Sep 25, 2020
The Song Is You
Posted by Arthur Phillips

Julian Donahue is in love with his iPod.Each song that shuffles through that greatest of all human inventions triggers a memory There are songs for the girls from when he was single there s the one for the day he met his wife to be, and another for the day his son was born But when his family falls apart, even music loses its hold on him, and he has nothing.UntilJulian Donahue is in love with his iPod.Each song that shuffles through that greatest of all human inventions triggers a memory There are songs for the girls from when he was single there s the one for the day he met his wife to be, and another for the day his son was born But when his family falls apart, even music loses its hold on him, and he has nothing.Until one snowy night in Brooklyn, when his life s soundtrack and life itself starts to play again He stumbles into a bar and sees Cait O Dwyer, a flame haired Irish rock singer, performing with her band, and a strange and unlikely love affair is ignited.Over the next few months, Julian and Cait s passion for music and each other is played out, though they never meet In cryptic emails, text messages, cell phone videos, and lyrics posted on Cait s website, they find something in their bizarre friendship that they cannot find anywhere else Cait s star is on the rise, and Julian gently guides her along her path to fame but always from a distance and she responds to the one voice who understands her, than a fan but still less than a lover.As their feelings grow feverish, keeping a safe distance becomes impossible What follows is a love story and a uniquely heartbreaking dark comedy about obsession and loss.Called one of the best writers in America by The Washington Post, the bestselling author of Prague delivers his finest work yet in The Song Is You It is a clos

  • Title: The Song Is You
  • Author: Arthur Phillips
  • ISBN: 9781400066469
  • Page: 319
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Song Is You Julian Donahue is in love with his iPod Each song that shuffles through that greatest of all human inventions triggers a memory There are songs for the girls from when he was single there s the one fo

    christa

    And there I was, minding my own business on a Sunday afternoon, when suddenly I could not put down The Song Is You by Arthur Phillips It was like I got hit over the head with a love mallet It had to be, because for the first third of the book I was trudging through Phillips metaphor mud, wondering why a character couldn t just wave his hands He had to be waving at the air as if bees were approaching his ragged beard with colonial intent Etc etc etc As a metaphor abuser myself, I m especially kee [...]


    Jessica

    I read the gorgeously written prologue at the bookstore, and was convinced that it was well worth the 10.05 I d pay with my employee discount Boy, was I wrong I have to say, skimming through the reviews that I m a little bit surprised by the comments Am I the only one who didn t enjoy the prose in this book I found the vast majority of Phillips sentences to be poorly constructed Half of them ended in a place so far removed from the beginning of the sentence that I had to read them twice in order [...]


    Angela

    In The Song is You, reformed philanderer Julian pursues Cait, a musician half his age rising to fame on her regrettably named demo tape, Your Very Own Blithering Idiot It s easy enough to predict how this one is going to go, because you ve seen it before.At its heart, the novel is Philips s attempt to share his love of music, but that s a difficult thing to write about Either the references chosen are so pedestrian that they re dated and tedious Audrey Niffenegger we re looking at you , or they [...]


    Erin

    phillips has a knack for looking deeply into his characters and extracting something that his readers can understand and empathize with on the surface, this seems like a love story it is, in fact, a love story its also a lust story, a sad story, and an unrequited love story i m providing this review just mere hours after completing the book, and, honestly, i almost think i need a week or so of digestion before writing a fitting review this i will say it is painstakingly real human emotion this i [...]


    Suzy

    Arrrgggghhhh, I really like Arthur Phillips and I was SO excited to like his newest book that I bought it in HARDBACK But I didn t like it, I didn t even finish it WAY too wordy It was like his beautiful prose that I enjoyed so much in Prague was on steroidsmetimes there really can be a little too much metaphor Anyway, it also didn t help that it was 1 a mid life crisis story thankfully, at 30, I can t identify with this in any way, shape or form and 2 full of very unsympathetic see 1 characters [...]


    Libby

    I wanted to like this book than I did I tried When I found out it was a love story that included music and I pod addiction it grabbed my interest I wanted to get into the love story and feel what the characters did, but I couldn t I did connect with them through their music addiction, but that is about it At first, I liked the idea of the mysterious love affair and how it started Then it ended up getting to the point where it was downright creepy and honestly, it takes a lot to creep me out I c [...]


    Stafford Davis

    The critically lauded Arthur Phillips and his fourth novel, The Song Is You, is a 21st century meditation on love and music that washes the reader in poetic prose and imagery, but ultimately amounts to old wine in a new bottle or for me, just plain old bullshit.Phillips writing is amazingly good, and it s on constant display throughout He s a natural at writing prose that s poetic and effective Much of the praise this novel has amassed is due in part to his skillful writing that weaves narration [...]


