Chick flick update.
Heavy-handed fiction.

Music and youth and British authors, oh my.

Somewhere in the middle of Martin Millar's novel Suzy, Led Zeppelin, and Me, I stopped being "eh" about it and started loving it with my whole heart and soul.

I LOVE it when that happens.

Suzy I can even pinpoint when it happened. It was when I read this: "My tea is always good. You have to make it in a pot and let it brew. However, not many people do this now. In restaurants, and even friends' houses, you're quite likely just to get a tea bag dumped in a cup. Most people in Britain have forgotten how to make a proper cup of tea. Useless television and bad tea. The nation is in chaos. It's a shambles." (p. 94.)

I loved that. I'm not sure why the world is in a shambles, but the loss of our ability to make tea seems as good a reason as any. And then, if I had any doubt about loving this novel, the author hit me with this: "When Led Zeppelin played at Green's Playhouse it was the best feeling in the world. I will never feel that way again. No group of musicians can affect me that way now. I'm too old for it to happen. I regret this." (p. 144.)

The whole book is a guy telling the story of how Led Zeppelin played a concert in Glasgow when he was fourteen, and how he and his friend went, and how they were both in love with a beautiful blonde girl named Suzy, in awe of her cool boyfriend Zed, and plagued by a nerdy girl who was in love with him (who turns out not to be so nerdy). For a book about a rock concert in 1970s Glasgow, it is surprisingly gentle, and although we never learn the protagonist's name, I felt quite close to him. Particularly because of the relationship he has with Manx, the girl to whom he is telling the story, and her Nefertiti hat.

It's a great novel, one of the best of 2008 (although of course I wasn't able to find it on any "best of" lists for the year). Still have doubts? Fine. I'm gonna hit you with one more, and then you're on your own:

"I don't have any desire to persuade anyone that Led Zeppelin were any good. You can think whatever you like. You either feel it or you don't. The same as any music. The same as any art. You feel it or you don't. The same as being in love. You can't be persuaded. You either feel it or you don't. I'm not going to try and change anyone's mind." (p. 212.)