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Half Blood Blues (2011)

de Esi Edugyan

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
1,2267511,763 (3.7)1 / 238
"Berlin, 1939. The Hot-Time Swingers, a popular German American jazz band, have been forbidden to play live because the Nazis have banned their 'degenerate music.' After escaping to Paris, where they meet Louis Armstrong, the band's brilliant young trumpet-player, Hieronymus Falk, is arrested in a café by the Gestapo. It is June 1940. He is never heard from again. He is twenty years old, a German citizen. And he is black. Berlin, 1992. Falk, now a jazz legend, is the subject of a celebratory documentary. Two of the original Hot-Time Swingers American band members, Sid Griffiths and Chip Jones, are invited to attend the film's premier in Berlin. As they return to the landscape of their past friendships, rivalries, loves and betrayals, Sid, the only witness to Falk's disappearance who has always refused to speak about what happened, is forced to break his silence. Sid recreates the lost world of Berlin's pre-war smoky bars, and the salons of Paris, telling his vibrant and suspenseful story in German American slang. Half-Blood Blues is a novel about music and race, love and loyalty, and marks the arrival of an extraordinarily 'gifted storyteller' (The Toronto Star)"--… (més)
  1. 10
    Oh, Play That Thing de Roddy Doyle (bsiemens)
    bsiemens: Taken at face value, both books are about the jazz subculture during the early 20th century: 'Half Blood Blues' is set in France during the 1930s & 'Oh, Play That Thing' is set in America during the 1920s. The writing style is also quite similar.
  2. 00
    Hitler's Black Victims: The Historical Experiences of European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans During the Nazi Era de Clarence Lusane (goddesspt2)
    goddesspt2: Non-fiction work to complement Edugyan's novel
  3. 00
    Coming Through Slaughter de Michael Ondaatje (ShelfMonkey)
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» Mira també 238 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 75 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Until now, with this book, I've never read a book that itself moves and works like a blues song. But that's changed with Half-Blood Blues. Edugyan's gorgeous novel is, in every way, a carefully crafted blues that is also an artfully told story and thoughtful examination of personal identity. In moving between 1939 and 1992--and at the same time between America, Germany, France, and Poland--it reveals the life of a jazz musician whose personal story is irrevocably tied to others' stories and identities as they were lived in 1939, and as they echo over him even fifty years later.

Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues might well display the most artful use of personal voice and dialect I've ever seen in a novel, and the way in which her rhythms and structure evoke a blues is something to behold. Even in the tone of the beginning and ending, this book is experienced like a blues, and it is masterful.

Absolutely, I recommend it. ( )
  whitewavedarling | May 19, 2021 |
I had a very hard time getting into this book. I tried 3 or 4 times, and I just couldn’t get past the first chapters. I am glad though that I insisted and returned to it. There is so much here: art, friendship, love, betrayal, jealousy… all against the background of WWII. After fighting so hard to read it, this book grew on me, and has not let me go. I finished it 4 days ago, and I am still thinking about it: how one single action can change people’s story – or can it? And how do we live with the guilt of our actions?

At the end, I am giving it 4 stars. There is too much in here…, have I said that ? ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
The language alone in this book transports the reader to another time and culture. Told through the words of Sid, this story brings us to the Jazz Era at the onset of the war. I learned about a piece of history which, in itself is invaluable to me, but it's the characters with their complex emotions and multifaceted personalities that grabbed my attention. Is Sid vicious or kind? Chip mercenary or loyal to a fault? Hiero helpless or all-knowing? There's always an element of surprise, a subtle shift, to keep the story moving.
More than anything, it's Edugyan's ability to describe music that had me hooked - I could see and hear the notes intertwining, transporting me at the heart of the Jazz Age, A mesmerizing book! ( )
  Cecilturtle | Feb 6, 2021 |
A rather strange story -- two time lines, one 1939-42 in Berlin and Paris, the other 1992 mostly in Berlin; focused on a group of jazz musicians who try to survive the Third Reich, hang out with Louis Armstrong, and have to deal with complicated survivor guilt. Definitely worth reading, though I had some problems with the language -- it works better once I knew who the main narrator is, but the German sections still did not work for me. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
Though there were a few times while reading that I wanted to put it down, I came away from this book feeling glad I read it. I didn't like the protagonist, and wanted to hear some of the story from someone else's perspective. Or I would have liked it from a third person perspective. The black German experience during WWII is something I'd like to read more about. ( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 75 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Though Half-Blood Blues may generally have been overrated by critics, it delivers an undeniably potent, soul-searching examination of friendship and trust. This may be a novel about beautiful music in an ugly and terrifying place, all those mellifluous strands of jazz amid the jingoism and cacophony of Nazism. But major historical and literary themes of the 20th century weave through too—racism and the plight of the outsider. The book also probes timeless and universal dilemmas: Should one invest in the notion that art can transcend socially constructed barriers? Should friendship be manipulated or even sacrificed on the altar of professional ambition?
 
Though "Half-Blood Blues" is a jazz book, its greatest strength lies more in the rhythms of its conversations and Griffiths' pitch-perfect voice than in any musical exchanges. ...[H]is dazed account of a band of weary survivors coalescing around Hiero's "Half-Blood Blues" is intoxicating enough to send you crate-digging through a record store's back room for anything like it.
 
The novel is truly extraordinary in its evocation of time and place, its shimmering jazz vernacular, its pitch-perfect male banter and its period slang. Edugyan never stumbles with her storytelling, not over one sentence. The few weaknesses in the plot, such as they are, simply don't matter.
afegit per geocroc | editaThe Independent, Arifa Akbar (Sep 9, 2011)
 
What could have been a great Afro-German story has been sidelined..Despite the book's blurb tantalising us with promises of a black German experience, this novel is really about Sid and his version of events that led up to Hiero's arrest. It's also about his strained relationship with Chip. But as black jazz musicians they are already a familiar motif in American culture, and there's a touch of central casting about their portrayal. And while Sid's slangy vernacular is often charismatic, elsewhere the novel is problematic. It's hard to accept that both men would have chosen to live under the tyrannical regime of the Third Reich....
 
Much of the power of this unforgettable novel comes from the way its racial themes echo. It is very difficult to perceive and articulate the twisted skein of emotion that is black experience – and yet that is just what Edugyan manages to do with this brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed novel. It's a work that promises to lead black literature in a whole new direction.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (6 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Esi Edugyanautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Dyer, PeterDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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for Steve
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

"Berlin, 1939. The Hot-Time Swingers, a popular German American jazz band, have been forbidden to play live because the Nazis have banned their 'degenerate music.' After escaping to Paris, where they meet Louis Armstrong, the band's brilliant young trumpet-player, Hieronymus Falk, is arrested in a café by the Gestapo. It is June 1940. He is never heard from again. He is twenty years old, a German citizen. And he is black. Berlin, 1992. Falk, now a jazz legend, is the subject of a celebratory documentary. Two of the original Hot-Time Swingers American band members, Sid Griffiths and Chip Jones, are invited to attend the film's premier in Berlin. As they return to the landscape of their past friendships, rivalries, loves and betrayals, Sid, the only witness to Falk's disappearance who has always refused to speak about what happened, is forced to break his silence. Sid recreates the lost world of Berlin's pre-war smoky bars, and the salons of Paris, telling his vibrant and suspenseful story in German American slang. Half-Blood Blues is a novel about music and race, love and loyalty, and marks the arrival of an extraordinarily 'gifted storyteller' (The Toronto Star)"--

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Mitjana: (3.7)
0.5
1 8
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2 15
2.5 10
3 66
3.5 36
4 136
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