Blue Bossa

Overview

As this evocative novel opens, former jazz great Ronnie Reboulet hasn't picked up his horn in more than five years. Ronnie, a charming but emotionally distant man, struggles to make a life free of drugs and outside the music business. With the support of his soulful companion, Betty, and his once-estranged daughter, Rae, an aspiring singer, Ronnie attempts a comeback that will have readers rooting for him every step of the way.

Set against the backdrop of Patty Hearst's ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $1.99   
  • Used (10) from $2.49   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$1.99
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(143)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
0140275703

Ships from: North Dartmouth, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.45
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
New New First Edition, first printing with Full number line. Spine has never been cracked. Tiny publishers mark on page edge. Most orders ship same or next day with Delivery ... confirmation. Guaranteed quality. FG3. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Port Saint Lucie, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

As this evocative novel opens, former jazz great Ronnie Reboulet hasn't picked up his horn in more than five years. Ronnie, a charming but emotionally distant man, struggles to make a life free of drugs and outside the music business. With the support of his soulful companion, Betty, and his once-estranged daughter, Rae, an aspiring singer, Ronnie attempts a comeback that will have readers rooting for him every step of the way.

Set against the backdrop of Patty Hearst's kidnapping in 1970s San Francisco and composed in short, sensual scenes that segue into one another like a song-man's medley, Blue Bossa sparkles with a swinging, lyrical prose that reflects the protagonist's lush playing style. In the tradition of jazz literature such as Michael Ondaatje's Coming Through Slaughter and John Clellon Holmes's The Horn, Schneider's debut is also a family story that explores how parents, children, and lovers support each other in the ceaseless struggle to rebuild broken lives.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Peter Kurth

Of all the arts, music is probably the most difficult to write about successfully -- to capture, that is, in anything resembling its original form. In Blue Bossa, the story of a jazz trumpeter down on his luck and looking for a comeback both as an artist and man, novelist Bart Schneider takes the wisest course and doesn't attempt to imitate or simulate the sound of the horn. Rather, he mirrors it in a stylish, lyrical narrative, told in a series of free-floating vignettes only vaguely concerned with actual time, that make you feel that you've listened to a particularly rewarding set of notes, alternately gentle, mournful, erotic and ecstatic.

The scene is San Francisco and the year (when the actual year is made to matter) is 1974, at the time of Patricia Hearst's kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Ronnie Reboulet, a former star musician and national heartthrob now living in a state of comfortable disenchantment with his wise and loving mistress, Betty, is confronted with the daughter he abandoned years before, when he broke free of family obligations and took a slide straight down the tubes into heroin addiction. Ronnie is a prodigy, a musical Wunderkind, and a white boy in the world of black men's music; his daughter, Rae, turns up at his door with a black child of her own, the offspring of one shiftless punk or another who's taken advantage of her wistful good nature as she endeavors to put together her own halting career as a lounge singer. Blue Bossa is the story of Ronnie and Rae's rises and falls, past and present, musical and otherwise, and of Ronnie's effort to take up the horn again in a world without dreams and without drugs.

"It was in Florida that he made the point of banishing music," Schneider observes. "He cast it out, isolated it like a disease from the rest of his one-foot-before-the-other life. He slipped it into an unlined case, the strongbox for all things gathered that would not of themselves dissolve. He tried to reenter the world with the peculiar posture of the tone-deaf. He felt confident that he could join the tribe of shambling gracelessness without incident." The measured calmness and sure control of Schneider's prose is the saving grace of his novel, turning a story that might have been salacious and ordinary -- "Raffish Wastrel Seeks Love and Redemption in the Love of Two Good Women" -- into something truly memorable, soft and fine. The casting of the story against the backdrop of the Patty Hearst saga, with its too deliberate commentary about fathers and daughters, is the only aspect of the novel that doesn't quite work. It seems forced and somehow irrelevant. But the characters are beautifully drawn, utterly believable and, in the end, as true to each other as their natures allow them to be. -- Salon

