Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Satire
Approximate word count: 10-15,000 words
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A native of the Midwestern USA, Kevin R Doyle has taught at the high school and college level. He currently teaches high school English and Speech at a rural Missouri school.
“One Helluva Gig chronicles several years of the life of newspaper reporter Frank Peters who comes to prominence through a series of associations with the major recording star, Rob Jeffers, who Peters first interviewed when Jeffers was still playing the college circuit.
When Jeffers dies midway through his stratospheric career, Peters own career takes a downward spiral that ends with him working for a tabloid newspaper chasing years of supposed sightings of Jeffers, still alive. As Peters is sent once more to the middle of nowhere to investigate a Jeffers sighting, he discovers something unexpected - not only about the dead singer, but also about himself.”
It seems fitting that One Helluva Gig bubbled to the top of my to-be-read stack near the end of a short trip to Memphis which included the allegedly obligatory trip to Graceland. Elvis was fresh in my thoughts as I finished reading about the same time I hit cruising altitude on the flight home.
The parallels between Rob Jeffers and Elvis (no, Presley, not Costello) were obvious and obviously intended. The same with the questions, the big one being can you have too much of a good thing (assuming you see fame as a positive) or is it possible for the price you pay for that good thing, whatever it is, to be too high? Rob Jeffers’ story had an interesting twist at the end that brought the overall story to a nice end, but what lifted One Helluva Gig beyond an episode of VH1 Behind the Music (why was an Elvis episode never made?) was the story of the protagonist, Frank Peters. His story also paralleled Jeffers and Elvis, but at a much lower level of accomplishment and notoriety. As Peters shows, you don’t have to be famous to face hard decisions.
No significant issues
Rating: **** Four stars