Home > 2010, 21st Century, Crime Fiction, French Literature, Hervier Grégoire, Rock Literatature > Vintage by Grégoire Hervier – Highway to guitar heaven and hell

Vintage by Grégoire Hervier – Highway to guitar heaven and hell

Vintage by Grégoire Hervier. (2016) Not available in English.

I bought Vintage by Grégoire Hervier at the crime fiction bookstore Un Petit Noir but it’s between crime fiction and literary fiction.

Thomas Dupré works in a classic guitar store and workshop in Paris when his boss sends him to Boleskine House in Scotland to deliver an expensive guitar to a rich collector. Lord Winsley has an impressive collection of classic electric guitars and bought Boleskine House because it used to belong to Jimmy Page.

Lord Winsley owns two protypes of the mythic Gibson guitars Flying V and Explorer. He says that the protype of the Gibson Moderne guitar was stolen from his collection and he wants Thomas to find it and bring it back.

It’s supposed to be worth 10 million euros and he promises 10% as a reward. Thomas sees it as means to pay the bills while he tries to become a professional guitarist.

Thomas embarks on a trip that will take him to Sydney, New York and Chicago but mostly on the US Route 61. Memphis, Nashville, the mythic Crossroads at Clarksdale, Greenwood. In search of the Gibson Moderne, he will discover a forgotten (and fictionnal) blues and rock artist, Li Grand Zombi Robertson. He was an outcast and experimented new techniques of recording music and was ahead of his time.

Vintage is an ode to classic rock and blues music, the one that inspired the Rolling Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin and so many artists. It brings us to roots of the blues and what we owe to black music of the Deep South.

There are a lot of explanations about classic guitars, their sound and the musicians who played them. Grégoire Hervier is passionate about music and he conveys his love for rock music to the reader. Even if I don’t play the guitar, I was really interested in the history of these mythic instruments and the music attached to them. I even did a playlist of all the songs and artists mentioned in the book.

It was an enjoyable road trip for this reader. OK, he was preaching to the choir since I have in mind to travel along the US Route 61 one day, when I won’t travel with kids under 21 who can’t get into bars and listen to live music.

PS: This is my second 20 Books of Summer read. This one was on the list. 😊

  1. June 16, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    I know nothing about guitars, but I love the photos you chose, especially the Moderne. In school I was a fan of The Who and The Animals (and a band only Australians love, The Loved Ones) and only later worked out that these bands had their roots in Black American Blues and so I started listening to that too. Vintage sounds like a wonderful book and a great excuse to fire up my old CDs.


    • June 19, 2021 at 6:40 am

      I don’t know anything about guitars either but they are gorgeous instruments.

      I’m going to listen to The Loved Ones, they must be on Spotify. Isn’t it wonderful that you can access to any kind of music with these platforms? I’m always curious when I read about music in a book and I love doing playlists based on books when I read one with a lot of music references.


  2. June 16, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Sounds very entertaining! 😀


    • June 19, 2021 at 6:41 am

      Yes. Totally and it’s my kind of music even if I’m not knowledgeable about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. June 21, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    This sounds an absolutely perfect read for my dad – all the music he loves! His French is probably too rusty to read a whole novel though, so I’ll hope for a translation.


  4. buriedinprint
    June 21, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    That’s so cool, that you made a playlist for this book… I love that!


    • June 25, 2021 at 9:05 pm

      I do that when a book has a lot of music references.


  1. July 16, 2021 at 10:58 pm
  2. September 4, 2021 at 9:55 am

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