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Half Blood Blues (2011)

de Esi Edugyan

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
1,2967711,907 (3.69)1 / 246
The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there's more to the journey than he thought.… (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 246 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 77 (següent | mostra-les totes)
A beautifully compelling story that weaves together two parallel timelines in the life of Sid Griffiths, a biracial American-born jazz musician who spent much of his young adulthood living in Europe. Half of the tale is set in Germany in 1939 as Sid and the other men in his band struggle to get out of the country, which has become increasingly unsafe for a group of Black men who play jazz. However, once they get into France the threat of the Nazis continues to loom. The other half of the novel follows Sid in 1992 as he travels with his former bandmate, Chip, to Berlin for a festival screening a documentary celebrating the life Hieronymous Falk, another of their former bandmates. However, Chip has a surprise for Sid that will force Sid to once again grapple with a decision he made in 1940 that had disastrous consequences.

It took me a bit to settle into the novel as Edugyan writes it in an historical version of African-American Vernacular English, awash with slang of the 1930s jazz scene. However, once I was accustomed to Sid's voice I was drawn completely into his life in both the early days of the war and in the 90s as he struggles with the choices he made in the past. Edugyan effortlessly weaves in her research about the lives of Black folk in Europe in the 30s and also manages to include real jazz figures in the story, including an appearance by Louis Armstrong. A gorgeous tale of friendship, jazz, and the impossible decisions that were made in the face of war. Recommended. ( )
  MickyFine | Feb 24, 2022 |
Victoria (BC, Canada) author Esi Edugyan was already getting all kinds of award nods for her second novel, Half-Blood Blues, when I finally picked it up. Edugyan taps into an unexplored sliver of history: Jazz during the Nazi rule in Germany.

Sid’s tone and language is eloquent, yet rooted in a particular style that conveys so much more than the words. The story is weighty—Black, Jewish, “deviants”, and Nazi Germany—but Edugyan manages to convey that without being heavy-handed.

I will admit I know next to nothing about Jazz, and I know even less about the jazz era or culture. However, despite my shortcomings, Edugyan’s writing envelopes you in the atmosphere and makes you feel like you’re part of it.

Read my full review on my blog: http://www.monniblog.com/2013/04/half-blood-blues-by-esi/

( )
  monnibo | Dec 30, 2021 |
LOVED IT.
  shmerica | Dec 6, 2021 |
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 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 77 (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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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there's more to the journey than he thought.

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