Christine Vitale hosts the highly popular, three hour radio program "The Group Harmony Alley," which broadcasts every Sunday night from Fairleigh Dickenson University in Teaneck, New Jersey on WFDU89.1FM. After she read Seven-Inch Vinyl we did a live call-in interview on the show. In addition, she was kind enough to provide the following written review which she posted on her Facebook pages. Thanks so much for the kind words, Christine:
• In Review: SEVEN INCH VINYL: A Rock and Roll Novel
I wonder how many people are more fussy and critical than I am, especially when it comes to reading material. I admit when I received my copy of Seven Inch Vinyl, A Rock and Roll Novel by Donald Riggio in the mail, I didn’t rush to tear open the package in excitement and begin reading in fervor. Nope. In all honesty, I waited, all the while saying to myself,” I’ll get to it, after I get through reading my litany of other reading materials first.” I admit I wasn’t excited because I had seen, read, and tossed aside many-a-cliche music nostalgia-book before, and I didn’t think this one would be any different. But I was wrong.
Within the first few pages, I found the story intriguing and engaging, both in subject matter and in writing style, perhaps more by chance, than by design, but the more I read, the more interested I became, and I couldn’t wait to interview the author on my Sunday night WFDU-FM radio program, The Group Harmony Alley. I couldn’t wait to pick his brain about what inspired this unusual piece of work that I found myself carrying with me throughout the house, keeping me up past my bedtime, and making me late for work in the morning. I was addicted.
What I enjoyed about this book: The simple writing approach: Sophisticated enough to keep me interested (after all, I am an intellectual…lol), and simple enough to read at an easy glide. Likewise, the character development: Not overly-complex, yet enough depth to keep me wanting to get to know some of the characters better with the turn of each page. The storyline: The book mirrors a reality, a view of both the bright and dark sides of the music business and the gritty, shameful realities of life--those awkward social ills we all bear witness to however often, or admit it or not – are tucked away in many-a-mind as skeletons in a closet. Subjects such as racism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust, mafia, infidelity, drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, teen pregnancy, interracial coupling, and infertility. Not quite the topics that come to mind when one thinks “nostalgia” yet each just naturally weaves its way into the fabric of the story. I indulged in this bold statement of honesty, and realism in this novel. I appreciated that the author shows little compromise in dishing out the converse of candy-coated cheesecake nostalgia. Furthermore, I could appreciate the diversity in characters some with interesting and ethnic names that both feed into and defy stereotypes, and others entrenched indelibly in historical reality.
What also grounds this story in reality is the periodic listings of historical fact, interspersed throughout the book. I’m a realist. I personally want to see things as they are, and as they were—and take little interest in being fooled into teenage fantasy. With this book, mission accomplished, Mr. Riggio!
Christine Vitale, Host
The Group Harmony Alley on WFDU-FM/89.1 – Teaneck, NJ
Sundays, 7pm to 10pm - EASTERN
Live stream and archive available at www.wfdu.fm