    Kurt

    This fascinating hipster love story isn t quite as charming as 500 Days of Summer, but I was enchanted by it anyway The main protagonist Julian is a director with a self consciously astounding collection of music on his iPod, and the novel is generally about his love for Cait, a young Irish rock star on the rise Their courtship is truly unique, as he gives her hard advice to make her a better artist, and she begins writing the next steps of the relationship into her songs As the love story devel [...]


    Tif

    This book barely made it past the 50 page test, but I persevered, sure I would eventually like it Then on page 101, this sentence appeared and I knew it was over Like an arrogant government minister forced by revolution into faraway exile where he can only find work as a cabdriver and who then assumes that all his fares despise him as completely as he would have despised immigrant cabdrivers in his home country back when he was a man of power, so it now was with the former lead singer of Reflex [...]


    switterbug (Betsey)

    And I can t get it out of my headThis book is a ballad, a haunting ballad that continues to play its plaintive notes in my head, like a refrain Don t be fooled by the product description of a man in love with his ipod This is not a jaunty, trendy escape tale This is for serious readers who love literature, and who love literature to descant.Julian Donahue is middle aged, affluent, and adrift After his son s death, his marriage unravels, but he remains tightly wound He has a successful career pro [...]


    Rose

    Beautiful cover, brilliant prologue, interesting premise, terrible execution That pretty much sums up my review of The Song Is You by Arthur Phillips Don t get me wrong, I love beautiful lines of prose and Arthur Phillips can write very well my hat tips to him and I love music themed books, but this was one of the examples of how not to use music within a story The references to Julian Donahue s Ipod in this story were too much and telling than they were showing in natural veins As a result, th [...]


    Nancy

    Quotes I tried to turn on your television, but your vast array of remote controls stymied me You obviously buy the same brand for each device to make it impossible for visitors to control your environment, and then you take narcissistic pleasure in being called to rescue them, infantilizing them and making of yourself a heroic figure pg 42 One November dawn, Julian came upon a basset hound sitting on a bench on the Promenade, staring out at Manhattan A few joggers in winter caps and Lycra pants [...]


    Jennifer H

    I really wanted to like this book There was so much potential I absolutely loved the beginning Julian Donahue s generation were the pioneers of portable headphone music, and he began carrying with him everywhere the soundtrack to his days when he was fifteen Even though I am just beyond the main character s generation, I get the soundtrack to life thing how to hear a song reminds you of some past time and it s hard to separate that memory from the song Good songs can get ruined by personal exper [...]


    Kasa Cotugno

    Anyone who has seen the evolution from 33 1 3 to compact disc to digital download will be able to relate to this book, at least parts of it if not the plot romance The part that music plays in contemporary life if visceral, and the ability to have an entire library in your pocket is to me still a miracle Julian is described as not knowing the names of the sharps and flats, but knowing the emotional trigger they can provide The beautiful prologue, for instance, describing his father s love for Bi [...]


    J.

    I was intrigued by the premise of The Song Is You, the latest offering by Arthur Phillips, the bestselling author of Prague the power of music, its ability to invoke emotion and bring to mind memories, both the good and the not so good.Julian Donahue is a 40 something director of commercials in Manhattan Julian inherited his love for music from his father, who lost his leg in the Korean War Before his deployment, he attended a Billie Holiday concert at the Galaxy Theater, where he met his future [...]


    Alana

    I must say, I was rather pleased with The Song Is You It s not that I didn t expect to enjoy this, because I did, but I also expected to feel like it was missing a small something That s how I felt about Prague and The Egyptologist, both works that I enjoyed, but ultimately finished feeling a teensy bit dissatisfied and also feeling like they went on just a touch too long No matter what, though, I still really enjoy Phillips writing style which is why I keep reading his stuff When LibraryThing l [...]


    Suzy

    I found The Song Is You to be ridiculous and amateurish, far beneath the level of Prague The friendship flirtation relationship between Cannonball and Cait is strictly schoolgirl fantasy stuff What I do like about the book is how it shows how much some of us are affected by music For Julian, or Julian s father, music is even than the soundtrack to real life It s food, fuel, inspiration, a driving force It s also what happens to propel both men to meeting their wives neither of whom are musicall [...]


    Rachel

    In this book, Mr Phillips is only several atoms away from doing what I most love to read authors doing a kind of gentle postmodern magical realism, which doesn t necessarily include actual magic or anything literally fantastical, but dabbles in the dreamlike, the linguistically indulgent, the poetic in its storytelling It s almost perfect, even in its rather uncomfortable moments of which there are several The lines between what is really happening, what a character is imagining, and what the au [...]


    Greg

    Beautiful, joyful yet terribly sad , haunting, frustrating That s how I d describe The Song is You in ten words or less.Now for words.Reading it, I often found myself in an intense state of panic The action itself crawls, and yet the future of the story constantly feels frighteningly urgent Arthur Phillips completely ignores the rule of show, don t tell by filling the vast majority of his story with exposition over action and dialogue, and yet it seems okay Even necessary Through so much rambli [...]


