- Paperback: 309 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Allen Publishers (Sept. 3 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0887627412
- ISBN-13: 978-0887627415
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #107,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Half-Blood Blues: A Novel Paperback – Sep 3 2011
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“... brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed novel.”(Globe & Mail)
“Half-Blood Blues itself represents a kind of flowering—
that of a gifted storyteller."(Toronto Star)
“...a stunning, powerful read, a compelling story
brilliantly told.”(Quill & Quire)
“Half-Blood Blues is an engrossing and unforgettable
story.”(Austin Clarke, author of The Polished Hoe)
“With Half-Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan has written a truly
beautiful novel.”(Lawrence Hill, author of The Book Of Negroes)
About the Author
Esi Edugyan has degrees from the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003. Her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally to critical acclaim. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Please visit www.esiedugyan.com for more information.
Top customer reviews
The story is set both in the 1940s in Berlin and Paris as the Trio try to stay one step ahead of Hitler's ever advancing army but also in the 1990s in a newly reunited Germany at a concert in Hiero's honour. At the heart of the story is the secret Sid harbours as to how Hiero's fate was sealed.
I didn't expect to enjoy this book and it starts slowly but it is a tale that draws you in. Literary takes on music rarely seem to work but Edugyan is able to render the atmosphere of 1940s jazz, the language of the trio and banter between them feels authentic. The plot is a little weak to sustain the length and the potentially most interesting of the characters, Hiero, is the least well developed but by the end of the book they seem like minor complaints as is the rather random and quite pointless inclusion of Louis Armstrong who makes an appearance. A more major complaint on my behalf is that the list price for this trade paperback is $24.95 which seems like daylight robbery especially since the text is littered with typos and printing errors; if you're going to charge that much then at least earn it with some better proofreading. However I shall not hold the publisher's problems against the author.
Wartime- took awhile to understand the lingo etc but half way through it became
Quite interesting.think I sorted out a few facts from the fictional. Not for a quick
Breeze through- requires understanding of the times and genre .
The plot has been spelled out here by other reviewers, so there is no need to replicate it. I agree that the inclusion of Louis Armstrong added little to the story, and the pivotal character, Hiero, is never really developed although he morphs into a wide icon at the end. For most of the book he is more a sullen juvenile than anyone we can care about.
The major flaw is the author''s apparent lack of familiarity with jazz of any era, especially her inability to express the mood of the musicians and the impact of the music itself. This is hardly unique to her, but it seemed to me that it would be totally necessary in order to justify the personalities and actions of the characters. Jazz, after all, is the principal motivator of both the plot and characters. Nothing in the book communicates the passion they feel (or should) for their music; the author's attempts to describe their playing is embarrassing in its ineptness. As a musician I have never heard a trumpeter describe his or her possessing 'pistons'; they are always valves. And it is impossible, by his words, to believe the narrator actually played a bass fiddle (my instrument), as claimed in the story.
Small points? Maybe. But verisimilitude is vital to any story, especially one as era- and culture-specific as this.
I know the book has won major awards and congratulations to the author for them. But if you know as much as the author should know about one of the two primary subjects (jazz and the Nazis), it's a disappointment.
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product came as described and expected.
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