With his customary pyrotechnics, Herriges gives us a “what if” tale written in a swift, agile manner that has become his signature style over the course of seven luminous novels. So you thought Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in 1959, right? Rudolph Kearns, aka Rudy Keen, begs to differ. Keen, a striving rock and roll song writer and musician, narrates an alternate history concerning some of the greatest singers of the 50?s and 60?s. He has the inside scoop on numerous Rock giants: Del Shannon, Sam Cooke, Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and a wealth of other famous singers. Keen manages to write his own hit song, but nothing turns out the way he dreamed it would. Between the lines, Herriges seems to be reminding us to be careful what we wish for and be careful not to take any agents or record producers (or film producers either) at face value.
Greg Herriges began writing professionally in his twenties with an investigative report on gangs for The Chicago Tribune Magazine, “Inherit the Streets.” Soon afterward, he met with his literary hero, J.D. Salinger at Salinger’s home in Cornish, New Hampshire, a meeting that resulted in his first national publication, a profile/interview with the iconic author. It decided Herriges to turn to fiction writing, and years later inspired his book-length JD: A Memoir of a Time and a Journey (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2006).
He is the author of novels, short stories, and articles, as well as a series of literary DVD documentaries, including Thomas E. Kennedy: Copenhagen Quartet, and the award winning TC Boyle: The Art of the Story.
His short works have appeared in Story Quarterly, The Literary Review, The South Carolina Review, The Encyclopedia of Beat Literature, and Great Britain’s Popular Music and Society and World Wide Writers.
He is currently a professor of English at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.
His new ebook novels Streethearts and Lennon and Me are available in ebook shops everywhere.
A witty and wild reimagining of rock and roll history. Dare I say that Greg Herriges rocks?
—T.C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come
The Winter Dance Party Murders is a sharp-witted, comedic, often sardonic exposé of the backdoor nature of the music business and how it uses and abuses its starry-eyed wannabes and icons. Herriges has given us a verbal whirlwind—rich, deep and wide and endlessly imaginative. A unique, incomparable read.
—Duff Brenna, author of AWP Award Winner Best Novel The Book of Mamie
Here is a novel full of belly laughs, terrific shtick, magical happenings, more than a tincture of rock nostalgia, and a tongue-in-cheek cataclysmic rise of the fourth Reich mystery by a masterful writer—and a recent rock star himself.
—Thomas E. Kennedy, author of The Copenhagen Quartet
… a kind of Kafkaesque pomo Borscht-belt shtick that’s reminiscent of some weird admixture of Mark Leyner, Thomas Pynchon, and J. D. Salinger. The result is irresistible in every way, from its goofball lyrics, slapstick routines, and playfully meticulous sense of place to its nimble imagination, delicious voice, and genuine love for those great old tunes. Yet it’s also haunting in its revel- ation of the deadening commodification of the arts in the late 20th century, the aesthetic blandness of the programmatic mainstream, and the eerie unsightliness of corporate incest.
—Lance Olsen, author of Theories of Forgetting
Through it all and with a dark and humorous wit, Herriges expresses his passion for the music, his love for its creators, and his distrust for the industry. The novel is revisionist history at its best and funniest—and probably most inaccurate. But who can say?
—Thomas M. Kitts, Ph.D., author of John Fogerty: American Son