July 13, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

Stone Arabia

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Dana Spiotta
publisher
Scribner
genre
Fiction
We gave it an A

There’s a fine tradition of pop-music novels (here’s to you, Elaine Jesmer and Number One With a Bullet), and Stone Arabia joins the genre’s upper echelons with the transfixing story of rock musician Nik Worth, a fictional almost-pop star in the ’80s. He has withdrawn from public life but continues to make music, releasing handcrafted CDs only to those closest to him and writing fake, intricate reviews and self-interviews. Is he a genius madman, or a sane artist unsullied by 21st-century American idolatry? The tale is told by his sister, who is equal parts ambivalent enabler and ultimate fan. Spiotta, author of the must-read Eat the Document, has created another movingly fab narrative; it’s as though Nabokov had written a rock novel. A

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