Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Virtual Blog Tour Little Did I Know by Mitchell Maxwell Book Review

Summary from goodreads: Here is the story of an unforgettable summer. Set in Plymouth, MA in the late seventies, Little Did I Know is the tale of a young man with an outsized dream – to refurbish a dilapidated but historic theater and produce a season's worth of vibrant musicals. A recent college graduate, he fills his cast and crew with people he has come to love and trust in his university life, and with others whose talents and personalities prove undeniable. Yet, while the productions drive his ambitions, a local woman drives his passions, and their romance is fateful, star-crossed, and ultimately more than either of them expected. Told with with, compassion, and the kind of insider's access to the theater that only someone like Mitchell Maxwell can provide, Little Did I Know is a novel about coming of age in the spotlight and embracing one's entire future in a single season.

Little Did I Know: A NovelLittle Did I Know: A Novel by Mitchell Maxwell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It is with a bit of reluctance that I give this book the rating that I did.  I generally reserve 2 stars for books that did not interest me nor connect with me on any level.  I wish I had the option to give it 2 1/2, but enough about all of that.

The premise and the story behind the book are indeed right up my alley.  I love musical theater with a passion, and I used to dream about being in musicals mentioned in the book.  I could actually relate to singing, dancing, and the show business scene.

I also found much of the story intriguing. Other than the fact that I could have done without the fairy-tale elements (especially at the end), I found that I cared about the story and the characters.  There were even some plot twists and turns that kept me guessing from time to time.

So why the low rating?  I am one who can overlook sex, violence, and profanity to a degree.  Even drug use.  However, this book is filled to the brim with profanity and drug use.  While I am sure that many artists do smoke "weed" and drink indiscriminately and only care about "getting laid," I do not believe that all of them are, and I do not think it should be portrayed as the norm.  I realize the book takes place in the 1970's, but I think that this could have been toned down.

I think what bothered me the most was the rampant use of the "f" word on about every other page.  If it had not been for the fact that I agrred to review the book, I would have stopped reading after the first few pages. It bothers me greatly to see profanity used indiscriminately in this way.  I would have elevated this book's rating at least by another point if the profanity had not been so constant.

I was also displeased to see so much vulgarity concerning sex. No real bedroom scenes, mind you, but way too much coarseness in this area in my opinion.

Perhaps what I struggled to reconcile was the obvious intent of Sam to do the right thing--he often spoke of God and the Bible--but we see him drinking, doing drugs, jumping into bed with women, and dropping thr F-bomb like it is nobody's business.  The sad thing is that I liked him, and I wanted him to succeed.  I just wished he would clean up his act.

If what I have mentioned does not offend you, then by all means, read the book.  It is well-written and quite entertaining.  Otherwise, I would caution you against it.

I was provided with a copy in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

About the author:  (from his official site)

Mitchell Maxwell is an accomplished producer, director and 35-year veteran of the entertainment industry, known for his ability to spot the next theatrical innovation. He is the visionary producer behind the percussive theatricality ofStomp!, the rollicking Broadway revival of Damn Yankeesfeaturing the legendary Jerry Lewis – which was nominated for multiple Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical – and the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Dinner with Friends.  He has produced the Broadway musicals Play On!, Bells are Ringing (Tony-nominated for Best Revival of a Musical) Blues In The Night Tony Nominated as Best Musical) and Brooklyn.
Maxwell’s productions have been honored with nominations for 10 Tony Awards, 6 Olivier Awards, 15 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 9 Drama Desk Awards and 3 Obie Awards and have won in each category.  He directed the critically acclaimed Angry Housewives on London's West end and later off-Broadway, and produced the motion pictures and off-Broadway performances ofJeffery and Key Exchange
Off-Broadway he developed Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy, and produced David Mamet's Oleanna, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Scott Mc Pearson's Drama Desk winning Marvin's Room, - total 7 Broadway shows, more than 30 off-Broadway and regional productions, 4 National tours, 3 West End productions and 6 major motion pictures.  He has directed in New York, London and regionally, built 5 entertainment companies, and for over twenty years, owned and operated 3 off-Broadway theaters.  
Maxwell attended Tufts University, where he later served as an adjunct professor, and has been a guest lecturer at Columbia and New York universities. He is the author of LITTLE DID I KNOW (Prospecta Press; October 2011) a novel in the classic roman á clef tradition that brings to life the glory days of summer stock.

Buy the book:


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Your Ad Here