie that s always plugged into the world that his iPod contains, Cait s music inspires him to become a fan in a shadowy, deceptive way that s usually called stocking He contacts her via cryptic notes scribbled on beer coasters and online forums that eventually piques her reciprocated interest in him and fuels her creativity And so the story plays out with the two following, stalking, and playing a game of tease and chase that ultimately comes to an unsatisfactory end While the end generally does avoid clich s in an expected way it s nothing new to trade an expected ending for a less expected but equally banal finale.One funny thing about this book, is that it s completely contemporary right now, but in the future it will fade and age into a period piece like, Hemingway s, A Farewell To Arms Whether this is intentional, I don t know, but while I read of websites, cell phones, text messaging, usernames, emails, web forums, iPods, search engines it makes me kind of chuckle because it will date the book just like the music Cait seems to passionately sing will date her like the real singers she reminds me of Think Jewel, Paula Cole, Joan Osborne Like the detective s words above, it s temporary music especially so when compared to Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco artists that exude longevity.The story ain t bad, but what hurts this novel even is the believability of the characters and their actions The genres of Fantasy and Magical Realism are not present here, but I feel that I ve been lied to when I read this in the supposed realistic setting of present day America One can tell the truth in so many ways, but when there s a connection that seems not to fit very well, forcing the truth comes off as tripped up and ultimately a lie Validity escapes reality and succumbs to a world of spectacle that is fit for an average dramatic movie In fact I think this story would work better as a movie than a book Give it to the Coen Brothers and I m sure once they inject it with their trademark dry wit and irony, and adapt the already good dialog, a fine movie would result But that s not a reality Yet Phillips way of telling a tale of lost and found love has garnered him critical fame as a great writer which is true of his prose but for me, the pretty writing just serves a mediocre story that is shallow and empty I ll give Arthur Phillips another chance one day, but for now he s going to have to go to the back of the line and wait a long time This book barely made it past the 50 page test, but I persevered, sure I would eventually like it Then on page 101, this sentence appeared and I knew it was over Like an arrogant government minister forced by revolution into faraway exile where he can only find work as a cabdriver and who then assumes that all his fares despise him as completely as he would have despised immigrant cabdrivers in his home country back when he was a man of power, so it now was with the former lead singer of Reflex Seriously Doesn t it remind you of Mike Myer s Harriet poem on So I Married an Ax Murderer He wants you back he screamed into the night air like a fireman going to a window that has no fireexcept the passion of his heart I do not crave this book fortnightly And I won t be finishing it. And I can t get it out of my headThis book is a ballad, a haunting ballad that continues to play its plaintive notes in my head, like a refrain Don t be fooled by the product description of a man in love with his ipod This is not a jaunty, trendy escape tale This is for serious readers who love literature, and who love literature to descant.Julian Donahue is middle aged, affluent, and adrift After his son s death, his marriage unravels, but he remains tightly wound He has a successful career producing commercials, yet he is increasingly filled with self loathing and dread He spends dissolute nights seducing beautiful, indifferent women or drearily bantering with his eccentric, cunning brother The consummate and lugubrious loner, Julian is unable to pursue happiness His ipod shuffle is his only source of bliss each song is a monument to a moment in time, a memory stilled or distilled, a dream of an image of a life Julian s opaque existence is thrown into sharp relief through the prism of his songs As his father before him, only music and his past can pierce his diamond hard heart.And then one night Julian walks into a bar and is struck by the young Irish rock singer on stage, Cait O Dwyer A rising star, a supernova, a red haired songbird, Cait commands his attention with her saucy but vulnerable charisma and nubile essence After the show, he buys her CD, returns home and googles her, downloads her music into his ipod and so begins their love affair But this is an unprecedented romance They decide not to meet right away rather, they circle one other They spend time together alone They shadow each other He illustrates her on cork nightclub coasters images of her vibrant potential each with a title and leaves them for her at the bar One is entitled Bleaker and Oblique She responds, writes an eponymous song and leaves him clues and a key under her mat Yet they tacitly understand that it isn t the right time to meet Julian captures her on film