Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review of Sway: A Novel by Zachary Lazar

Sway: A Novel Sway: A Novel by Zachary Lazar

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is hard to imagine a more personally mythologized terrain than Stones/Manson/Kenneth Anger for this novel, and ultimately that was my difficulty with it. Lazar is a skilled author, and if these characters were given different, transparent names maybe I could've made the leap into fiction and enjoyed the ride on which Lazar was embarking. But as someone who is a nerd for Stones and Manson and particularly for Kenneth Anger lore, I felt defensive of the parties involved and kept thinking "You don't know how they feel."

I kept wanting this to be a non-fiction book documenting the exact same time period and people, which is unfair to ask of a novel that openly had a different premise. I have watched plenty of stylized portraits of people whose lives in which felt some personal investment and could easily process the poetic license with which they were portrayed, but for some reason it doesn't fly in a book, or at least, for me, in this one.

There is a Stones lyric about not always getting what you want that could apply here, and maybe if I'd tried harder...

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