Music for Love or War

ISBN: 9781770864283

Price: $22.95

Format: Trade Paperback

Size: 5.65" x 8.55"

Publication Date: Apr 08, 2015

FIC019000 FICTION / Literary
FIC052000 FICTION / Satire
FIC032000 FICTION / War & Military

“A beautiful, sad, and funny story about finding the woman that got away. We all can’t write our stories like this.”
SHARP Magazine

“Martyn Burke gives new meaning to the term “muscular prose” … [an] entertaining, well-told war story.” NNNN/4
NOW Magazine

“Gripping, hilarious, otherwordly, brutal, heartbreaking. A transcendental tale of love and hope for a post-911 world.”
— Jon Steele, author of the Angelus trilogy

“Burke finds enduring love amid Afghanistan’s endless war and a magical story emerges from the ashes.”
Paul Watson

Music for Love or War is a glorious, globetrotting epic spanning class, race, and ethical borders. Martyn 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

“From the mountains of Afghanistan to the Hollywood Hills, Martyn 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

“Manages to effortlessly sidestep predictability in a war-based narrative … there’s a lot to love.”


“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 sharp-shooter, and Hank, in the US 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 20th 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.

Music for Love or War entertains and informs as few other Canadian novels can.