The Angel’s Lounge by Kane Lesser
A man broken by life, a man broken by repeated blows to his ailing body. In Kane Lesser’s The Angel’s Lounge, an Irish-American rock star comes to grips with a rather disturbing past, and while a heightened sense of drama persists, there seems to be a lack of identity for the reader to grasp on to, much like the central figure himself. Told from a third-person, subjective viewpoint of a doctor playing father figure to a troubled musician named Breck Stewart, the narrator takes a Tarantino approach by producing events from the singer’s homeless teenage years to later bouts with physical violence and drug-use over the course of several decades. While Dr. Richmond “Sandy” Alexander retains a neutral position to the specifics of Breck’s personal life, the reader come to know more about the musical prodigy’s sexual tastes and less about his wife and eight children. Then again, the narrator barely addresses his own personal life, leading up the startling event that leaves Breck fighting to survive.
Entertaining as Kane Lesser’s The Angel’s Lounge may be, one might be left scratching their head upon the final page, searching for a more fully realized setting beyond the one in which the entitled main characters live. The “persona” of Breck Stewart becomes clear through stories from his loyal buddies, but just when Lesser seems to offer more insight as to the singer’s often troubling effect on others, Breck once drifts to the dark side, surrounded by “friends” whom already seem to envision a potential romantic relationship (or straight-up sex) before the man can properly recover. And when the plot reaches a boiling point, The Angel’s Lounge suddenly becomes an erotic thriller featuring a descriptive sexual encounter complete with cum jokes. Unfortunately, the narrative seems to be leading to exactly that, given the lack of characters from the real world or more thorough explanations in regard to the never-ending plot to destroy (or bed) Breck Stewart. Ultimately, the narrator spins quite the tale, leaving one to question his elitist take on the events. The Angel’s Lounge will entertain most readers, and the author clearly has talent, but the submitted manuscript could have received another look, considering the inconsistent use of commas throughout (and numerous spelling mistakes).
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