The Death of Rock and Roll
The Death of Rock and Roll from author Ryan Hyatt is the latest novel to be checked off my to be read list, which never seems to stop growing. Anyone else have that problem? That list always seems to grow faster than I can keep up with.
Bob’s baritone sax sounded like a B1-Bomber passing overhead. Newt pounded out death on the drums. Dick twiddled on his bass like a wigged out gutter-punk ushered in on a stretcher, drowned out by the horn and the rhythms. In the final analysis, Paradise was a harsh breed of music far too insensitive for a relatively square college crowd, more accustomed to sipping beer, standing around and talking sports at a bar.”Ryan Hyatt, The Death of Rock and Roll
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Have you read The Death of Rock and Roll? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
About The Death of Rock and Roll
Talented guitarist Darrell Breedlove is caught in the crosshairs of jealous psychopath Jake McKenzie, forcing Darrell to reconcile his past in order to embrace a promising future.
Darrell Breedlove is having difficulty making inroads into his music career. One thing is certain: The boy plays guitar as well as he shoots.
The youngest son of an eccentric auto mechanic, Darrell flourishes as a youth in Tucson, Arizona, under the hub of his family’s famous body shop. The passion that drives Darrell into adulthood is crossed by nightmarish events, culminating in a gunfight on New Year’s Day.
In the name of self-defense, Darrell’s marksmanship puts to shame Jake McKenzie, son of a prominent judge who once sent Darrell’s brother to prison. The gunfight unites Darrell with Jenica Allison, a drug-addled New Yorker, and triggers their exile to Los Angeles.
There, the couple grapples with new-found stardom as they storm L.A.’s treacherous art scene. Meanwhile, ghosts from Darrell’s past are soon banging on the door, and they’re not after money or fame. They want blood. Will the evil that plagues Darrell and Jenica force them apart?
Thoughts on The Death of Rock and Roll
I’ve read some newer short stories from Ryan Hyatt, and there is no denying the talent he has for writing. This time I wanted to explore his older writing and The Death of Rock and Roll was Ryan’s debut novel. There is always something special about a debut novel, no matter how old it is, or how many stories an author has written since.
“Darrell thought it strange how cocaine, guns, and nature trips could become so easily inter-related, but they had.”Ryan Hyatt, The Death of Rock and Roll
This was a relatively short read at just two hundred and fifty pages. But it was two hundred and fifty pages that drew me in from the very beginning and kept me turning the pages to the end.
One of the things I respect about Ryan Hyatt is his ability to develop characters throughout all of his stories I’ve read. Some are more in-depth than others, but the time he takes in all of them is just perfect, and never boring. He paints a very clear picture with just words.
This novel has everything, sex, drugs, rock and roll, love, lesbians, wild west shootouts, family, and so much more. The Death of Rock and Roll really spans everything you could ever think of putting into a novel, yet it all makes sense. None of it is useless page fillers, and that is the impressive part for me.
“In addition to dress up, I realized that’s what a good wedding is: a reminder of all you had, gained and lost.”Ryan Hyatt, The Death of Rock and Roll
The main character in the book is a complicated person, but who isn’t? He makes some poor choices, especially in love, but he is still both likable and relatable. Life is a messy thing, and Ryan Hyatt demonstrates that through the main character, Darrell Breedlove in The Death of Rock and Roll.
Final Thoughts on The Death of Rock and Roll
Ryan Hyatt’s stories are not my typical read. I don’t think anything he writes qualifies as my usual or typical reads, and I appreciate that fact. Sometimes that can become boring, and it takes the joy out of reading for me. A change of pace here and there is always a good thing.
“Darrell waved to Ted, and Ted waved back, not the least bit concerned to see a Breedlove hopping over a hedge with a handgun.”Ryan Hyatt, The Death of Rock and Roll
This was not the first I’ve read from author Ryan Hyatt, and it will not be the last either. I’m rapidly becoming a bigger fan with everything I read from him, and highly recommend that you give The Death of Rock and Roll a read.
Have you read The Death of Rock and Roll or any other writing from author Ryan Hyatt? Are you a fan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author
Ryan Hyatt attributes his passion for writing to an adventurous upbringing and active imagination. He was born in Tucson in 1976. Ryan and his two younger sisters spent childhood living in communities throughout Arizona and California.
He returned to his hometown to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1999. Working as an editor for a defunct horse trade magazine, and then as an auto liability investigator, Ryan sold his car to move to Barcelona, Spain in October 2002, fed up with corporate life.
His experiences culminated in “Friends of the Night,” an unpublished memoir written at age 25. Failing to find a job in Spain, he returned to the United States four months later destitute and despondent because his foreign conquest didn’t last.
Ryan spent the remainder of his twenties moving back and forth between Phoenix and Los Angeles working as a journalist. It was in the throes of his love/hate relationship with conservatism and liberalism, the United States and Europe, Arizona and California, music and monotony, his friends and himself, that Ryan wrote his debut novel. This second edition was reprinted in 2016.
