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Crazy Heart

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At the age of fifty-seven, Bad Blake is on his last legs. His weight, his ticker, his liver, even his pick-up truck are all giving him trouble. A renowned songwriter and "picker" who hasn't recorded in five years, Bad now travels the countryside on gigs that take him mostly to motels and bowling alleys. Enter Ms. Right. Can Bad stop living the life of a country-western song and tie a rope around his crazy heart?

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Crazy Heart

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Overview

At the age of fifty-seven, Bad Blake is on his last legs. His weight, his ticker, his liver, even his pick-up truck are all giving him trouble. A renowned songwriter and "picker" who hasn't recorded in five years, Bad now travels the countryside on gigs that take him mostly to motels and bowling alleys. Enter Ms. Right. Can Bad stop living the life of a country-western song and tie a rope around his crazy heart?

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
“In producing as nearly a masterpiece as the subject has yet attracted, Cobb seems to have triumphed….Cobb has created an unforgettable character who engages not only your interest but your emotion…and who proceeds to take you on a roller-coaster ride through his tawdrily tumultuous life.”
New York Times Book Review
“A measure of Thomas Cobb’s talent is that he can make Bad Blake’s story amusing even as we watch him fall. Bad is entirely sympathetic, and this crazy heart is vivid; the milieu is as resonant as a steel guitar, and the plot moves along without skipping a beat.”
Washington Times
“Crazy Heart is a beautiful book….The characters are cut cleanly out of America….Bad Blake is a man you will not soon forget.”
San Francisco Examiner
“Thomas Cobb’s marvelous first novel doesn’t just play on your heartstrings, it breaks them.”
Houston Chronicle
“This is a heartfelt book: the descriptions of writing songs and playing them, of finding love and ruining it, of sweet, painful memories. There’s nothing startling in the plot or the characters, but they are alive.”
Boston Herald
“Blake’s dedication to, and integrity towards, his country music is more than matched by Cobb’s moving, respectful evocation of the world of country music, and the life and times of Bad Blake.”
The New Yorker
“[Cobb’s] picture of the scraggly underside of Western music is brutally convincing.”
Houston Post
“Crazy Heart just might be the finest country-western novel ever written, bar none.”
Los Angeles Times
“Thomas Cobb has produced a piercing, keenly observed chronicle of modern Americana, getting across the current mores and attitudes as experience by C&W musician Blake.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“You can almost hear the whining twang of a pedal steel guitar and the droning of a mournful singer while reading Crazy Heart.”
Library Journal
Singer and guitarist Bad Blake was once a first-rate country-and-western star, but now he's 57, an alcoholic, a failure at four marriages, and playing in third-rate clubs. The biggest gig he can get is opening for Tommy Sweet, the kid Bad got started and whose career has now eclipsed Bad's. Bad meets Jean Craddock when she comes to interview him and they fall in love. Her little boy, Buddy, inspires Bad to search for his own long-lost son, but there's no happy ending there. And when Bad, hungry for a drink, loses Jean's son, things take a downturn, despite Bad's fling with AA. This first novel has the authentic patter and ambience of those seedy one-night-stands, but the plot is thin and the ending is very downbeat. There will be heavy promotion and advertising, so requests may warrant purchase. Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Lib., Seaside, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060915193
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Bad, Bad Blake

    I do not know where I was or what I was doing years ago when this book came out but it saddens me I waited all these years to read it. I loved it. It is a definite keeper. Bad Blake is a down on his luck, womanizing, alcoholic performer. With every 2 steps he takes back up he falls back 5. I read this book in 2 settings and wanted to turn right around and read it again. It really touched me, and by the way, the movie stays very close to the book. I recommend it too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    RARE EVENT

    This is one time I preferred the movie to the book. What I liked better about the movie is the ending. In the movie the fact that he loses her doesn't affect his working with AA to remain sober. I think this is a more realistic ending for an alcoholic who truly gets sick and tired of himself as Bad did. The book ending diverges quite a bit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    The best part is the end...

    ...partially because I didn't see it coming, partially because I was glad it was over. It is an easy read that took me no time at all- I finished it on a long flight. I would NOT say this is the most exciting book I've ever read. Simply put, I would say that it was underwhelming. In fact, 2/3 of the way through, I thought, "come on..." It dragged along in a few places and then BAM it was over. The ending was somewhat shocking for me- I never saw it coming. And that is the only reason I liked the book as much as I did. I hope the movie is better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Crazy Heart

    Bad Blake was once a big country singer, but now he plays small clubs and bowling alleys just to get by. He has numerous ex-wives and is poor. He also likes to drink his whisky. Thomas Cobb has written a bittersweet look at life on the road for a has-been musician. He pulled me in and made me feel for Bad. CRAZY HEART is heart wrenching and is a skillfully written novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    this is a character study of a self-destructive person who failed to cope with fame and fortune

    At one time Bad Blake was a country-and-western superstar, but years of alcohol have taken its toll. In his late fifties, his best has long passed. Even his personal life has been a failure with four broken marriages and a son he has not seen in decades.

    Bad once got Tommy Sweet gigs, but now the roles have reversed with the young superstar having Blake open for him. Reporter Jean Craddock meets Bad Black for an interview and they are attracted to one another. As they fall in love, her young son Buddy is the impetus for Bad to look up his son. That reunion like his entire life goes bad, but Bad moves on. Alone with Buddy, he loses his girlfriend's son when he stops for a drink, which will cost him much more.

    With a nod to A Star Is Born, this is a character study of a self-destructive person who failed to cope with fame and fortune. The slight story line focuses on Bad, whose irresponsible behavior adversely impacts those who care about him, but learn quickly the cost is too high as he drives them away with his out of control actions. Fans will enjoy Thomas Cobb's bittersweet look into a Crazy Heart.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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