My Daze With The Dark Muse

Better To Burn Out Series Book 1

Fiction - Realistic
332 Pages
Reviewed on 02/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

The life of a rockstar includes endless drugs, girls, and parties. However, when you have a wife and a daughter, you have to choose a side or lose everything. Nigel Hartagan can't stop himself from getting high and going back to the things that drive him further away from his family. The fact that his wife's close friend may also be her secret lover is enough to drive him to drown his sorrows in drugs and wild sex with random people. While Nigel goes through this destructive cycle, he wonders if he will ever escape his reckless lifestyle and transition into a proper family man. Set mostly in 1997 and written in the form of a journal, the highly addictive My Daze With The Dark Muse is the first installment in the Better To Burn Out series by D. M. Needom.

Comically sad and effortlessly immersive! D. M. Needom takes readers on a wild sexual and emotional rollercoaster ride in My Daze With The Dark Muse. I couldn't believe a woman actually wrote the book as it is a very realistic depiction of how men think, probably one of the best I've seen. The major issues the protagonist deals with include open relationships, jealousy, addiction, forgiveness, groupies, redemption, and temptation. Expect to see several curse words and explicit sex scenes, including BDSM. I was completely drawn into the story and couldn't stop reading until I reached the surprising end. I am excited I have read the first book in the Better To Burn Out Series, and I want the other books in the series like right now!

Grant Leishman

My Daze With The Dark Muse (Better To Burn Out Series Book1) by D.M. Needom is a searing commentary on fame, drugs, sex, and rock & roll. Nigel Hartagan is a superstar bassist of one of the most loved groups of the century. From a pimply, gangly teenager in Coca-Cola glasses, full of insecurities and teenage angst, he quickly took to the fame and instant gratification of the world of a successful rock 'n' roller. With two failed marriages behind him and a young daughter, he is currently in a “committed” relationship with a supermodel actress/singer, whose fame is starting to outshine his own. Ava loves his daughter even more than Nigel himself or the girl’s real mother but instead of that being a plus for their relationship, Nigel sees it as more of a bargaining chip to allow him to continue his hedonistic lifestyle whilst still expecting and demanding total loyalty and faithfulness from Ava. Now older but none the wiser it would seem, Nigel is on a self-destructive spiral. Faced with the contradictions of loving his own lifestyle but demanding the exact opposite behavior from his partner, he has to face the consequences of his actions and deal with the horrific fallout of his poor decision-making. Is there a way out of this life, or will it eventually drag him down and spit him out, as it has to so many rock icons of the past?

Author D.M. Needom has written an eminently readable story about fame and adulation, the subject that so many of us relish via the tabloids and magazines, but in doing so she has also created a character in Nigel that is so thoroughly repulsive and abhorrent that it is hard to find even a shred of empathy for him. Equally, one was left wondering why the woman in Nigel’s life was so often prepared to forgive and accept his errant lifestyle despite her own star power and wealth. The conundrum she faced, I guess, is one that many in less auspicious circumstances face on a regular basis; how best to deal with and help an addict, especially one that you love and are committed to. There are no easy answers in life and there were certainly no easy answers for Nigel and Ava. The sheer level of sexism, misogyny, self-deception, narcissism, and self-aggrandizing that Nigel basked in was truly hard to read at times. Despite all his faults, it was possible to feel empathy for Nigel in places and that is the true test of the author’s ability. My Daze With The Dark Muse is a difficult book to read at times, given the high level of misogyny. However, it is a good story with a few interesting twists that were reminiscent of an old television series, which I won’t mention, as that would spoil it. On reflection, I have to say this is an interesting and ultimately satisfying read. Give it a try but be prepared.

Asher Syed

My Daze with the Dark Muse by D. M. Needom is the first book in the fictional pop-culture, drug and music genre series Better to Burn Out. Written in its entirety in the first-person and within the context of fleshed-out journal entries or personal notes, the book follows rock god Nigel Hartagan at the height of an ambitious and successful career. His string of successes transcends into his family life with a Playboy model wife who makes enough to support Nigel, who has a laugh at using her money to pay for hookers. But as his own flame still burns so too does his dependence on the substances that takes him higher than anything else has before. The crashes are shocking to a spectacular degree as Nigel loses all sense of convivial boundaries and runs rampant through every conceivable tryst and acts of what can only be described as domestic terrorism, acting as both master and slave in the clutches of his own body and the vices that control it.

Sex. Money. Blow. Beautiful women. Beautiful almost-women. You may look at this and think I've just rattled off my Christmas list, but My Daze with the Dark Muse has plenty to assist with a more wholesome change of course. I joke, of course, but the way that D. M. Needom is able to pull a coherent narrative out of a character like Nigel shows the promise of what is to come in subsequent releases. I enjoyed the quasi-stream of consciousness penned by perhaps one of the most unreliable narrators possible, although there were moments when entire conversations, complete with dialogue, felt like a bit of a cheat. Usually, you can flirt with a shifting storytelling format but regularly jumping between two isn't playing fair. That said, the book is fantastic and enjoyable to readers who can manage a guy who says things like, “I’m a wonderful man who will allow any woman who is worthy to bow down and worship me.” Good fun, that Nigel.