Bothering the Coffee Drinkers
Musical Fiction and Essays
Winner of the Bronze Medal in the Short Fiction category at the 2007 IPPY Awards!
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Doug Hoekstra has long-been recognized as an extraordinary singer-songwriter with a decidedly literary bent. Fans and music critics alike are quick to suggest favorable comparisons to such musical poets as Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed, but ultimately the comparisons give way to recognition that he is indeed a unique artist with a distinctive identity. Integral to that identity are his talents as a prose stylist—talents which are triumphantly borne out in Bothering the Coffee Drinkers, a collection of short stories (and two essays) culled from his experiences as a musical troubadour rolling down the highways and playing gigs at dozens of the world’s most renown music clubs and hundreds upon hundreds of gigs at neighborhood pubs and coffee houses.
About the Author:
An accomplished scholar with degrees from DePaul University in Chicago and Belmont University in Nashville, Doug Hoekstra is not exactly the prototypical Music Row song-slinger, and he is certainly not merely a musician trying his hand at another genre. His literary roots are every bit as deep as his musical gifts, a point validated by the fact that his essays and short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines in the US and Europe.
“Personal experience shapes many of the stories in Bothering the Coffee Drinkers, Hoekstra’s first book after eight well-reviewed albums and several pieces published in literary journals. The Pushcart Prize-nominated first story, “The Blarney Stone (a true story),” turns a brief tour stop in Ireland into a wistful consideration of fatherhood, wishes and the ceaseless flowing of time.” –The Nashville Scene
“Hoesktra’s stories are generous to the reader in the amount he’s prepared to give of his own life whether he’s conveying that in the first person or through fictional characters, the stories always feel real and honest and because of that, without recourse to any big dramas, engaging in themselves” –AmericanaUK
“Bothering the Coffee Drinkers: Musical Fiction and Essays is a delicious collection of story essays by Nashville-based singer and songwriter Doug Hoekstra that could be set to music as songs, or perhaps vice versa. Hoekstra is a talented independent performer and gifted songwriter, so it comes as no surprise that he can also write creative fiction. What makes Bothering the Coffee Drinkers so easy to absorb must be the ‘blarney’ effect. Each detail segue compactly into the next and before you know it, the book has hooked you in a distinctly quirky and entertaining way. Like all great music, it sounds easy to do. As all great musicians know, this is a deceptive effect that is only maintained through constant work and practice. Hoekstra’s writes in a style that could safely be called eclectic, but that doesn’t do his either his music or his literary genius true justice. He is like a quirky art collector, putting together odd bits and ends, and then making them into something with an effect so much more than the mere sum of their collective oddities. Hoekstra sandwiches his story essays with a biographical beginning and end piece that is also very effective. It grounds the reading with an even more pronounced flavor of the author’s presence and outlook. Bothering the Coffee Drinkers is very readable, very enjoyable, and very highly recommended to consumers of good music and well crafted literature.” –Midwest Book Review
“Broken glass, broken hearts, broken dreams, but somehow the band-in-a-van keeps rolling. A true inspiration.” –John McCullough