Skip to main content

The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters

Review

The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters

Sometimes you have to judge a book by its cover. In the case of THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GALLIVANTERS, I'm glad I did. Set in Portland, Oregon in the 1980s --- a Mecca for music --- this novel tells the story of four punks, plus an enigmatic David Bowie lookalike named Ziggy, who want to use their music to solve the mysterious disappearance of several girls. After a suggestion from Ziggy, Noah decides to get three of his friends to reform their old band, The Gallivanters, in order to get on the bill for a gig at the Pfefferbrau Haus, a brewery where one of the missing girls turned up in one of the brewers. 
 
The pacing of this little novel kept me interested from start to finish. There's just enough mystery and unexplained weirdness to keep you wondering.
 
Told from the perspective of Noah, this story has a very bizarre but intriguing plot that took a little while for me to get used to. It's also very dark and definitely meant for older readers. It deals with mental illness, physical illness, abuse and violence. Even so, there's a lot of heart to this story. The relationships are so well developed and believable, particularly between Noah and his best friend Evan. I was really impressed by the author's ability to make the relationships between the high school-aged The Gallivanters and their parents so realistic. 
 
The pacing of this little novel kept me interested from start to finish. There's just enough mystery and unexplained weirdness to keep you wondering, especially in regards to Ziggy and the dark force called The Marr that continually plagues Noah. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone interested in punk music and to anyone who likes a dark, intriguing novel. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GALLIVANTERS had elements of everything that I like to read about, and I'm glad I found this little gem. 

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on June 22, 2015

The Rise and Fall of the Gallivanters
by M.J. Beaufrand

  • Publication Date: May 12, 2015
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • ISBN-10: 1419714953
  • ISBN-13: 9781419714955