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Kevin J. Anderson & Neil Peart - 'Clockwork Angels - The Novel' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/b2/17/6b/Kevin-J-Anderson-Neil-Peart-Clockwork-Angels-The-Novel-Rocktopia-Book-Review-46-1390249641.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 20, 2014    
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You don't have to be a Rush fan to enjoy 'Clockwork Angels - The Novel'.

Published by: ECW Press

Now here's a book that needs no introduction. Rush's excellent 2012 release 'Clockwork Angels' (check out the Rocktopia album and DVD & Blu-ray reviews) is a concept album set in a Steampunk world powered by fire and alchemy, but I'm willing to bet that even if you've taken the trouble to pore over the lyrics and study them intently, you still have no idea what the story's really about, right? This is why you need to read this book. Kevin J. Anderson - renowned Sci-fi author and friend of drummer Neil Peart - has worked closely with the Rush lyricist to not only turn Peart's ideas into a cohesive story that's uncluttered and easy to understand, but also fills in the gaps between the obtuse metaphors and phrases that he uses in the lyrics.

Mirroring themes in earlier Rush songs and concepts, 'Clockwork Angels' is the story of Owen Hardy, a sixteen year old assistant orchard manager in a small village who longs to find out more about places he's only ever seen in his mother's books. Without giving too much away, he one day stows away on a steamliner to the big city and ends up having adventures in far-flung lands that never turn out the way the naive and moralistic young man thinks they should. Finding he's always been manipulated by two opposing forces of order and chaos (The Watchmaker and The Anarchist) he eventually turns away from both and goes back to the only place he's ever been happy; finding love and friendship as a juggler with a carnival troupe (the three clowns Deke, Peke and Leke don't half sound familiar!).

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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If you're a Rush fan with even a cursory knowledge of songs and lyrics then you'll spot some of the many lines from old Rush songs that are spread liberally throughout the text, and in fact Peart in his afterword hints tongue-in-cheekly that there may be a competition at some point to see who can spot the most. On a different level you may well notice themes in the story from across their career, with 'Hemispheres', 'Middletown Dreams', 'Analog Kid' etc. springing into my head as I was reading certain parts. It's common knowledge that Peart himself left a job in the family agricultural machinery business to look for work as a drummer in London (that's London, England rather than London, Ontario!), only to find that it wasn't what he expected and returned home to find contentment in a band not far from his home town, and that's the basic premise of this fictitious tale.

You don't have to be a Rush fan to enjoy 'Clockwork Angels' as it's a good story in its own right, and expertly told by Anderson, but if you have any interest in the band and album then this is an essential and easy read that gives you just as much insight into how Neil Peart thinks as his other factual books do.

Phil Ashcroft

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