2003-06-12 / Arts & Entertainment


Youths Turn To Rock To Escape Streets In Debut Novel
BOOK NEWS Youths Turn To Rock To Escape Streets In Debut Novel

The mystical power of rock and roll and its capacity to heal the damaged spirit come alive in Street Fighting Man, the debut novel by Dennis Jones.

The book chronicles the experiences of a group of young Brooklyn toughs who, coming of age, turn to playing rock and roll music to escape the streets.

Set in that betwixt-and-between time when the happy daze of the Fifties was giving way to the Sixties renaissance, this raw and powerful novel spotlights the experiences of Kevin O’Brien, a young man who’s not particularly adept with his fists, and so takes to carrying deadly weapons. Following a brush with the law, Kevin immerses himself in the drums as he struggles to "straighten himself out." The transition is less than seamless, however, and trouble continues to stalk him.

In more ways than one, Street Fighting Man addresses present-day issues and affirms music’s continuing power to transcend violence. The characters’ struggles to escape the streets and create a life in music mirror the adventures and pursuits of today’s rap artists. Also, the young protagonist’s confrontation with the impact of the Vietnam War reflects how today’s youth is coming to grips with terrorism and war in the Middle East. The book’s energy, magic, and insight make Street Fighting Man an awesome read.


Dennis Jones (pictured) is a New York attorney with over twenty years of writing and editing experience with major publishers of legal research materials-including books, treatises, and newsletters. He has also published articles of general interest in Glamour, International Musician, and Modern Drummer magazines. Street Fighting Man is his first novel.

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