from Kay
May 10th 2018

Loved the story with the semi-retired jazz pianist near the end. I'm not well versed in jazz, much but your descriptions of him moving around the low, open chords really took me in and I could sort of imagine what it sounded like. Would love to read more about this character. I also love how the book title theme is visited, just a bit obliquely, in this episode.

from james a colman
December 1st 2010

ok, so this morning i get up lamenting the fact that i no longer listen to music as i once did, i was thinking how much i missed hearing billie holiday, despite having 4 of her cds on my i pod,middle age malaise it seems. so bored and needing something to read, i went to the lib. and almost at random [having, iam sad to say never heard of you] grabbed"the song is you" off the shelf and beat it home, 8 pages in i stopped to write you this note, for obvious reasons. thanks, j colman

from Kris
November 16th 2010

Just finished. Wow! Prague is still my favorite - but not by much. What's next?

from Amanda
May 21st 2010

Gorgeous writing and a fascinating story. I enjoyed it so much that it was hard to put it down, but at the same time, I didn't want to get to the end too quickly. The ending was heartbreaking though. The characters were very relatable--I've been both Julian and Cait at various times in my life. I've loved reading all your novels, and if a book tour ever brings you to Utah, I will be first in line at the signing.

from Aimee
May 16th 2010

I haven't loved a book this much in I don't know how long. Thank you!

from Ben Bumpers
March 19th 2010

Arthur,ouTou need to come to Chicago more often. We hardly see you out here. Loved your reading of Angelica at The Crown Theater in 2007 here. Can't wait to here excerpts from The Song Is You too.

from Neil
March 12th 2010

Are you aware that another Phillips --- Jayne Anne Phillips --- also opens a 2009 novel with a jazz-loving young man in a desperate situation in the Korean War. In Ms Phillips' Lark and Termite though the soldier does not survive (or does he?). Like The Song, the story becomes the offspring's years long the war. Phillips is a common name so I doubt the two of you are genetically connected. Still an odd coincidence.

from Naama
March 3rd 2010

Hey again :-) My favorite. I actually read it back in December; it's been dancing around in my head since, breathing with me, informing my life... so funny the coincidences and synchronicity and parallels that occur with these magic books. And I always love your names but Julian Donahue and Cait O'Dwyer are Tristan and Isolde to me :-D ::bows bows:: See you in a few weeks at the Skylight Books! Spring break, wahoo!! til then, N

from Naama
March 3rd 2010

Oh and hey again, again. I just read your story about the story... Beautiful! But I almost wanna give you a coaster J-Do style and say, No no no, don't ever share your magic! :-)

from hazel
February 20th 2010

could she have been his missing piece, the one, alone that can fill the hole in his soul? timing, cruel and unforgiving, that keeps them apart...

February 13th 2010

stories can turn us around and beg us to look at our own lives more clearly. our stories are sometimes not what we perceive them to be, but the music never lies, it is my truth. iam real. alive. in those moments... I have been.. alive forever.. and i wrote the very first song. to thyne own self be true. you can dance if you want to. I will hum.

from Stasia
January 29th 2010

I want to BE this book. Halfway through I thought it was one of the best I'd ever read, and the suspense towards the end softened the landing (even if I wanted it to end differently, I knew that it had to be this way).

from Sarah
November 6th 2009

This book called to me from the library shelf...iPod in hand I read page after page, finding so much of myself among the Janson typeset. My favorite of all lines: "Only the low hum of his amp persisted, and he was afraid (as she looked at him and he considered leaping at her) that the pickup from his guitar would pick up the his heartbeat and play it for her." The longing hurts.

from jacqui
August 27th 2009

The writing is so beautiful I want to curl up and crawl inside. And if, by some cruel trick, that is not earthly possible than I will settle for inhaling the bouquet of its words and then sipping them like fine wine, over and over. Bravo

from Other Agnes
August 17th 2009

Fantastic book. So many lovely lines. A personal favorite: "I came to the end of other people so quickly." Another: "There's a, uh, uh bon mot in there somewhere, if I can find it." Can't believe no one has signed this thing doubtfulguest, just to be a brat.

