BN.com Gift Guide

Overview

A Southside Chicago blues joint in 1963
A hot young guitar player up against ...
... the King of the Blues
A witchy woman, a slumming debutante,
A white boy with his own secrets

They all come together in a wonderful novel that captures a remarkable world of smoky blues ...

See more details below
Cutting Time

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$4.99
BN.com price

Overview

A Southside Chicago blues joint in 1963
A hot young guitar player up against ...
... the King of the Blues
A witchy woman, a slumming debutante,
A white boy with his own secrets

They all come together in a wonderful novel that captures a remarkable world of smoky blues clubs, dangerous characters, bewitched love, and surprising gallantry. A fine read, at bottom Cutting Time is a novel of character tested: How we suffer and fight for the lives we’re born to fulfill.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Musical wunderkind battles the establishment and personal demons on Chicago’s South Side. Blazingly talented young guitarist Willie Lee Reed hones his skills in Detroit, and moves to Chicago in 1963 with a single goal: to dethrone the acknowledged King of the Blues, venerable Heddy Days. Student and blues aficionado Josh Green sees something unique in Willie Lee and hooks up with him. On a hot Friday night at a popular club called the 6-Eye, Willie Lee joins a line of pretenders (including an Elvis look-alike) challenging Heddy in a musical face-off. Also in attendance are scouts from local record labels and an enigmatic girl named Esme, to whom Josh takes a fancy. In the first of two lengthy and pivotal scenes that unfold at 6-Eye, Willie Lee initially dazzles the crowd with his supple sound and lightning fingers. It looks as if the King might go down, until Heddy plays a single blistering note that turns the tide and rattles the kid’s confidence. Though his performance wins him Heddy’s respect and a record deal with operator Vic Abruzzi, Willie Lee views it as a failure and nurtures the single-minded goal of challenging the King of the Blues again. A seductive beauty called Silver (after a distinctive streak in her hair) ensnares Willie Lee, but she’s got more in mind than just shacking up. Born Betty Ann and the victim of childhood abuse, Silver works for Abruzzi’s chief rival, Sweet Home Arthur; her mission is to woo Willie Lee away. Esme, meanwhile, has begun dating Josh and revealed herself as Heddy’s long-lost daughter. Murder, racial tension, and another high-stakes musical performance figure in at the close. Second-novelist Dunn (Pink Cadillac, 2001) writes with affection for hischaracters and admiration for their world, but without much insight. Too much of a fan perhaps, he never gets under their skins to the essence of the blues.
From the Publisher

"A heady mix of blues myth and blues nitty-gritty by a writer who knows the passions and pleasures of music from the inside."  —Michael Lydon, author, Ray Charles: Man and Music

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935512042
  • Publisher: Coral Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • File size: 905 KB

Meet the Author


Robert Dunn is the author of Pink Cadillac and Soul Cavalcade. He has taught fiction writing at The New School in New York City and has been published in The New Yorker and The Atlantic. He lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

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
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2003

    Cutting Time

    Cutting Time is a bona fide Chicago blues tale. I was an instant fan of Pink Cadillac, and am happy to say that Dunn continues the quality writing and high energy in this second offering from his music series. Cutting Time's setting is the 1963 electric blues scenes of Chicago and Gary. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Heddy Days is the reigning champ of an endangered but still intense Midwestern blues tribe. Willie Lee Reed, a flashy and charming young guitarist, comes down from Detroit to challenge Days for his undisputed crown. As the book starts, we're watching the ensuing cutting contest between the two gunslingers through the eyes of Josh, a wannabe-folklorist college student. At the contest, Josh meets Esmie, Day's daughter from Detroit, and watched the contest with her. She leaves, all astir from Reed's fiery performance. Josh leaves realizing he may have just seen the Next Big Thing. Despite Reed's flash and fireworks, the master Days slays the young challenger with a single, devastating note. Though chagrined and intimidated, Reed is courted into recording by blues impresario 'Sweet Home' Arthur for the Viper label. He makes a record that should be the next blues classic. Instead the record falls flat, due to complex twists of fate and bad business doings. Reed goes to Gary, laying down a small but intense crowd-winning show. He wins the attention of the glamorous witchy-woman Silver, and the record promoter for whom she lures talent. Silver is sent to seduce and capture the young firebrand for her boss/pimp's label. Instead of this moving into a typical bad-woman-messes-with-good-kid territory, Dunn delivers something fresh by giving his young hero a quirk or two. Despite his outward bluster on stage, Reed bears scars and bruises from a dysfunctional childhood. While in the army, Reed discovered The True Soul, a book of Buddhist-esque philosophy that he cleaves to. As a result, the young bluesman lives in self-imposed celibacy, doing all he can to find his 'True Voice' via his battle-scarred guitar. He responds to Silver's potion-wielding seduction by going near catatonic. His is not the best state to be in to seize the blues crown from Days. Will Willie Lee recover and have another shot at Days and the crown? What will he learn from a jam night alongside a young Hendrix -- and what will Hendrix learn from Willie Lee? I won¿t spoil it for you, because Cutting Time is well worth checking out purely for its storyline and writing.

