“The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord” by Varian Krylov
Title: The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord
Author: Varian Krylov
Genre: Gay Romance
Pages/Word Count: 400 pages
After years struggling to realize his dream of directing a feature film, on the final night of his fundraising campaign Godard is on the cusp of having everything he ever wanted. The man he loves is upstairs waiting for him, and he’s just a few dollars short of his GoFundYourself goal.
Then everything falls apart.
His personal and professional life in ruins, when his old nemesis from film school offers to fund his dream project if he’s willing to shoot it in Spain, Godard knows it’s a deal with the devil. But he also has nothing left to lose.
Among the labyrinthine streets of Barcelona’s Barrio Góthico, the city’s vibrant music scene, and the sun-gilt beaches of the Costa Brava, Godard begins making shooting his dream project and putting his life back together, largely under the domineering gaze and deft touch of Ángel, the god of jazz.
But Ángel is keeping a secret, and a deal with the devil always comes at a price.
When Krylov informed me that this book wasn’t her usual gritty stuff, I didn’t really know what she meant by that, or what to expect–maybe fewer mobsters and bullets? But no, she was being quite literal and serious. This is the coziest of her novels I’ve read, and even though that’s not usually how I roll (so I tell people, but really on the inside I’m a big fluffy marshmallow), I loved it. I absolutely loved this novel.
The setting takes place in and around Barcelona. The weather is balmy and beautiful, and the water is glinting and warm. Reading this made me feel bathed in sunshine and dazzled by the colors and the crowds of people. And the noise! Even when Godard is alone in the story, I never felt as if he were alone alone. The city murmured in the background, and jazz beat as a heart through every scene. In a lot of ways the auditory details added a certain warmth and security, as if being cocooned by sound.
This was also very very sexy story. Godard is just out of a relationship: raw, needy, confused, and scared. And Ángel is sex on a stick: charming, open, calm, patient, gifted in music, and the body of a god. He’s my new book boyfriend (I’m sure we could work out the whole dominant thing he has going on).
Spoilers: they have a lot of really hot sex. My libido went through the roof while I was reading this. My libido is going through the roof just typing about it (true story).
There were also feels. Godard is afraid of putting himself out there and facing the possibility of being hurt. A large part of him doesn’t feel worthy of Ángel’s adoration (because Ángel is perfect). He hunts for every excuse to keep Ángel at a distance, but eventually succumbs. I could relate so much to Godard–I feared for him, I really did. No amount of great sex can spare a broken heart, or ease the raw naked feeling of loving someone who doesn’t love you back. It’s terrifying.
While Godard is coming to grips with his own insecurities, he also stands at a precipice of his career. He’s making a movie, and joining up with an old flame to get it done. This is the perfect set up for a deeply satisfying multiple-layered plot. My only critique would be that one of the plot points didn’t sit well with me–specifically, the fact that it was a plot point at all–and since I can’t really reveal it without spoilers, I’ll let it rest. However, if you want to take a guess, you know where to find me*.
Drama, passion, plot–The God of Jazz has it all. Come and get it.
*That’s your only warning if you’re going to read the comments section of this post.