from Ken S
July 26th 2009

A Song For You mentions Elis Regina laughing at the end of Waters of March. There's a clip on youtube of her singing the song with Jobim. The reason she's laughing at the end is because Jobim is dancing around and acting goofy. I'm glad they kept it on the recording.

from Karly
July 23rd 2009

This book has grown on me. Every so often I'll think of this book, of Julian, Cait, Rachel, or of Aiden. I'll listen to my iPod on shuffle and think of what the songs remind me of, the people or places. At first, I thought this book was pretty good, but it's something that sticks with you, that even months after you've read it you come back to its website and feel compelled to write something about it. And that's the best praise you can give a book, isn't it?

from Ira Steinberg
July 21st 2009

One of the best, if not THE best novel I have read in a long, long time. It was at once poignant, riveting, sensual without being overtly sexual, captivating and inspiring. I have told everyone I know about this book and most of them have picked it up and agree. Here is a towering talent, truly.

from Chris
July 13th 2009

I enjoyed the book very much. I'm certainly not alone in saying that I saw part of myself in Julian (or is it the other way around?).

from first-time fan
July 6th 2009

Just finished this book and found it riveting, evocative and haunting at the same time. It captures perfectly the acuteness of fixation and longing, which are far more vivid in the imagination than they are in the light of day.

from Em
June 10th 2009


from John Tierney
June 9th 2009

Just listened to your interview on the Bob Edwards Show - a terrifically thoughtful and interesting discussion and I look forward to reading the book. .JT.

from drax
June 5th 2009

What a wicked good book! I ripped films apart for seven years at a magazine, but you have inspired my first gee-whiz book review! It wasn't so "hard," really, it's just that you're an intimidating writer. Anyway, if you seek a diversion, you may "enjoy" my review at

from arthur
June 5th 2009

Damn, Simon. Thank you. And yes, I did "enjoy" that enormously.

from Acoustic Folk
May 28th 2009

You changed the names, the genders, and the genres of music, but you wrote the story I've been living. My story involves a guitar player with a voice that casts a spell over me, house concerts, and friendly emails that leave me shaking. So it was good for me to read how JD freed himself, and yet, just like his dad, can still enjoy his music and his wife. I owe you; you saved me hundreds in therapy sessions. There must be some equation---that Aidan knows-- that explains how Art and Life interplay... When we squeeze Art in desperation, it slips away...

from Willam Gibson
May 2nd 2009

Thanks for the exquisite rendering of a notion that embraces love. - Caitfan2

from Luke
April 23rd 2009

Insightful, moving and strangely (brilliantly) tense. A novel that leaves you a 'fan' of both the author and the characters within it. As for the "Lincoln-Mercury ad' reference..check the acknowledgements.

from Bernie English
April 19th 2009

Just started the book and have read the prologue. I am puzzled by the source you cite (Lincoln-Mercury ad) for the quote "Ground control to Major Tom: Commencing countdown, engines on." This is from the 1969 song "Space Oddity", written and performed by David Bowie.

from Grant Huberty
April 17th 2009

Who are you working with on the inevitable Broadway musical version of this fabulous storyline? Let's get this megahit produced!

from Donna Wick
April 13th 2009

This is an amazing book. I loved it. His best yet.

from Don Cookson
April 4th 2009

Hi, Arthur. Congratulations on Song Is You. Looking forward to seeing you at the Harvard Bookstore on April. Don

from Jon Payson
April 4th 2009

Looking forward to reading! Jon from The Chocolate Room

from duck phillips
April 3rd 2009

This is my favorite Phillips' novel to date and I am thrilled the reviews reflect this undeniably brilliant book...

from David Ogden
April 3rd 2009

I hope Arthur can make it out to Seattle as well where he will find lots of book readers and lots of bands. Cheers, David