Real reviews and comments by real readers of "The Disharmonic Misadventures of David Stein"

By Allen Pepper, co-owner of New York's legendary "Bottom Line" nightclub.
"Disharmonic Misadventures"is a witty musical fable about a quest for self-fulfillment by David Stein,a neurotic Jewish pianist who resides in his own gray world in N.Y.C
Jonathan L. Segal's cautionary tale is original and laugh out loud funny with an abundance of smart puns,inventive wordplay,cleaver jokes and topsy turvey plot twists.
While Disharmonic Misadventures offers up lots of laughs it also has it's serious moments to contemplate Segal's more serious message which is music's contribution to our humanity."

5.0 out of 5 stars October 19, 2014
By Roger Nierenberg - (Symphony Conductor and Creator of The Music Paradigm. Author of Maestro: A Surprising Story About Leading by Listening)
I loved The Disharmonic Misadventures. Its richly imagined scenes sprung to life for me as if I was watching a movie. Many times I laughed out loud and marveled at the author's fantasy and inventiveness. I loved particularly that music is ever-present. It's not often that I read a book where the protagonist lives and breathes music. Through his sensitivity to what he hears I discovered my own new curiosity about music I'd probably heard in passing, but never really noticed. Now I will want to revisit this book to enjoy its wonderful story and characters, but also as a listening guide to the music that the author clearly loves.

By Lincoln Goines (Celebrated jazz bassist)
Jonathan thanks again for the book- I'm reading it this week while sitting in jury selection downtown. Great read, I identfy a lot and some genuinely funny shit. Anne Rice meets S King meets Groucho meets Tolstoy w/ your own twist-good stuff. Best, -LG-

By Ratzo Harris (jazz bassist extraordinare)
I LOVED your book. It was the perfect read for being stranded with a dead car in Massachusetts in sub-zero weather (and being jerked around by Subaru). I finished it on the last train ride back from Hartford after I gave the car to Karz 4 Kidz. Stein’s Disharmonic Misadventures made mine seem so insignificant that they just melted away!

By Dana Gooley (Professor of music at Brown University. Dana's also a Liszt scholar and a most excellent jazz pianist)
Five stars- Musician's musician's novel!
Comic, tragic, dramatic, burlesque, freaky and funny, this novel will take you on a rollercoaster ride. If you are an artist looking for your "voice," where do you find it? Who knows, but somehow you know the route to that is paved with other voices, something out there you move toward, so that it will eventually take you back to yourself. Thus David, the pianist caught between the absurdity of entertainment and the ecstasy of art, the profane of the cocktail lounge and the sacred of full transcendental communion with the instrument, the audience, the All. Jazzers will recognize the struggles, humiliations and triumphs of the musician's life in this epic journey of search and epiphany.

By Paige Stapleton (Marketing and Motivational Mentor)
This is such an AWESOME book!! I so love your creativity and far-out sense of humor! You rock, my friend!! :-)

By Kate Wolinksy
What an enjoyable, wacky read -- mystery, wild imagination, mid-life crisis, martial arts, good vs evil, and the power of music, all rolled into one fun book. Loved all the bits about New York and David's life as a working musician. Definitely a wild musical ride... Bravo! :)

By D. Wels (music teacher)
Oh my goodness. Jonathan!!!
I had no idea, when you handed me your novel, what a gift you were giving me!!!
I began reading your book yesterday- I am soooo enjoying it!!!
When words so easily convey images, and when those images remain in your minds eye long after the words were read, to me, it signals a finely crafted work.
I look forward to returning to it !

By Marsha Smith on GOODREADS
“Marvelous--even as a non-musician, immensely enjoyable quest story."

By Warren Wynshaw
Just finished the book! Carlos Castaneda on steroids!! A wild and wacky ride up and down the scales like an out of control arpeggio!!! Enjoyed the read. Kudos to the publisher. Good eye.

5.0 out of 5 stars An Uplifting and Entertaining Journey of Musical and Spiritual Transformation, July 6, 2012
By Fern (speech/language pathologist, speech/voice therapist)
Amazon Verified Purchase
I highly recommend reading this book! You won't want to put it down. David Stein is a character that many people can relate to because of his inner angst and struggle to make sense of his life. His musical and spiritual journey is inspiration for anyone who wishes to emerge from a routine existence to appreciating life and others with grace. David Stein finds himself in situations that are straddling reality and imagination, and where they meet is amusing, while making you seriously consider your own attitudes. Well done!

By NancyInNYC
Amazon verified purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!
Music, Magic, And A Mime
Be prepared for a wild ride through the mind of David Stein. Jonathan L. Segal has crafted a rich, funny, and thought-provoking story, as David Stein, a jazz pianist, goes on a journey, searching for the source of some soul-changing notes he randomly hears on the radio.
Once I picked up this book, all my plans on my schedule had to be re-arranged, as I needed to keep reading. Finally, I had to slow down and put it down, savoring every page, because I didn't want it to end. Travelling from New York City, to Florida, to "The Lake", and up a mountain in New England, Segal takes us along as David Stein zeroes in on what he's looking for. You'll meet some wonderful characters along the way, some real, some springing from David Stein's very strange and active imagination. I'm recommending this book to every musician friend I have, and also to non-musician friends. It's a great read!

