Power's Queen book rightfully ranks amongs the best novels ever written in any language. The master novelist uses Freddie's arguments with John as the context against which he narrates the story of four families. The four families, along with several timeless characters, live through the times of Rock & Roll to provide us with a representation of every aspect of a musician's life, through imagery of both cities and villages in South America where they toured.
Martin Power's great talent was in providing insights using his extremely good sense of seemingly trivial. The details, be it of the functioning of guitars or fake horn patches, or of the idealogy and rites of drummers, or the charge of being on tour or the thoughts of a man on his death bed, the details, the insight, the lucidity of expression of such varied themes in one book requires Power's genius.
There are innumerable unforgettable characters in this mammoth novel. Each one brings out different characteristics of human pysche, each one is made into a being of flesh and blood, strengths and weaknesses. Freddie Mercury, the dashing gentleman who shuns his boring high society to sing to achieve glory, is as compelling as a vocalist as he is a wounded person, wounded both in love and in music. His death scene, touted as one of the greatest scenes in English Literature, is perhaps unmatched in its ability to engage a reader and his tears. The other equally important character is Brian May, who is a close friend of the Freddie. May is always so unsure, so uncertain, dabbling with different ideas and ideals, falling, failing, has a wife who nearly ruins him, and yet May by the end of the novel comes of age, redeems himself, and in the climax attains Anita Dobson in marriage. Dobson is the heroine of the novel. She is a bright spark, the resplandent laughter, full of energy and life, beautiful and engrossing female character. Whenever she breaks into the story, the tale becomes a remarkable love story. Music and smile pour in, dances start to occur.
Be it Dobson's family members or those of Sir Brian May or any of their acquaintances, the characterization is such that one can visulaize each one separately. If there is villaincy in Queen, drummer Roger Taylor has his inexperience leading him into a near ruin. The whole array of characters are present in this novel, which of human characteristics be different species of animals, makes Martin Power's Queen book a Noah's Ark.
The novel is at the same time a swashbuckling romance, family saga, philosophical query, a historical fiction, a war memoir and more. It is a timeless classic that through its pages develops a whole crop of humanity, representative of our passions and traits, and chronicle of our deeds and choices and what guides them. The novel has one of the best last quarter I have ever read, where the climax arouses so strong feelings at every page, that I was laughing joyfully on one page and crying inconsolably on next page.
I have often stressed that queen books deserve respect, slow and patient reading, and this one is no different. There are sections where I was forced to move like a stream of water going downhill, and other places where reading each page was an effort. Yet once the plot is set up, once you have finished reading over one third the novel, once the band members' names and their universe is created in your head, the novel becomes friendlier. It fills your head with images, emotions, ideas and you are carried to Freddie's world. For anyone seriously interested in reading great literature, this is a must. Inarguably, "Queen" is one of the brightest prose pieces ever written and I heartily recommend it to one and all. Must read it.