Ryan Hyatt tells stories about your future. He is a former news reporter, columnist, and author of the Terrafide sci-fi series. He edits the satirical sci-fi news site, The La-La Lander, as well as Not Your Father’s Bedtime Stories, kids lit he creates with his daughter, author Sage Hyatt. Find him at the beach and his stories across the internet.
Ryan holds a master’s degree in education from California State University Northridge and develops and manages literacy programs for Los Angeles schools.
Purchasing The Death of Rock and Roll
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More From Ryan Hyatt
Did you enjoy my review of The Death of Rock and Roll? Need another Ryan Hyatt story to read? Here are my favorites!
The Last Shimmer (Sage Hyatt)
I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Ryan Hyatt about his debut novel, The Death of Rock and Roll, and get to know him a little bit better.
Tell me how The Death of Rock and Roll came about.
My twenties were wild. I graduated from the University of Arizona in 1999 at the age of 23, broke but with a bachelor degree in history, psychology, and creative writing. College is no place for people with creativity, at least poor ones like me. I blew a full-ride academic scholarship because all I did was socialize and write. Some professors and classes were interesting, but not enough. I read plenty on my own, so I had no real reason for being there except to undergo the first phase of an existential crisis that would teach me everything I never wanted to know about the difficulties of growing up.
In other words, for a living I wanted to be a best-selling novelist. So with that kind of background and preparation in mind, I found myself after college with no choice but to hop from job to job: scraping paint from houses, delivering pizzas, managing a tree nursery, working as an insurance adjuster. Finally, in 2002, three years after graduation, I sold my truck, ditched my apartment, and moved to Barcelona, Spain, fed up with corporate life. I heard a cultural revolution was underway—something more exciting, anyway, than claimants trying to eke out as much money as possible for car wrecks.
Barcelona was incredible, except it was difficult to find a place to rest. My two buddies I came with and I had to forge for ourselves and separate across the city to secure roofs over our heads. Otherwise, Barcelona was like college all over again, but on a global scale. I drank wine, listened to Rock and Roll and fraternized with artists, musicians, and con men from all over the world.
I also wrote my first novel, Friends of the Night, a thousand-page ‘gonzo’ manuscript about my experience on tour, which I dictated live into a handheld recording device. The manuscript has been whittled down to 250 pages but remains unpublished. Maybe when I’m dead people will finally have an opportunity to read about the absurd events that took place on that fateful trip.
At last, unable to find work, I returned to the United States three months after I left, destitute and despondent because my foreign escapade didn’t last. I found myself working more odd jobs and moving back and forth between Phoenix and Los Angeles before I finally got a start in journalism. All the while, I was driven by music and a little madness, perhaps, the passion of my youth turning into angst as dreams of an artistic life withered into a nightmarish headache of adulthood.
The Death of Rock and Roll occurred to me in a vision, inspired by a fight I witnessed at a bar in Tucson while a band was playing on New Year’s Eve. In my mind, that fight grew into something more: a struggle between two feuding families vying for the heart of America. One of them leaned toward freedom, tolerance, and economic mobility, and the other tradition, judgment, and decay.
I wrote the first draft in three months in 2004 while working fulltime as a news reporter for The Apache Junction Independent, and the first edition was published three years later in 2007, shortly after my thirtieth birthday and me leaving the Santa Monica Daily Press, and journalism, to go into teaching.
Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?
I’ve written six novels, four of them published, but few people have heard of me, so I started writing short stories hoping to expand my reach. This includes satirical sci-fi news articles, reviews, and interviews on my blog, The La-La Lander, as well as kid lit penned with my daughter, Sage Hyatt, at Not Your Father’s Bedtime Stories. Also, I have several stories in the wild: “The Manager,” “Psycho Therapy,” “Punk Ain’t Undead” are recent releases, with two more coming this summer, “When the Fireworks Fade” (Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine) and “Bob’s Pest Control” (Godless Horrors). I really enjoy writing short stories, even if they have failed to make me rich and famous.
Are you working on any new writing projects?
Yes, my first young adult/coming-of-age novel, The Initiates, a sci-fi horror story set in the same universe as “Psycho Therapy.” Think Catcher in the Rye meets Rim of the World, an offbeat but creepy tale about camp kids who must come together to triumph over an alien invasion. Lots of cosmic implications! It is taking a while to write, though. This will be the second novel I will have completed almost entirely on a train to and from work. Currently, I help to develop and manage literacy programs for schools in Los Angeles.
What is your favorite food?
Drunken Noodles from Lum-Ka-Naad in Northridge, California. And pizza.
What kinds of hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
Generally, exercise—but especially boarding, camping, Frisbee, hiking. If it can be done in the great outdoors, consider me there.
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