Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: The Big Wide Calm by Rich Marcello

A little like my last review, I'm in new waters here--this time, we're in the music industry, something I have never had any exposure to. I love contemporary fiction, though, so I was glad to get into Rich Marcello's second book. (He published The Color of Home last year.)

In a nutshell, this book is about a few things. It's about a rising star in the music industry named Paige Plant. Paige narrates our journey into the story and we see everything through her eyes.

This story is also about what happens to your life when you realize you've been living someone else's dream. When you've spent much of your life trying to get to the bottom of a phrase that's stayed with you and hasn't let go "the big wide calm."

It's about a relationship between Paige and  producer John Bustin and while it's not traditional (neither of our lead characters are, though, so that's just fine with me) it's engrossing.

The writing gets ragged and raw when it needs to. Marcello doesn't just write about the glitz and glam of the music industry, he drags us to the gutters of world most of us won't ever get a chance to see. His writing can switch gears to lyrical and evocative at times, too. Marcello really spreads his sophomore book wings in this novel and tackles the first person POV of a young woman surprisingly well. 

From the opening page of The Big Wide Calm:

My name is Paige Plant, and I’m a singer-songwriter. I have fourteen paintings to prove it—one for each song I’ve written. Thirteen Möbius strip watercolors where I painted the song’s story on the strip. What can I say? I was good at science back in the day. The fourteenth, done in oil and not on a Möbius strip, depicts the only love song I’ve ever written. Not that I’ve had only one lover or anything—I’m quite attractive in a B+ kind of way—but only one worth an oil painting. Plus, oil makes the other guys, and an occasional girl, work a little harder at pleasing me. Everybody wants a love song written about them; almost everyone wants to see their song in oil.

For more information, visit Marcello's website, .


Title: The Big Wide Calm

Series: N/A

Author: Rich Marcello

Publisher: Langdon Street Press

Author Website:

Author Twitter: @marcellor

Price: 5.99 (Ebook)

Book Source: Author provided

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