Play It Again Paperback – Nov 30 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Play it Again is a romance, without the suspense that readers of author Tracy Krauss may expect from her previous novels. There's still plenty of tension and some elements of danger. It's very much a relationship story, and a coming-to-faith story.
There's a fair bit of mild profanity, enough to put the novel into the "edgy Christian fiction" category. There isn't a lot of sexual content, and it's discreetly "off-camera."
The basics of the faith are clearly presented in small portions as the characters themselves begin searching--after readers have watched them dig themselves into messes and have developed sympathy for them. And although the gospel message is very clear, I never felt readers were being preached at.
[Review copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair review.]
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Krauss captures the smoky bar scene, the lifestyle of those who struggle to make a living by their music, and the consequences of the loose morals and the lifestyle, of a variety of individuals you might meet on any given day of the week. I appreciated the accuracy and consistency of her characters. It wasn't long before I was pulling for the good guys, wanting to stuff a reality muffin down the bad guys, and tell the jerks to grow up! I told you I experience books, I don't just read! The author's timing and sequencing of events were very effective. She let her characters live and let you bond with them so that you wanted good things to happen for them. To that end, Christ was not brought into the story line in any real way that would result in change until well into the story! When He came, He made a difference! I appreciated the gentleness and lack of condemnation with which He came--the characters who brought Him into play were not preachy; they didn't push Him on anyone. In the end...well you judge for yourself!
So what about "edgy?" Well, there were loose morals--and you saw the consequences of loose morals without whitewash. There were cuss words--nothing any 7th grader hasn't already heard. To be honest, I was so into the story that the cussing blew right by me. It was not stand out offensive, no throwing it out like bird seed! The story seemed very "now" to me...this could be many people's story. And many people need the hope that they too could have a happy ending. Many need to be reminded that there is a light at the end of their tunnel if they are willing to accept it.
I would not recommend "Play It Again" to people who have left that kind of scene, who have learned that they need to avoid it because of the strong pull it has for them--much as I would not offer wine to a recovering alcoholic. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels they want something better of life but don't know where to find that "better."
What I especially enjoyed out of this read was the honesty: the author paints vivid pictures of real-life scenery and situations while upholding a very real, redemptive theme. Her works categorized by some as "Edgy Christian Fiction," Tracy Krauss doesn't shy away from placing an expletive where one could expect to find one in an emotional scene - and those scenes deal with all the passion, tension, angst and joy that we've all experienced while traversing through every day life. That redemptive theme is far from preachy: amidst the musical notes ringing out through life's circumstances - tunes of passionate yearnings, of strained relationships, of where-do-I-go-from-here - that redemptive chord is gentle, invitational, and as logical as the next sultry note emitting from the sax in complimenting the harmonic melody. This is real life.
Play It Again... Gladly.
Author: Wickflicker, KILL FM 100 (Night Shift Edition)
This book is hot property, and grabs your interest from page one. The reader gets a glimpse of tension between two brothers, Russ and Ken, both poles apart in personality, Russ being the reserved professional nice boy, every parent's dream child as opposed to Ken, who loves the bottled stuff a bit too much and who from a child was always getting into trouble needing to be rescued by his younger brother. That there is marital problems between Ken and his wife becomes evident during the early exchanges. Tracy Krauss is good at scene setting and this is revealed in the opening chapter, piquing my interest to find out how the story would unravel.
But Russ, nursing the wounds from a sham marriage that produced an angelic son Mark, and bitter memories, has virtually cut himself off from pleasurable entertainment, devoting himself to his work and the care and upbringing of his son. He is therefore a most unlikely candidate to fall for a girl several years his junior who turns out to be an ex rock and roll singer and part time groupie with her former band members. When Deanie is drawn to the handsome albeit stuffy accountant, and tries to be friendly, she's reels under the weight of the acerbic judgmental response she receives from Russ.
That should have been a warning to her to move on and ignore this extremely rude and unlikeable man. Little did she know that a casual one night stand would end up entangling her in horrendous emotional complications, familial dysfunctions and danger that almost cost her life.
The story is set against the background of the 1980s musical scene, when jazz bands and rock and roll groups were the order of the day. I would have liked to have gotten a glimpse of some of the musical titles of the era, but that omission did not detract from the story.
Countless persons have had their lives completely turned around by God when they least thought it would happen. Play it Again is written with this thought in mind, and qualifies as a Christian novel, as this theme underlines the story. The main characters, Russ and Deanie are rescued from their lives of despair and degradation when they finally surrender them to the God of heaven.
A fast paced read, a believable story identifiable with everyday life with strong memorable characters.
A highly recommended read.
Yvonne Pat Wright Author of From Spice to Eternity
Ms. Krauss did a great job of making the characters real - so real that I thoroughly disliked Russ through much of the story. Deanie on the other hand is definitely someone I could be friends with. She's so real, so willing to take on the world and accept her own faults and just deal with things as they come.
Play It Again is a wonderful story with a whole lot of life lessons within those pages! And the real message is laid out plain and simple for all to see - that yes, salvation is for all, that it's not about who we are, but about who He is.
This is one of the best gospel messages I have read in a story!
In this sensitive romance by author Tracy Krauss, conservative accountant, Russ Graham, finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a vibrant young woman he meets at a resort where her jazz musician father and his band have a gig. Deanie Burton, a former rock singer who is in school studying for what she hopes will be a more stable career, is likewise surprised by her immediate attraction to Russ, and the two share an intimate evening. But a past relationship that still haunts Russ leads to him compounding this passionate mistake with another.
Set in 1980's Canada, Play It Again is a story about the difficulty of letting go of pain and trusting again, both in others and in the belief that God has a plan for everyone. The two main characters, Russ and Deanie, are very well-drawn and realistic, and author Tracy Krauss does a wonderful job of portraying with honesty and sympathy the heartbreaks of their past and the challenges they must face to overcome them. I also loved the vivid portrayal of all those who shape and impact Russ and Deanie's lives, from Deanie's jazz musician father to her former bandmates and friends and the relationship the couple have with Russ' son, Mark.
While most definitely a Christian novel with themes of redemption and coming to faith in Christ, it can also be enjoyed as simply a spiritually-uplifting contemporary romance because it comes from the character point of view of those who are not starting off with any kind of strong faith perspective, but who are instead just two everyday people who face the struggles, deal with the consequences and must decide how they will heal from the traumas and mistakes all human beings make.
A recommended read for all fans of edgy Christian fiction.
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