cover image Suzy, Led Zeppelin, and Me

Suzy, Led Zeppelin, and Me

Martin Millar, . . Soft Skull, $13.95 (222pp) ISBN 978-1-59376-200-1

Millar (Lonely Werewolf Girl ; The Good Fairies of New York ) is laconic as ever in this loving tribute to disaffection and the hopefulness of youth. It's 1972, and for 15-year-old Martin Millar, who narrates, it's a time of hazy ambivalence and chronic dissatisfaction. Millar and his best friend, Greg, vie for the attention of Suzy (though she has a boyfriend) and play make-believe games in which they are masters of the Fabulous Dragon Army of Gothar. The defining event of their young lives, a Led Zeppelin concert in Glasgow, is, of course, awesome, but after the postshow glow dims, Millar's personal life takes a few harsh blows. The author's prose is deliberately oversimplified (“I know you have a short attention span,” he explains), and while the result effectively portrays his resigned melancholy, the reader is often left in want of deeper self-reflection. Still, the character's passionate nostalgia for his one encounter with “the best band in the world” is an endearing reminder that fleeting happiness is better than none at all. (Sept.)