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This is How it Really Sounds    by Stuart Archer Cohen order for
This is How it Really Sounds
by Stuart Archer Cohen
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2016 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

This is a story of Peter Harrington - all three of them. There's Pete, the aging rock star; Peter, the financier; and 'Harry,' the skier. Harry gets very few pages but is mentioned first and last. He may be the most important Harrington.

All three are in the last third of their lives. Rock star Pete has seen better days, but he doesn't notice it until his financial adviser tells him he has lost everything in the collapse of a stock fund he held. Financier Peter is the one that built the fund and insured his personal fortune against its collapse. Meanwhile, Harry is living a more normal life, taking care of his father's hardware store in Alaska, raising his son, but still looking for glory: 'what a few others knew or just you knew - that you had done something extraordinary and courageous and that fear hadn't stopped you.' All wish their lives were different but are not sure how to change them.

Not only has author Cohen spun a really good yarn, he also provides great insight into subjects as varied as the art and knowledge of skiing, old and new Shanghai, and how to train for a fight when you are really out of shape. For me, the ending was a bit problematic, but that didn't keep me from enjoying the characters' quest to find 'how it really sounds.'

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