The Hellhound Sample

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Written by one of rock's most renowned word-slingers, Ralph Gleason Award winner Charles Shaar Murray, The Hellhound Sample is a serious contender for the title of the definitive rock'n'roll novel. Its focus is on the Moon family, an African-American musical dynasty spanning three generations. At its head sits James "Blue" Moon, legendary blues guitarist from the Mississippi: his daughter, Venetia Moon, is a soul diva, and his grandson, Calvin, a millionaire rapper, producer and mogul. But the Moon clan's seamless influence on pop culture masks a family riven with discord. Venetia hasn't spoken to her dad in years, and has fallen out of love with her music, too, churning out lucrative but vacuous jingles and adverts. Meanwhile her son, Calvin, is living a double-life. By day a paragon of hip-hop machismo, his label specializing in often violent, homophobic and misogynistic recordings, by night Calvin frequents rent-boys and gay clubs. And people are starting to talk - a situation that threatens to endanger both his livelihood and life expectancy. James Blue himself is having a worse time still, having just been diagnosed with liver cancer. Blue realizes it's time to put his house in order, pull together his dispersed family, and make one final record. Looking to kill both birds with the same stone, he contacts his daughter and grandson and invites them to record with him, opening up a can of worms sealed for decades. Enter hapless and affable British rock legend Mick Hudson, trailing a string of addictions, divorces and demons as he staggers through his fourth decade of musical stardom. On top of all this, the troubled troubadours have to deal with murderous homophobic yardies, teenage daughters, imposing managers, an increasingly curious media, their own sizable egos, Robert Johnson (or at least his ghost)... and the Devil. Or whatever entity it was that slipped Mick and James their talents, guitars and fortunes, and is now starting, in their dreams and visions, to get a bit impatient for a certain unspecified recompense.The Hellhound Sample is a hilarious, reeling distillation of six decades of musical mythology and history, the world of rock'n'roll re-imagined, in peerless prose, by a writer that partied with the Stones, took tea with Miles, and nearly came to blows with the Clash. Funny, warm and vivid, with a cast of genuinely unforgettable characters, The Hellhound Sample is The Corrections of rock.

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