Out on 23 July 2020

Dance Prone

David Coventry

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23 July 2020
9781509839445
0 pages
Synopsis

During their 1985 tour, two events of hatred and stupidity forever change the lives of a band’s four members. Neues Bauen, a post-hardcore Illinois group homing in on their own small fame, head on with frontman Conrad Wells sexually assaulted and guitarist Tone Seburg wounded by gunshot. The band staggers forth into the American landscape, traversing time and investigating each of their relationships with history, memory, authenticity, violence and revelling in transcendence through the act of art.

With decades passed and compelled by his wife’s failing health to track down Tone, Conrad flies to North Africa where her brother is rumoured to be hiding with a renowned artist from their past. There he instead meets various characters including his former drummer, Spence. Amongst the sprawl and shout of Morocco, the men attempt to recall what happened to them during their lost years of mental disintegration and emotional poverty.

Dance Prone is a novel of music, ritual and love. It is live, tense and corporeal. Full of closely observed details of indie-rock, of punk infused performance, the road and the players’ relationship to violence, hate and peace.

Set simultaneously during the post-punk period and the narrative present of 2019, Dance Prone was born out of a love of the underground and indie rock scenes of the 1980s, a fascination for their role in the cultural apparatus of memory, social decay and its reconstruction.

Praise for David Coventry’s previous book, The Invisible Mile:
Bruising, beautiful and ultimately transcendent, there’s a perfect thought on sport, humanity or endurance on just about every page.

Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief

Absorbing, and on many levels. It’s a book about violence, youth, mythology, history, guilt and love – all set to the agonising rhythm of an inhuman bike race. Some achievement! Fictionalised accounts of sporting events don’t always work, but this has the same feeling of total immersion as I remember feeling when I read David Peace’s The Damned Utd.

Ned Boulting, cycling broadcaster and author

Pick of the Week. David Coventry’s poetic odyssey in the Tour de France. Relates . . . with symbolic force and poetic finesse.

Sydney Morning Herald