By Teresa Bing Graham
I was supposed to keep this reading for when I boarded my plane next week! But I peeked and now am fighting self to put it away...I promised myself - read a few sentences to get the gist of this author's writing and you guessed it - I got to chapter 4 and D over C ... how the heck can i walk away from that!! I'm hooked and loving it Jonathan Segal! Great writing I'm flowing away in it. :)

By Gloria M. Krolak (Host of Good Vibes Radio WWFM, WWPJ, WWCJ)
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Every music lover has had the experience of hearing some haunting piece of music in the distance, maybe on the car radio as we're running errands or out of someone's window as we walk by. If we are lucky it takes us out of whatever we're doing and transports us into that very present moment of music. If we are even luckier we are in the place long enough to find out where and how we can reproduce it for ourselves, where we can hear that enchanting sound as often as is our pleasure. If not, we sometimes make great efforts to discover its origin.
The main character in the book "The Disharmonic Misadventures of David Stein," is provoked by such a fragment to start on a crusade to track down its originator. A very intense, overwhelmed pianist/singer who is unhappy with himself and with the music he is making, Stein begins a life-changing quest to find the owner of the music. To tell you that he eventually does discover where and who it came from is not to give away the plot; the route he must take and the manner in which he comes to know it is beyond guessing and part of the fun of reading Jonathan Segal's novel. Beyond the entertaining mystery is the message that we will take our own sometimes difficult journey to find the potential that is inside each of us. Another layer of meaning is the contrast/conflict between the man-made and natural worlds.
This is Segal's first writing effort and he has packed a lot of meaning and thought-provoking questions into it with well-drawn characters. Worth a read no matter what kind of music you love.

By Barbara Zera
"Last Sunday I bought a Kindle and my first book purchase was yours, Jonathan. I just finished reading it, and the pleasure was compounded by hearing your voice behind it. I knew you were funny, musical, imaginative, but who knew you were so wise? A great accomplishment and a really fun read! How about a companion CD with all the music David talks about?"

By Jennifer Johnson ( songwriter Jennifer Johnson)
“Entertaining, at times off the wall, dotted with spiritual wisdom throughout, this is the kind of book that you don’t want to put down. David Stein’s musical journey, based in Manhattan, will intrigue any artist/musician that has lived there. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is hard to believe that this is Segal’s first novel." -

5.0 out of 5 stars Witty page-turner that also reveals how musicians think about music,
By Roberta J. Morris (Menlo Park, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Disharmonic Misadventures Of David Stein (Paperback)
I loved this book. I took it on vacation to the mountains, and almost missed seeing the mountains. It's a page turner, with a lovable central character who meets many interesting people on the way to finding a solution to the mystery. There's some magical realism, heaps of wit, and a delight in language and word games that kept me amused and engaged and laughing. The best thing about the book, though, and one you won't find anywhere else, are the insights into the mind of a musician. Anyone who loves music, who loves New York, or who loves a good story, will enjoy this book.

By Nuri (Israel)
Amazon Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!
This may be because I'm from New York and play the piano, but this is honestly one of my favorite books at this point. The wit, the rhythm, the flights of fancy, the deeper insights, all there. Anyone who's ever played an instrument especially needs to read this, as it just does an incredible job of expressing the feeling of creating music and the way that sensation interacts with life more broadly. And it's funny! If Jonathan writes another book, I will without a doubt read that too.

By Raya Mindy Gewuerz
"...and furthermore, I especially appreciated (on a personal note) that you mentioned the Grateful Dead twice; Haydn and serial killer once each (but not in the same chapter, whew!) in your fine, funny, and compelling novel."

By Charley Rich (Northport, L. I.)
Amazon Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!
This was a hilarious romp through the folkways of NYC life, magical musical dimensions and mystic mountaintops. I especially enjoyed the juxtaposition of martial arts and music where the cutting contests of Jazz became life and death battles for the future of humanity as a musical species. As I read it, I felt that I was falling down the rabbit hole into an alternative reality where Woody Allen played Jazz piano and had the combat moves of Steven Seagal. Amusing incongruities aside, the tale does capture the power of the time honored tradition of the hero faced with the impossible quest and the spiritual awakening that is required for its accomplishment. Go read it, but keep your seatbelt on as the pace is rapid and the laughter will be frequent.

