This is the second stop on the tour, and we are releasing the FIRST 50 PAGES of The Tragic Age. Yes, you can read the first fifty pages by checking out the blogs below:
Excerpt 1: Tuesday, February 3rd: KellyVision
Excerpt 2: Saturday, February 7th: Amaterasu Reads
Excerpt 3: Tuesday, February 10th: The Young Folks
Excerpt 4: Friday, February 13th: Unbound Books
Excerpt 5: Sunday, February 15th: Books and Whimsy
Excerpt 6: Thursday, February 19th: Stories & Sweeties
Excerpt 7: Monday, February 23rd: As I Turn the Pages
Excerpt 8: Saturday, February 28th: Novel Novice
I have 3 ARCs of The Tragic Age to giveaway, so if you are liking what you've read so far, here's your chance to win a copy! Scroll down below!
And now for the excerpt... (this is chapter 2 and 3 in the book)
The drum room.
The drum room is on the lower level of the house. You might call this level the basement if a basement had in- laid wood floors, lath and plaster walls, and crown mold- ings. Dad had the drum room professionally soundproofed because not only was the noise driving him crazy, he was convinced it was stirring up the sediment in the cases of vintage Bordeaux that he had impulsively bought to put into the walk-in, climate-controlled wine cellar that came with the house.
My set is a Pearl Masterworks series. Black pearl. Dou- ble bass drums, a twelve-inch Tama Warlord Titan snare, four rack toms, and two floor toms, all tuned at two inter- vals apart. The set has six Zildjian cymbals; two rock rides, two custom crash, and a high hat.
My sound system is a Lyngdorf TDAI2200 Integrated Amp and Onkyo CS5VL SACD/CD player that plugs into a Pioneer S4EX speaker system.
The very first concert was probably people beating logs by the fire. The rhythms were the patterns that made up their natural world—wind, rain, stampeding hooves— and through these patterns, they experienced ecstasy.
What are my patterns?
Speed metal. Thrash. Ska punk. Progressive rock. Any- thing or anybody that makes me work. Neil Peart. Mike Portnoy. Shannon Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars. Danny Carey of Tool. Stewart Copeland of The Police for simple precision. But my favorite drummer of all time is Avenged Sevenfold’s Jimmy Sullivan aka the Reverend Tholomew Plague aka the Rev. Dead of acute drug and alcohol in- toxication at the age of twenty-eight.
Better to drum yourself to death.
The soundproof room is small and insular and hot and it doesn’t take long before I’ll be dripping with sweat. A lot of times I strip down to my underwear or take my clothes off completely. My hands and bare feet blister and bleed and the blood and the sweat spot the drum heads. Drumming is the closest thing I know to mindlessness.
I would never ever play for people.
“Billy! Billy, hi!”
This is the Sunday morning that as I sit on the beach wall reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau, who I’m finding to be a pretentious, pedantic, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, sheep-brained stiff, the tall, slim girl with the long, light red hair and the green eyes calls out to me. She’s up on the road above the seawall. She’s in running shorts and sports bra and has obviously been jogging and now she’s stopped. She waves, hopping in place, the way runners do while waiting to pass out or for a traffic light to change.
My hand has gone up to cover the right side of my face, the way it always does when I’m startled or surprised. A port-wine hemangioma is a reddish to purple birthmark caused by dilated capillaries in the skin. Mine starts just to the right of my eye and spreads like a stain down and across most of my cheek.
The girl with the long, light red hair and the green eyes points at herself.
“Gretchen! Gretchen Quinn! We’re back!”
Shock is a response in the body’s sympathetic nervous system. The heart jumps. Breath catches. Blood vessels in the brain contract, throwing off sparks.
The red-haired girl smiles again. She waves at me again. “See you at school!” And then she’s off again, run- ning. She has a beautiful, long stride.
I lower my hand. The side of my face pulses and feels hot. I feel as if I’d like a pond to run away to.
I hate it when people expect things of you. I just hate it.
About the book:
Title: The Tragic Age: A Novel by Stephen Metcalfe
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college.
Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul.
With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It's the age he's at. The tragic age.
Stephen Metcalfe's brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel, The Tragic Age, will teach you to learn to love, trust and truly be alive in an absurd world.
About the author:
Stephen Metcalfe is a writer, a director and a teacher. His stage plays include LOVES & HOURS, VIKINGS, STRANGE SNOW, SORROWS AND SONS, PILGRIMS, HALF A LIFETIME, EMILY, WHITE LINEN, THE INCREDIBLY FAMOUS WILLY RIVERS, WHITE MAN DANCING, A WORLD OF THEIR OWN and THE GIFT TELLER. He has been produced in New York and at regional theaters throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Japan.
He is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and has been An adjunct professor in dramatic writing at University of California at San Diego, University of San Diego and San Diego State University.
His first novel, THE TRAGIC AGE, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in the fall of 2014.
WIN 1 OF 3 ARCS OF THE TRAGIC AGE BY STEPHEN METCALFE!
Open to US/Canada
(But if you're an international resident and you have someone in the US who can receive the ARC for you, go for it!)
Must be 13 years old and up
Ends March 1st.
a Rafflecopter giveaway