    Sheri

    So I am torn by this book On one hand it is a great story of an unconsummated love affair It absolutely captures the obsessive mental energies that can be spent on another person even no especially one with whom we have little to no actual contact The middle sections were funny and cute and wonderful end of Spring and most of Summer However, it took me 3 days to read the first part Winter and I was rather bored through Fall at the end although that was a mere 17 pages.I am also not a music buff [...]


    Brigitta

    I ve been meaning to read this book for years now, ever since it came out in Hungarian It looked just like the perfect novel for me pop music, New York, a love story what s not to like Especially since I grew up on Nick Hornby and his pop culture evangelism This book, however this was the biggest disappointment ever.The premise is somewhat of a clich which shouldn t necessarily be a problem, but in this case, I feel everything is a problem the burnt out ad director, Julian, who can t get over a [...]


    Chris

    i saw arthur phillips in a live interview and admit that i was impressed witty, charismatic, and whip smart while still maintaining an air of nonchalance i found his writing to be much the same way the characters in this book were annoyingly engaging main character julian donahue s pitiful, yet beautiful, attempt to capture the heart of young up and coming irish singer songwriter vixen cait o dwyer was as gorgeous as such a frustrating relationship could ever hope to be phillips pulls at the not [...]


    Jenny

    I couldn t finish this book The main character is a navel gazer who bonks models and cheats on his wife, his brother is an annoying savant who is obsessed with entering contests how original , and the love interest is an annoying Irish Rock Singer whose guitarist is in love with her fiery Jimi Hendrix covering soul what hipster rock chick really covers Jimi Hendrix now a days Just seems really 1990s No offense, Jimi Plus, it all takes place in MANHATTAN, which I m sorry, it needs to be a really [...]


    Lee

    I never read Prague , and the only reason I picked this up was probably due to a Salon interview with the author, all about how music affects the lives of individuals and where it stands in courtship, memory, etcI was hoping the book would be even fascinating Instead, all that stuff about music is of a quiet backdrop to what boils down to a fairly ordinary midlife crisis type love story ordinary only after you subtract the effects of a disturbingly stalkerly courtship one that s treated as pre [...]


    Twobusy

    Okay this one is complicated I have to admit that I came into this novel with a lot of trepidation, as 1 both my wife and one of my dearest interweb friends had already read this and HATED it and 2 I d read Phillips debut Prague several years back and HATEDHATEDHATED it with a truly unreasonable passion So to say I was surprised to find myself enjoying this novel is something of an understatement But I did Phillips has a gorgeous, lyrical way with words, and he tells his story in great swoops of [...]


    Heather Knight

    I love everything Arthur Phillips writes, but this novel, which manages to blend in hundreds of musical references while still maintaining its own poetry, is one of his best As usual, his characters are obsessed, with themselves and others, to the point of paralysis and insanity You want to shake them, slap them, call the police but, of course, you see in them the same things you yourself could do if cooler instincts didn t prevail In fact, one of the things I loved most about this was the conne [...]


    Jenny

    This isn t one I was instantly drawn to, and I was even a bit skeptical, but it turned out to be a case of something being on the shelf and eventually the time will be right It s similar to Nick Hornby s Juliet, Naked in some ways, though Hornby s writing is breezier.But no, music lasted longer than anything it inspired p 14 Great music, his father used to lecture him, was often made by wretched people The wise fan carefully avoided learning anything about the creators of any music that mattered [...]


    Josh

    Can t say I enjoyed the novel completely Phillips is Chabon and Canin placed in a blender There are sections here involving Julian s father that are as breathtaking and brilliant in the vein of Carry Me Across the Water I wanted Phillips to stay there and ditch the romantic play between Cait and Julian 2 novels squeezed into one with the less interesting yet still gorgeously written novel occupying much of the space Phillips strained some of his credibility with his plotting only to reel me back [...]


    Jill

    Evaluation I rarely get the reading experience I had here of a love story being a page turning edge of my seat kind of experience And part of the love story was mine, as I fell for the author s beautifully engineered phrases e.g in addition to the quotes given above, referring to face to face encounters as archaic forms of human interaction and testing the waters of a relationship as taking an escargotically slow approach This is a wonderful book for reading and discussing in the company of a bo [...]


    Lauren Albert

    Just didn t get it After a series of silly mixups prevent his getting together with Cait, the musician he has fallen in love with, he ends up back with his wife Unless I missed something and I wasn t focusing too well by the end , Phillips gives us no idea why he would go back to his wife, who he has refused to return to previously, except as sloppy seconds It would have been nice if Phillips had built up from the character s revelation that he can finally enjoy memories of his deceased son to s [...]



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