The Song Is You: A Novel (Paperback)

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At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I have to confess there is something I love as much (or even more) than books. Music. As an art form, music is powerful beyond all reason, but elusive and fleeting as well. Though attempts to capture its impact in print are laden with challenges, this beautiful love song of a novel succeeds brilliantly. Julian Donohue is a middle-aged advertising producer whose marriage is in ruins, when he stumbles into a bar and discovers Cait O’Dwyer, an Irish singer on the cusp of superstardom. Their courtship is bizarre and unlikely, but reason has little to do with passion. The Song is You is a bittersweet and thoroughly entertaining evocation of music as soundtrack to our emotional lives.
A Hudson Booksellers Best Book of 2009

— Sara, Atlanta


Each song on Julian’s iPod, “that greatest of all human inventions,” is a touchstone. There are songs for the girls from when he was single, there’s the one for the day he met his wife-to-be, there’s one for the day his son was born. But when Julian’s family falls apart, even music loses its hold on him.

Until one snowy night in Brooklyn, when his life’s soundtrack—and life itself—start to play again. Julian stumbles into a bar and sees Cait O’Dwyer, a flame-haired Irish rock singer, performing with her band, and a strange and unlikely love affair is ignited. Over the next few months, Julian and Cait’s passion plays out, though they never meet. What follows is a heartbreaking dark comedy, the tenderest of love stories, and a perfectly observed tale of the way we live now.

About the Author

Arthur Phillips is the internationally bestselling author of three New York Times Notable Books—Prague, the winner of the Los Angeles Times/Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; The Song Is You; and The Tragedy of Arthur—and The Egyptologist. He lives in New York.

Praise For…

“One of the best writers in America.”—Washington Post Book World

“Enthralling . . . brilliant . . . triumphant.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think, and for those of us who try to think and feel, The Song Is You captures the flip sides of life at middle age pretty much perfectly. Arthur Phillips is that rare thing among fiction writers, a wise guy who’s also wise.”—Kurt Andersen

“Impossible to put down.”—New York Times Book Review
“Daring . . . [an] incandescent new novel . . . richly human, filled with unexpected grace . . . A burning urgency animates the tale.”—Washington Post
“Phillips’s sparkling prose makes for a seriously fun read.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“This is the kind of novel you wait for, mostly in vain. Now that it has arrived, Phillips takes his place . . . with the likes of Zadie Smith, Jonathan Lethem, and the late David Foster Wallace—twenty-first century authors, in short, who can simply blow you away with what’s happening on their pages.”—Buffalo News
“An ambitious story of love and obsession [that] showcases Phillips’s gift for plumbing the depths of grief and emotional fragility.”—USA Today
“Captivating . . . This book is itself a flowing, lyrical arrangement—the words almost begging to be read (or sung) aloud.”—Elle

Product Details
ISBN: 9780812977912
ISBN-10: 0812977912
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 23rd, 2010
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: Random House Reader's Circle