...a stunning, powerful read, a compelling story brilliantly told.
Half-Blood Blues can be compared to a jazz symphony with discrete movements, shifting moods and a complex chorus of human and instrumental voices: It swings between present and past, North and South, East and West, black and white, art and violence, war and peace... Edugyan's musically educated ear allows her to transpose notes into words and back again... a brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed novel.
Half-Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan has written a truly beautiful novel.
Half-Blood Blues is an engrossing and unforgettable story.
... surprisingly bouyant. It's deftly paced in incident and tone, moving from scenes of snappy dialogue...to tense, atmospheric passages of description... Half-Blood Blues itself represents a kind of flowering -- that of a gifted storyteller....Half-Blood Blues
has one of the most beautiful and understated resolutions in recent Canadian literature.Half-Blood Blues...
is a stunningly good novel about a time in music that still resonates today. Punctuated with the beat of jazz, it has moments of sheer magic.
Her style is deceptively conversational and easy, but with the simultaneous exuberance and discipline of a true prodigy.
...when Edugyan writes about the music, you can feel it vibrating in your bones.
...Edugyan draws us into the story with brilliant cadence to her writing. Like a drummer counting down the beat for the band, Edugyan creates a rhythm in her dialogue that sings.
“Edugyan’s elegiac, shimmering prose makes up for the lack of sunny skies in this impressively conceived and well-executed debut.“ ?Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Edugyan’s spare prose, visceral images, and unfussy dialogue create a suitably ominous atmosphere?. The close... is astonishingly moving. A talented writer to watch.“ ?Kirkus Reviews
“[P]acks a powerful emotional punch.... Fine writing, subtle characterisation and a convincing portrayal of place and period mark out this engaging first work, reminiscent of early VS Naipaul.“ ?The Guardian (UK)
“In this brilliantly written debut novel, Edugyan flawlessly creates and maintains a pervasive sense of hope loneliness, foreboding and futility.“ ?Black Issues Book Review (US)
“[The Second Life of Samuel Tyne] balances the brilliance and audacity of youthful enthusiasm with sage awareness. It’s an impressive debut? a beautifully written novel.“ ?Toronto Star
“An assured and insightful first novel of displacement of fractured identity....This deftly constructed tale... of one tiny, befuddled corner of the African diaspora is finally about all of us?about the hope we have of being our best selves, before it’s too late.“ ?The Globe and Mail