The Devil & Preston Black by Jason Jack Miller (GR Cleanup Project)

The Devil and Preston Black - Jason Jack Miller, Brad Vetter

GR Cleanup Project


My PDF version of this ebook was 666 pages long, methinks this was not accidental ;)

Preston Black is a musician in his late 20’s and is at that turning point in one’s life when one has to decide if they’re going to go all out and follow their dreams or throw in the towel and get a real job like the rest of us schlubs. Written in first person we witness first hand Preston’s love for his music, his confusion, his emotional turmoil, all of it. This is an intimate look at an imperfect guy trying to find his place in the world and locate his birth father. As a girl who grew up around young musicians (and wanna-be musicians), Preston’s characterization was spot on. He is a realistically drawn young guy, passionate about music and easily tempted by the devil’s playthings. He irritated the hell out of me and there were many times when I wanted to shake some sense into him but that’s the charm of Preston and his story. He makes some dumb choices, is a terrible boyfriend like many of the young men I have known, and his journey kept me guessing and I never really knew just how things were going to pan out for him in the end.

I’m not going to rehash the story and point out all of the things that happen along the way. I’m lazy and if you’re interested in the book you should experience all of the twists for yourself. Though the book was a little long for my liking, I truly enjoyed the quieter moments where the author carefully spins the atmosphere into a living, breathing thing with his words. When Preston finds himself in an off the grid home that time seems to have forgot I felt transported there myself. Great stuff there.

The dialogue also felt genuine. My favorite bit happened when Preston, who can be a bit “woe is me” at times (can’t we all?), meets Katy, a student and fellow musician who doesn’t mince words.

"I'm sure you have drawers overflowing with panties the ladies throw at the stage. We saw you guys play down at Mon Brewing a few times. Way to keep the Nineties alive."

"Ouch. Who pissed in your Cheerios?"

"You did. There are guys up here who would play you into a hole, but nobody's ever going to hear them because they aren't as pretty as you."

That Katy is my kind of girl.