School of Velocity by Eric Beck Rubin

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Grade A

Eric Beck Rubin’s debut novel School of Velocity is a terrific, melancholy coming of age(s) story that traces the ambiguous relationship between Jan, a budding pianist, and Dirk, a whirlwind of life and bravado, from their initial years as boys who grow to be best friends and the years beyond as they move into middle age, estranged but never far from each others minds, especially Jan as he settles down with Lena and becomes a successful touring pianist. As Jan’s health deteriorates by way of sounds haunting his head, so does his memory of Dirk and their growing estrangement. This is a fascinating meditation on friendship, time, relationships, growing up, sexuality, and music, which is presented with such detail you’d think Beck Rubin was a world class musician. The themes here are explored with great compassion for the people and their relationships. At times tender, at times devastating, School of Velocity marks the debut of a voice that will be one to watch if this assured, lovely book is any indication. A great find and one of the best debuts of 2016.

School of Velocity available now.

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