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How the Mistakes Were Madeby Tyler Mcmahon
Synopses & Reviews
Laura Loss came of age in the hardcore punk scene of the early 1980s. The jailbait bass player in her brother Anthonys band, she grew up traveling the country, playing her heart out in a tight network of show venues to crowds soaked in blood and sweat. The band became notorious, the stars of a shadow music industry. But when Laura was 18, it all fell apart. Anthony's own fans destroyed him, something which Laura never forgot.
Ten years later, Laura finds her true fame with the formation of The Mistakes, a gifted rock band that bursts out of ‘90s Seattle to god-like celebrity. When she discovered Nathan and Sean, the two flannel-clad misfits who, along with her, composed the band, she instantly understood that Sean's synesthesia — a blending of the senses that allows him to “see” the music — infused his playing with an edge that would take them to the top. And it did. But it, along with his love for Laura, would also be their downfall.
At the moment of their greatest fame, the volatile bonds between the three explode in a mushroom cloud of betrayal, deceit, and untimely endings. The world blames Laura for destroying its rock heroes. Hated by the fans shes spent her life serving, she finally tells her side of the story, the “true” story, of the rise and fall of The Mistakes.
"In McMahon's debut novel, punk rock refugee Laura Loss narrates the whirlwind rise and fall of the Mistakes, a Seattle band that emerged from the early '90s grunge scene and briefly became rock and roll legends. Settled in Seattle after spending her teen years on the road with her brother's hardcore band, Laura wryly ponders her limited options, since 'jamming in basements and storage lockers was cool when you're a kid but pathetic in adulthood.' When Sean and Nathan, a misfit duo from Montana, show up at her door, the three musicians gel with a do-it-yourself chemistry, and their unlikely ascent to stardom begins. Though the narrative is engaging, there are several off-notes. Too much attention is given to Sean's synaesthesia (a neurological condition that causes him to see his music as colors), and the romance between Laura and Sean never becomes credible enough to make the ensuing love triangle a genuine source of tension. However, McMahon conveys the exhilaration and vitality of an outsiders' music scene and successfully evokes a time and place where kids who followed their own guitar-powered soundtracks were briefly able to crank up the volume for the world to hear." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Laura Loss came of age in the hardcore punk scene of the 1980s, the jailbait bassist in her brother Anthony's band. But a decade after tragedy destroyed Anthony and their iconic group, she finds herself serving coffee in Seattle.
On a reluctant Western tour, she meets Sean and Nathan, two talented young musicians dying to leave their small town. Nathan proves to be a charismatic songsmith. Sean suffers from a neurological condition known as synesthesia, which makes him a genius on lead guitar. With Lauras veteran wisdom, the three of them become the Mistakes — accidental standard-bearers for the burgeoning “Seattle Sound.”
As the band graduates from old vans and darkened bars to tour-buses and stadiums, there's no time to wonder whether stardom is something they want — or can handle.
At the height of their fame, the volatile bonds between the three explode in a toxic cloud of love and betrayal. The world blames Laura for the bands demise. Hated by the fans shes spent her life serving, she finally tells her side of how the Mistakes were made.
About the Author
Tyler McMahon is the author of the debut novel How the Mistakes Were Made. He received his MFA in fiction from Boise State University. His stories have appeared in Threepenny Review, Sycamore Review, and Surfers Journal, among others, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a professor of fiction at Hawaii Pacific University.
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