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

    Posted November 5, 2003

    Interesting read

    Dunn¿s novel is a great look into the Chicago blues scene of the 1960¿s. The story centers around hotshot gunslinger Willie Lee Reed. Reed comes to town full of confidence and enthusiasm but soon finds out he has a lot to learn. Soon he befriends a white college student who loves the blues more than school and two diverse women.<P> Much of the book centers around Cutting Sessions, guitar competitions where the old masters take on all comers. Reed is full of flash and style, but does not have the soul and inner feeling to knock off the champion.<P> Dunn obviously has a vast knowledge of the blues and mixes his fictional characters into the real Chicago blues scene. Reed is one part Hendrix, one part Robert Johnson, but later on finds himself sharing a stage with Hendrix. Days seems to be a composite of various Chicago Bluesmen, but at the same time there are references to Muddy Waters and B.B. King.<P> No blues novel would be complete without a bit of the supernatural and Cutting Time is no different. Dunn takes the standard tale of bluesman sells his soul to the devil and turns it on its head. Reed¿s devil is within, his own past long buried. Dunn only drops hints of the depths of the darkness and we never really see the results of Reed tapping into this. Reed also draws power from a strange little religious book that seems to hint that his true talent comes not from the Devils, but from somewhere else. In fact, Reed¿s encounter with the dark arts sets him back and almost ends in disastrous consequences.<P> It is very hard to describe music with mere words. That task is even tougher when trying to describe music as passionate as the blues, but Dunn does a very nice job. He balances the difficult job of being almost poetic with his description of the music, but never bogs it down with too much description. In fact the whole novel is written in a manner that is very vivid, but never loses itself in self-indulgent prose.<P> While Cutting Time is very much a music story, it is also a book about being an outsider. You have the obvious racial overtones of Chicago in the 60¿s, but you also have white characters living in a black world. Individually, Reed is an outsider and the new stranger in town, while both his love interests are also outsiders in their own right. <P> Cutting Time is an enjoyable read. Dunn creates enjoyable cast of characters and throws in just enough surprises to keep you guessing. In many ways the book reads like the first of many stories about Reed, so it will be interesting to see where Dunn takes it.<P>

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

    Posted October 26, 2003

    Cutting Time

    CUTTING TIME's setting is the 1963 Midwestern electric blues scene. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Heddy Days is the reigning champ of a waning but still intense blues tribe. Willie Lee Reed, a flashy, charming young guitarist, comes down from Detroit to challenge Days for his undisputed blues lick crown. As the book starts, we're watching the ensuing cutting contest between the two gunslingers through the eyes of Josh, a quasi-folklorist white college student. At the contest, Josh meets Esme, Day's daughter from Detroit, and watched the contest with her. She leaves stirred by the young guitarist, and Josh leaves realizing he may have just seen the Next Big Thing. Despite Reed's flash and fireworks, the master slays the challenger with a single, devastating note. Though chagrined and intimidated by the contest, Reed is courted into recording by blues impresario 'Sweet Home' Arthur for the Poker label. Along with Josh and Esme, he makes a record that should be the next blues classic. Instead the record falls flat, due to twists of fate and bad business and luck. Reed then goes to Gary, laying down a small but intense crowd-winning show. He wins the attention of the glamorous witchy-woman Betty Ann 'Silver' Norton, and the record promoter for which she lures talent. Silver has been sent to seduce and capture the young firebrand for her boss/pimp's label. Instead of this moving into a typical bad-woman-messes-with-good-kid story, Dunn gives his central bluesman character a twist. Despite his outward bluster on stage, Reed bears the scars and bruises of a scary childhood. In the army he has discovered a book of Buddhist-esque philosophy, and so Willie Lee, as he insists on being called, lives a self-imposed celibacy. He responds to Silver's potion-wielding seduction by going near catatonic. His is not the best state to be in to seize the blues crown from Days. Will Willie Lee recover and have another shot at Days and the crown? What will he learn from a jam night alongside young Hendrix -- and what will Hendrix learn from Willie Lee? I won¿t spoil it for you, because CUTTING TIME is well worth checking out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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