This adventure begins in America during the late 1950’s when 4 members of a Detroit rock-n-roll band are sent by the military to Africa to find the source of a sound. The four will be paid very well for their two week trip and are given a short hearing of the sound before they agree to go. After listening to the sound the they realize that they should turn down the request but the amount of money is too tempting. Philip, the lead singer and piano player of the group is the main character; the story is told from his hospital bed. Malerman does a great job of creating a complete picture by weaving what happened in the African desert with Philip’s hospital stay.
It is interesting that Malerman has decided to write a book about a rock-n-roll band and the military. It is an unusual combination but the characters are well developed and the plot is not implausible, or at least it should not be given our technological advances over the last 30 years. When I read a book that is fiction I know that I might have to use my imagination but I am not offended if the plot takes me to a place I have not been before, or if it stretches the senses. Malerman takes the reader to new places and asks that we open our minds but I believe he does it well and the result is a terrifying tale.
If you have been reading my reviews you are beginning to see that I love novels that make you think. This is a very intriguing and thought provoking novel. What is the opposite of the most dangerous weapon ever made? Would anyone want to make sure that there was always a war somewhere? These are only a few of the questions the reader will be left asking.