Piano Lover

The Musical

Fiction - Literary
350 Pages
Reviewed on 11/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

William Karl Thomas was born 1/25/33 in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, a small Gulf Coast town in which Tennessee Williams lived and wrote about in his works. In 1951 Thomas married his former high school teacher and, after a four year childless marriage, was divorced. His checkered background began in 1951- 1952 as a nightclub pianist in New Orleans French Quarter, in 1953-1954 serving a year as a military correspondent in a combat in Korea, and in 1954-1957 finishing his 4 years in the Air Force while serving in El Paso, Texas; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Oxford, England. His screen writing collaboration with Frank Ray Perilli began in New Orleans in 1951 and led eventually to Hollywood where Perilli had begun to manage the then unknown Lenny Bruce in 1956. Bruce admired Thomas's multi-talents which led to collaborating in a variety of capacities including comedy writing, screen writing, album cover photos, cinematography, theatrical booking, publicity, and more in a collaboration that lasted ten years until Bruces' death in 1966, as chronicled in Thomas' memoir, "Lenny Bruce: The Making of a Prophet." Thomas' life and work cover the historical high and low points of the twentieth century and his fiction and non-fiction provide accurate historical background, often with reference and annotation, and provide excellent reading materials for history and social studies. Thomas spent twenty years in Hollywood as a screen writer, cinematographer, industrial film producer, photographer, journalist, and public relations executive. He currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he occasionally teaches writing and film production.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Piano Lover: The Musical is a work of fiction in the literary, interpersonal drama, and sociocultural issues subgenres, and it forms the second work in a trilogy. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to its themes and some explicit sexual scenes. Penned by author William Karl Thomas, this is a captivating journey set in the 1950s New Orleans French Quarter. It follows a young cocktail pianist who, with a group of fellow entertainers, creates an original musical challenging societal norms. The premise involves God as a discontented woman sending an angel resembling Louis Armstrong to recruit the pianist to save the world through music. The novel beautifully incorporates the script and score of the musical, showcasing fifteen original songs. As the musical faces success on Broadway, it triggers a religious backlash, leading the characters to pioneer Off-Broadway.

Author William Karl Thomas has crafted an immersive experience into the artistic and romantic adventures of his characters with a slow-burning emotional buildup in the true literary style. The historical accuracy in portraying Broadway, the Hamptons, and Fire Island is highly detailed and shows clear dedication to research into the feel and mood of the time. The protagonist's interactions with a diverse group of associates, including a female impersonator and a gay Russian puppeteer, created a rich tapestry of relationships that authentically showcase how people from all walks of life have always been among us, despite being hidden away in the dark corners of history. The portrayal of romantic and sexual relationships was also refreshingly unabashed, showcasing emotional complexities, desires, and explorations from different worlds and cultures. Overall, Piano Lover: The Musical is highly recommended as a vivid exploration of art, love, and societal challenges, set against the backdrop of a transformative era in American history. Don’t miss out on this fantastic trilogy.