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ronnie Reboulet, the Chet Baker-esque hero of this coolly passionate debut, has lost a lot: his teeth, his looks, his wife, his daughter and his career as a singer and trumpeter. On the positive side, he's beaten a heroin habit and found Betty, a girlfriend who forgives his weaknesses and admires his soul, no matter how far he wanders or how hard he tries to keep her at a distance. Then, one evening in the 1970s, his teenage daughter Raean aspiring singer who is struggling to give her own baby son the care Ronnie never gave herappears on his doorstep, desperate for direction and love, and forces her way back into his life. Under her sway, Ronnie starts playing again, first alone, later in a club where the local San Francisco press rediscovers him. The masterful passages that follow Ronnie through his slow relearning of music are full of frustration, beauty and moments of elation. The individual dramas of Ronnie, Betty and Rae are all set against another family crisis that gripped the nationnamely the kidnapping of Patty Hearst. The contrast between the image of Randolph Hearst on TV, forced to make public declarations of his love for Patty, and Ronnie's battle against the urge to flee his family is particularly poignant. With grace and dexterity, Schneider cuts to the heart of the matter, his characters' losses and redemptions, outlining their lives in deceptively simple terms. By the end of the novel, just Ronnie's gesture (described en passant) of slipping off his shoes moves us because we know that it means he's using drugs again. Ronnie's singing style is described as "intimate, and yet free of affect." The same could be said about this smooth first novel from the editor of the Hungry Mind Review.
Library Journal
In the late 1960s, Ronnie Reboulet was a brilliant but drug-wrecked jazz trumpeter who had blown notes of aching beauty for decades and then laid down his instrument for good. Five years later, all he has to show for his hard-won sobriety is ruined good looks, a nowhere Bay Area job, and the steadfast love of Betty, wise from her own sorrowful chapters. In 1974, Ronnie's life undergoes a sea change. His long-estranged, too-young daughter shows up on his doorstep with a child of her own just as Ronnie follows his troubled heart back to the freedom only music can bring him. Schneider, editor of the Hungry Mind Review, pulls the reader into the rhythm of this tale with vignettes of lovely artistry that weave back and forth throughout Ronnie's life. The standard formula of drugs plus musical wizardry equals heartbreak does not necessarily apply to this poignant tale of good-hearted people working hard to carve a life, hopefully with each other. Highly recommended.Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., Mich.
Kirkus Reviews
A heartfelt debut, by The Hungry Mind Review's editor, about a burnt-out jazz musician who's obviously modelled on the brilliant, self-destructive trumpeter-vocalist Chet Baker. The story occurs in and around San Francisco in 1974, when Patricia Hearst was kidnapped—an event that absorbs Schneider's characters almost obsessively. Protagonist Ronnie Reboulet, "pushing fifty," is drug-free at last but left with a mouthful of false teeth and a horn that's been locked away for some five years. Ronnie's ex-wife "Cat" willingly crashed and burned along with him. Now their daughter Rae, herself beginning a career as a jazz singer, struggles also to raise her racially mixed four-year-old, the product of her affair with a handsome black kid she met at Altamont. Ronnie's currently quiet life (working at a golf course, living with Betty Millard, a goodhearted nurse who has survived mastectomy, unhappy marriage, and bereaved motherhood) is disturbed when Rae and son reenter it, and as he's gradually persuaded that he's "frozen inside a tree of unplayed music." Following this extended exposition, the novel riffs through short chapters describing Ronnie's, Rae's, and Betty's experiences and reminiscences, and the relevance of the Patty Hearst theme grows clearer, hinting at the question of whether people can separate themselves from their loved ones so decisively that there's no way back. Schneider knows his subject, and all the right tunes, but the account of Ronnie's imperfect rejuvenation is miked, as it were, too high. There are actually scenes that suggest both Christ's agony in the wilderness, and a "baptism" that accompanies Ronnie's return to playing in public. Conversely, thestory does trail off into a perfectly modulated downbeat ending. A better-than-decent try, but more emotion than technique is displayed in this first solo effort.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140275704
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/19/1999
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)