Eight years after Ben Silverman left his band on the altar of stardom, Da Funk reunites at the Roseland, in New York City. A record deal appears. Drawn back into the fast and loose world of funk, Ben encounters a long-lost love he cannot resist. His marriage explodes. His wife disappears with their baby. Ben must confront the problems of his life, his music, and his legacy to his children.
Tragic, sexy, and funny, this exuberant page-turner from Best New American Voices nominee K. Wergland asks the question of what it means to be a man in the here and now—and answers with empathy and wit.
Wergland’s sharp characterizations will capture the attention of readers of character-driven fiction. Ben’s indecisiveness on how to handle relationships with his wife Ingrid and his lover Alison highlights his own sense of unfulfillment, and Wergland’s deft portrait of Ingrid, the beleaguered mother and neglected wife, stirs sympathy. Silverman wraps its very human drama in a story that’s also convincing when it comes to the art and business of music, with Ben’s connection to his musical legacy given equal weight with his personal struggles. Wergland reveals a good ear for indie and rap: Da Funk’s gritty, sometimes tentative lyrics reflect a band re-establishing themselves as adult artists. Ben’s connection to his musical legacy is given equal weight as his personal struggles as he tries to reconcile his new life with his past.
Wergland tempers the heavy human drama with welcome comic touches. Baby Zack, the cause of Ingrid and Ben’s sexual frustrations, is known as the “Immobilizer,” and Ben wonders distractedly, if he turns out not to be present his child’s development, who will teach Zack about “Mozart, the Marx Brothers, the expansion of the cosmos.” With refreshing wit and intimacy, Wergland creates a nuanced portrait of a family on the brink of collapse.
Takeaway: An intimate portrait of a musician torn between past and present makes for a funny, heartfelt novel.
Great for fans of: Claire Lombardo’s The Most Fun We Ever Had, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Maybe In Another Life.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A