ConeBoy By Clive Parker-Sharp, 363 pgs.

I will start with what brought me to the doorstep here, but I will stress that this wasn’t what kept me in the room. The author is a drummer who spent time in Athletico Spizz 80 and Big Country. But other than some passing musical references within the book, that fact should just be a launching point. This book is about life choices.

When these choices start to involve drugs, it becomes hard to see through the haze. I am not preaching now, just stating the facts as presented in this story. Elbeth is the initial focus in ConeBoy, with her son Colin taking on the mantle more towards the end. This book poses more questions than it answers in a lot of ways. The decisions made by the characters are clouded by chemicals and it ultimately destroys the lives of anyone in its circle. Hope, dreams, and expectations are shattered with no escape in sight. Fame shifts the tone abruptly once Elbeth’s son is born. How he copes with what life has dealt him is admirable at first. Then it becomes sad with a tragic finish that seems ripped from a tabloid TV soundbite.

I may have been depressed at times while immersed in reading this book. Sometimes I had to gasp for air for a minute after a couple of passages. But at no point did I wish for actual page numbers to glance at since ConeBoy was intensely gripping for the duration. Thought provoking and definitely worth seeking out. –Sean Koepenick (Box Productions, furryrecords@yahoo.com )

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