Stations of the Cross
By Robert Dunn
Published by Coral Press
I received this book as a free copy through Library Thing.
This multi-layered story within a changing music industry is brought to teeming life through the experiences of a fictional high profile rock composer and performer. Dyson Burnette is under pressure from his manager to produce a new album, or be dumped by his life-long record company.
Painfully aware of a declining ability to replicate an early effortless and prolific work rate, he feels driven to leave New York. A subconscious urge takes him back to the fading Mexican coastal resort where first love María unleashed his talents forty years previously.
“back then his words came fast as quicksilver, spouting onto the white sheet curled in his typewriter. What would he write about? All the world, and more.”
Amidst the vibrancy, mystery, dark and light, recognised sameness and difference in this community Dyson’s troubled reflections unravel the power and source of his original inspiration, as he seeks to reignite the muse and produce a new song for an album. The new rendering of Stations of the Cross will be for himself – “a song about the mystery, how little we know, how when we need shape and beauty most, they elude us—dance beyond us in . . . mysterious ways’. The original version meant for María had become lost in smoke.
Dyson, with his small travel guitar, and in fits and starts of despair, elation and arrogance, composes his new song – verse by agonising verse.
All the while readers are taken on a breathless journey, as Dyson’s feverish recollections alternate between his past international successes and the phantom connection with a beautiful young teacher as he struggles towards the fourteenth and final verse.
I highly recommend this book for its engaging portrait of a complex character, immersion in the atmosphere of an unknown place, and the lyrical prose. It is a story for musicians, artists of all kinds, anyone with an interest in creativity or the nostalgia of looking back.