Review of "The Session" by Mike Dennis
Summary:Jeff Dryden is a top recording session guitarist in LA. Makes big money. Has a beautiful wife and a big house. Life is good.
But one night, he's awakened by a phone call from a record producer who needs him for a session right away. The money is good, so he agrees, but this session will dredge up long-buried memories and dreams, and wind up changing his life forever.
THE SESSION calls together Mike Dennis' past as a professional musician and his present as a noir fiction author in a harrowing portrayal of a man who can't quite grab the brass ring.
In general, noir fiction is not really my thing. I respect it as a genre I just tend to be more of a "happy ending" type of person and noir, by definition, is usually about crime and decline.
But I can't deny Dennis' strength as a writer. I've read stories of his before and he always does an excellent job pulling you into his depressing little world... in a good way. This particular story is not your typical murder investigation that you think of when the word "noir" is used. It focuses more on the repressed dreams of one man being brought to surface and then crushed. An interesting and refreshing take on the genre.
As a musician, I did find myself relating to the protagonist. There's definitely a reason why it's called the music business. Much depends on your name and who you know. One minute you're in, the next you're out. Dennis pulls does a credible job accurately depicting just how fickle the industry is in surprisingly few words.
If you enjoy noir fiction, Dennis is certainly an author worth looking into. His short stories in particular are consistently good.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this story here.