Genre: Literary Fiction
“Busker's Holiday is the story of McKay Chernoff, a Columbia University grad student with a harmonica in his pocket and a blues band in his background. Desolate and despairing after a disastrous romantic breakup, McKay decides to fly off to Paris and reinvent himself as a street performer.
What follows is an epic summer voyage into the busking life, propelled by the mad exploits of Billy Lee Grant, a fearless young guitar shredder whose Memphis-to-Mississippi pedigree and Dylanesque surrealism make him, when he explodes into view, precisely the partner McKay has been yearning for.”
“An associate professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Adam Gussow is also a professional blues harmonica player and teacher.” This appears to be Gussow's first work of fiction. He has written at least three works of non-fiction.
In the beginning, I wasn't sure about McKay and (even more so) his classmate Paul who he befriended. They seemed a bit too pretentious. But as I shared in their European adventures, I slowly came around. Busker's Holiday read like a fictional version of a slightly over-the-top travel memoir with a lot of self-discovery for the main character. Kind of a coming-of-age for a twenty-something, yet with the writing style you'd expect from literary fiction. Not a combination I've seen before or would have ever dreamed might exist.
A minimal amount of adult language. Adult themes.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words