DETERMINATION is exactly what protagonist Monroe Furnace must conjure up from the depths of his Southern fundamentalist soul if he is to fulfill his dream of becoming a bona fide rock and roll guitarist. However, upon seeing his friend Beans enter a frenzied trance while playing on stage, he is plagued with the certainty he will never attain musical greatness. Monroe’s conflict between his desires and the constraints of his strict Evangelical upbringing are handled with an abundance of humor in Matthew Crain’s homage to youth’s rebellion and the rewards of perseverance. Crain’s narrative grabs the reader like a Jimi Hendrix riff and doesn’t let go until the last note.

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