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Interview: ‘The Final Revival of Opal & Nev’ is the Fictional Oral History You Have to Hear

'I always thought it was so cool, the way memories played with each other.'
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  • The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
  • 'I always thought it was so cool, the way memories played with each other.'

Publisher's Summary

*** A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK! ***

An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

“Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“One of the most ​immersive novels I’ve ever read….This is a thrilling work of polyphony—a first novel, that reads like the work of an old hand.” (Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times best-selling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me)

* A Most Anticipated Selection By * O, The Oprah Magazine * Vogue * Elle * Good Morning America * Washington Post * Entertainment Weekly * Essence * PopSugar * BookRiot * Goodreads * Literary Hub * Parade * Ms. Magazine * The Millions *

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job - despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.

©2021 Dawnie Walton. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

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Outstanding and timely

I almost gave up on this. The start was slow and I wasn’t crazy about the interview format. I kept listening because my daughter told me it was the best book she’d heard in a very long time. She is absolutely right. This book and the narrators are seriously good. I even came to appreciate the format. It’s well worth a credit.

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My favorite audio book I've listened to!

The story is absolutely captivating- Opal & Nev are so seamlessly sewn into the rock & roll scene that you forget they are a fictional band. The full cast is fantastic, & the story brought up so many great points about racial injustice & white privilege & saviors. A definite must read!

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Hard to believe this is fiction

Although I found it difficult to stay present for every word (occasionally the content seemed.unnecessarily detailed),this is an awesome story that I repeatedly had to remind myself was fiction. The format was unique and engaging, and the performance was superb! I am so glad I chose the audio version and I highly recommend it to others.

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Amazing!!!

Absolutely loved this book from start to finish! Listened while I read along. All narrators were excellent!

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Can't wait for greatest hits release!

wonderfully entertaining. well written and the narrators were excellent. love the detail given to Opal's "amor". don't want to write more, fearing I'll soil the read for others

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Wow!

Joy, just pure joy. Terrific book, terrific performances! An engrossing and compelling listen. So good, I was compelled to write a review - which I have never done before.

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Ah-Mazing

I was wrapped up in the story from start to finish. It is told so realistically that I found myself googling the characters even though I knew this was a work of fiction. Bravo!

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  • 05-01-21

Transformative

Dawnie Walton is a masterful storyteller. Her characters have depth, personality, introspection and ego. Going deep into the world of music from so many different perspectives I almost expected a revival tour in real life and then had to remind myself that these characters live only in this novel. They felt brought to life, fully realized and the reader is brought along on their journey. Thoughtful, complicated, compelling. Well done!

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Ended too soon!!

I LOVED this book!! I did not want it to end and wish desperately that Opal was real!! Such a great book and phenomenal listen!