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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
No Birds Sing Here by Daniel V. Meier Jr. is the story of a road trip taken by Beckman and a lady he meets by the name of Malany. Both are running from a life they no longer want to lead, and both are frustrated artists. Malany has paid a vanity press to publish her poetry book while her traveling companion is intending to begin writing his first novel, as soon as he receives the inspiration and possibly the experience. Anything has to be better than working in a restaurant with a very strange co-worker and a clutter of yowling cats beneath his window. The journey begins with the premise that if you appear successful, others will believe you are. But plans go awry as the pair meets a cast of unsavory characters who have no affinity for culture, preferring to whore, drink and take drugs. While some passers-by are left behind, others take their place. Beckman is forced to flee on more than one occasion.
My overall impression of No Birds Sing Here by Daniel V. Meier Jr. is a cross between ‘Thelma and Louise’ and Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’. No one is quite who they appear, all the characters wear masks, hide their history, and play make-believe with abandon. They also have several brushes with the law, and at times it leaves you wondering if the consequences of their antics will catch up with them. This book falls firmly in the literary category with characters that come to life but behave outside the boundaries followed by the majority of society. There are some real gems here and there, my favorite was ‘… the angry glances of Hispanic maids pushing baby strollers which held the inheritors of vast fortunes.’ I liked the excellent descriptions of small-town America and the story unfolds at a satisfying pace. It’s impossible not to keep reading to find out what will happen to them all in the end. A very different book from Meier’s first novel and an unexpected scenario that lovers of books that dive beneath the perceived surface of society will enjoy.