Panic Years is authentic, bighearted, and fun. The novel's tight pacing and uncynical approach to its subject matter capture the essence of a young group on the road--a trip to be savored, one gritty gig at a time.
DiFranco grabs us by the front of our shirts, puts us in the front seat of the van, and shows us the other side of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle...A smooth, enjoyable summer read to take with you out to the hammock, to the beach, or on a long road trip, then pass along to your friends.
review excerpt from American Microreviews & Interviews by Britny Brooks
The blurbs uncut
I've never been on a tour of rock clubs with an unknown and then upcoming band, but I have done the next best thing: I've read Daniel DiFranco's Panic Years. DiFranco has done his time in the vans and clubs and convenience stores of rock and roll's minor leagues, and his experience shows on every page of this fantastic and engrossing first novel. It's all here: the sticky floors, long hours, petty annoyances, and the times when things click and it's all worthwhile, if only for a few minutes. This is more than a great rock novel—it's a great novel about work, friendship, and making art against all odds.
Dave Housley, author of If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home; Commercial Fiction; Ryan Seacrest is Famous. Editor at Barrelhouse
If you ever thought about starting a band, and touring the world, don't do that. Read this novel instead. DiFranco pulls you into the van and off you go on a rock 'n roll tour minus all the romanticized bullshit. Panic Years is loud, high as hell, and loves you back with a heart as big as an elusive white whale.
Bud Smith, author of the novel F250; novella Dust Bunny City; memoir Work
You ever wonder what it’s like to be in a rock and roll band? Writing from personal experience, Daniel DiFranco creates a world that nicely draws back the curtain on the rock life that most people fantasize about. It’s an insightful and illustrative read.
Bruce Warren, Program Director WXPN, Executive Producer World Cafe, NPR Music, Author of Wisdom for a Young Musician.
In Panic Years, Daniel DiFranco brings us inside the world of touring musicians, the ones who haven’t made it big, who aren’t sure if they will, and who therefore face a great struggle every day just to keep playing. With precise prose, vivid characters, and wonderfully dry humor, DiFranco reveals another side of the bands many of us think of as little more than tracks on Spotify playlists—he strips away the polish of studio albums and the romance of concerts, revealing conflicts and passions to which we can all relate. This is a book for anyone who loves music, who appreciates the length to which people will go for their craft, and who can find a little comedy in the challenges of it all.
Joshua Isard, author of Conquistador of the Useless. Director of Arcadia University’s MFA program in Creative Writing
In 25 years, DiFranco is going to look like Marc Maron.
Christina Rosso, overheard at a party