from a distance, enters her home when she isn t there They email, occasionally talk on the phone, and correspond, paradoxically, in ways even intimate than can be imagined in person Their relationship is a sensuous aria and they are each others accompaniment.As the story crescendos toward its fascinating denouement, I actually broke out in a sweat This is an emotional, psychological, and romantic thriller that creates a bubble of tension so taut that it will leave you breathless and drenched During the last 60 pages, I was heaving This novel was an emotionally athletic experience that exhilarated and moved me into strange and intoxicating places.I have read two earlier novels by Phillips The Egyptologist and Prague, which I thoroughly enjoyed However, this novel is distinctly different in narrative style What a virtuoso I didn t recognize him in this book by his erstwhile prose or any previous patterns I was stunned by his ability to engulf me with this story Although his prose is cerebral, it is also poetic You could lift almost any sentence from this novel, place it on a clean, white sheet, and contemplate it, ponder it, reflect on its individual acuity And yet, inclusively, the sentences connect beautifully into a quiet explosion, a bonfire of a book Like a poet, he can be simultaneously precise and circumspect a razor and a rhyme, canny and uncanny, at once and out of time.Read it the first time for the hot chill, and then read it again for the quiet thrill Breakdown on the shoreline,Can t move, it s an ebbtide.Morning don t get here till night,Searching for her silver light Electric Light Orchestra I read the gorgeously written prologue at the bookstore, and was convinced that it was well worth the 10.05 I d pay with my employee discount Boy, was I wrong I have to say, skimming through the reviews that I m a little bit surprised by the comments Am I the only one who didn t enjoy the prose in this book I found the vast majority of Phillips sentences to be poorly constructed Half of them ended in a place so far removed from the beginning of the sentence that I had to read them twice in order to make sense of them Dear Mr Phillips enough with the commas The end result is Julian, a completely uninteresting character with no emotional depth it was impossible to empathize with him in any way Phillips attempts to use music to make the emotional connections, in a way reminiscent of High Fidelity, and it was hard not to picture John Cusack as Julian However, the emotional connections that Phillips and Julian have with the music simply do not find their way off the page I barely sludged my way through fifty pages of this atrocity before deciding I couldn t handle him any. Beautiful cover, brilliant prologue, interesting premise, terrible execution That pretty much sums up my review of The Song Is You by Arthur Phillips Don t get me wrong, I love beautiful lines of prose and Arthur Phillips can write very well my hat tips to him and I love music themed books, but this was one of the examples of how not to use music within a story The references to Julian Donahue s Ipod in this story were too much and telling than they were showing in natural veins As a result, the songs and the way they play out read very clunky and difficult to digest in spurts without really allowing the reader to digest the character personalities and situations naturally.One thing to keep in mind, this book is chock full of characters with very big flaws, and appropriate since it is tabbed as a dark comedy Even for that particular label, it s not well matched It s not a particularly strong romance either, particularly since the scheme of events plays out the way they do to the very end.To summarize, the story revolves around the growing, yet distant relationship of the middle aged artist Julian Donahue and the flaming red haired Irish rock singer Cait O Dwyer The two are an unlikely pair Julian s a man who lacks passion in his career and has a dysfunctional relationship with his wife over a set of tragic events Cait is a singer on the rise who has rather unstable relationships of her own Julian and Cait form a relationship from a distance starting with one evening at a local pub when Julian leaves her a series of messages on illustrated coasters.I was concerned because Julian s pursuit of this relationship borders on stalkerish, as does Cait s relations with him as well, and for a developing relationship, I didn t like that aspect I also didn t like how Julian s playlist isn t very clear cut there s too many songs and they tend to get lost in the fray and tends to be noise than genuine ties to the scenes that Phillips illustrates Overall, it had the potential to be a better novel than what it was, I think There were parts of the prose I did like and that flowed quite naturally like the prologue , while others seemed to overshoot the perspective In addition, as much as I followed the characters throughout, I didn t care for them It was hard to truly identify with Julian despite the problems in his life, and Cait was far too at odds for me to really like though there were points where I thought I could like her Very disappointing despite an interesting theme and plot tag.Overall score 1.5 5