"Music for Love or War is slash-and-burn funny, but also unexpectedly touching and wise. Few writers can take you in one breath from the hills of Afghanistan to the gates of the Playboy Mansion and make you believe every crazy word. Martyn Burke has that special talent." --Carl Hiaasen, author of the New York Times bestselling novel Bad Monkey
According to what we've been told, the source of all knowledge is somewhere just south of Sunset Boulevard. The problem is that Danny has lost the address.
So begins Martyn Burke's tragi-comic novel of love and war. Danny, a Canadian sharpshooter, and Hank, in the U.S. Army, have been stationed in Kandahar, but they are in Los Angeles, desperate to find the Hollywood psychic who will reveal the whereabouts of the women they love. Danny is searching for Ariana, the girl he fell in love with in Toronto in the last years of the twentieth century; Hank is searching for Annie Boudreau, known in the tabloids as "Annie of the Boo Two"--twins who were briefly in the gravitational pull of Hugh Hefner.
From Grenadier Pond in west-end Toronto, to Afghanistan, to the Malibu colony in LA, the novel follows these moments in the lives of Danny and Hank, revealed by a masterful storyteller and commentator on American culture. When in the mountains of Kandahar, Danny and Hank torture the members of al Qaeda and the Taliban with the music and a larger-than-life-size cardboard reproduction of Liberace in satin short shorts, high-kicking as if on Broadway.
"As a Hollywood filmmaker and battlefield documentarian, Burke has seen enough of both Tinseltown and war zones to colorfully interweave both... The story flashes back and forth between Afghanistan’s mountainous regions...and pop-culture-obsessed Hollywood’s thronged streets and nightclubs. Burke's intimate familiarity with both milieus yields a vividly rendered and timely tale that readers will find alternately gripping and amusing." --Booklist
"Martyn Burke gives new meaning to the term 'muscular prose'...in this entertaining, well-told war story." --Now Toronto
"A glorious, globetrotting epic spanning class, race, and ethical borders. Burke's personal history as a Hollywood filmmaker and combat-zone documentarian makes this book seem less written than lived--it is filled with the crystalline details and hard-earned truths that can only be gained through on-the-ground experience. Burke is a marvel. Read this book." --Craig Davidson, author of Giller Prize–nominated Cataract City
"Burke has written a beautiful, gripping, and timely story of love, friendship, and war. This is stunning storytelling that will make your heart race, break, then soar." --Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans
“This comic novel with an imaginative plot takes you from California to Canada to Kandahar. What sells this storyline is the action, perhaps influenced by the author’s Peabody Award-winning documentary about war journalists. Sniper Danny … pursues the enemy … and your interest.”
– The Military Times
“It’s a whirlwind story, equally hilarious and heartbreaking, about the various kinds of love and war — and quite unlike any novel you’re likely to read. Highly recommended not only for its entertaining inventiveness and emotional involvement with the main characters but also for its noble efforts to put the madness of our contemporary world into some recognizable perspective."