By Suzanne Klewan (Jazz singer)
Hi Jonathan, thank you so much for a very special and enjoyable reading experience. It was so real for me in so many ways, and poignant as well. You've left me no alternative - the only author I can now fathom reading is Mark Twain! Love, Suzanne

By Lois K. (Psychologist)
When I read your novel my only expectations were that it would be funny and hignly intelligent - two well developed qualities in its author. I didn't expect that like Noah, I would form an attachment to David Stein and want to know how his adventure turned out. You managed to create a convicing narrative voice that made him quite real to me, despite the magical realism of his context. David invites engagement through his ability to talk about the transformative power of music and through the vividly observed places and people who pass in and out of his life. I was particularly entertained by the description of his martial arts practice - something I would otherwise never experience. I thought a lot about David Stein's quest for authentic selfhood and while we may all be on the trail at any age, I think David would be inspiring to young adults who have a great deal of focussed energy for this difficult undertaking. So thank you Jonathan for completing this novel, it lit up part of my summer.

By Rosemary Sixbey
I've been reading your book & am loving it! It's a real New York story, and brings me back home every time I pick it up. And I'm very impressed with how well you bring the world of music alive through just words and no actual notes being played. :) ...Can't wait to see what happens next!

By Stan Sinberg
"Stan is a humorist, travel writer and blogger. For
several years he has been in the Genius Protection Program, where his genius
goes largely unrecognized."
As someone with exactly one alleged talent, an ability to string words together in narrative form, I was already envious that my friend Jonathan Segal was both an adept pianist and inventive composer. So when one day he handed me a rather thick novel and said, “Would you read this? I wrote it," I was none too pleased. What? I wanted to say. You think just anybody can write a book? Well, I don’t know about anybody, but it turns out Jonathan can. When it turned out to be good – funny, engaging, fast-paced, insightful, fanciful and - I loathe to say this – well-written – let’s just say I was royally irked, and leave it at that.
Because it turns out my friend Jonathan also has a vivid imagination. Within the pages of this book are disgruntled piano players, 4’10" Aikido masters, detestable art patrons, nightmare gigs at Radio City Music Hall, decapitated mimes, a scene that explains exactly why singers and accompanists wind up in bed together, a musical detective story, the world’s most nefarious saxophone player, a giant fish that sounds like Gilda Radner doing an impression of Barbara Walters, a man singing at his own funeral, a cosmic battle of the bands to end all battles of the bands, and the most beautiful and profound piece of music ever composed. And I daresay that I learned a thing or two about music theory, too.
So I think you should read it. I’d say more, but I’ve started taking secret piano lessons, so that one day I can show Jonathan that anyone can do that, too.

5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, in more ways than one!
By Janet Gari (New York City)
Amazon Verified Purchase
While the suspense keeps things moving at a fast pace, there is also a great deal of valuable information to be found in this very unusual novel. Don't miss it!

5.0 out of 5 stars A musical journey
By Scott Schneider (Silver Spring, MD United States)
Amazon Verified Purchase
There are not many novels written by musicians. Composing a song is very different than composing a story. Yet there are a few, notably The Bear Comes Home by Rafi Zabor, which includes some of the best descriptions of a jazz jam session ever written. This genre is now joined by a first novel by Jonathan L. Segal called The Disharmonic Misadventures of David Stein. This novel follows David Stein, a working pianist dissatisfied with his life playing parties for the rich. While he enjoys his work, he feels unfulfilled. He hears a piece of music on the radio which seems transformative and so begins a novel-long quest for the source. Along the way he learns the martial art of Aikido, which helps prepare him for the ultimate battle between good and evil that caps the book. The book gives an honest look at the trials and tribulations of being a professional musician, including the angst and anxieties that accompany such a life. It is sprinkled with fantasies and nightmares that spring from such angst and build suspense for the final triumph. Ultimately this novel is about the transformative power of music. It is must reading for anyone who is a musician, lives with a musician, knows a musician or is just a music lover. In other words, for practically everyone.

By Carol Segal
Author Verified Wife
I read hubby's rough draft novel maybe 5-6 years ago, and just read it again in its paperback form. It's a ride you've got to take! You will be entertained, you will be transported, you will go places you've never gone in a storyline before! Suspend your pragmatic sensibilities and jump into David Stein's soul. He could be that nondescript guy sitting next to you on the subway, or standing behind you in line at Starbucks. And whatever your relationship to music is, it will never be the same after reading "The Disharmonic Misadventures of David Stein"!!

Also By Carol Segal
OK, FB folks, one more time: in the last few months I've read Tolstoy and I've read Hemingway. In between those two I read Jonathan Segal. And with all bias aside, I like Jonathan Segal's first novel best! It made me laugh, it made me squirm, it was a page-turner, I was much more engaged and a thousand times more entertained than in reading the "big guys". Say what you wish about what a piece of fiction should provide and how we analyze the great literature in high school and college and discuss-to-death in our book groups, but in some way the reader should be MOVED. Anyway, my FB page says "What's on your mind?" in this space, and this is what's on my mind. Last pitch from me here: read "The Disharmonic Misadventures of David Stein" by Jonathan Segal!

4.0 out of 5 stars A clever musical allegory set in New York City
By Global Octopus "octopod" (Laguna Beach, CA USA) -
This first novel combines a bit of magic realism with musical imagery, and evokes vivid details about New York City. It's a good read with some funny bits. It's always good to read about the death of a mime, for one thing.
A good read.