Half Blood Blues

Half Blood Blues

4.5 32
by Esi Edugyan
     
 

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A story of friendship, betrayal and redemption, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011.

The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymus Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, is arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He is twenty years old. A German citizen. And he is black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day,

Overview

A story of friendship, betrayal and redemption, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011.

The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymus Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, is arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He is twenty years old. A German citizen. And he is 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 when Chip shares a mysterious letter, bringing to the surface secrets buried since Hiero's fate was settled. In Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan weaves the horror of betrayal, the burden of loyalty and the possibility that, if you don't tell your story, someone else might tell it for you. And they just might tell it wrong…

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781846687754
Publisher:
Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Esi Edugyan has degrees from the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best New American Voices 2003. Her debut novel, written when she was 25, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally. She currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

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Half Blood Blues 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
joe11144 More than 1 year ago
How long since I have loved a book as much for the use of language as for the content of it plot or characters? Not since the Bard I think. It's all in the language. The changing meter ebbs and flows to match the dynamic of the drama. In a story based on music the language is the rhythm. You can almost see the broad smile, the whites of Satchmo's eyes welcoming you between the words. Bird's stacatto bursts and the languid baritones of Teagarden drip like honey when the tempo stretches. Sentences grab you and pull you along like a melody, sometimes a gliss, a riff, the pause exciting as the note. It is a nocturne, not just from Harlem but jazzed and mixed with Germany and Austria and a different time and place. But always truth ... jazz truth. Don't miss this if you love poetry made from music, or vice-versa. A rare treat. She will have to go a long way to equal it I think.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
In Berlin, between World War I and II, jazz was the thing. Black musicians flocked there and to Paris, fleeing the discrimination at home. One group formed then had members from all over. There were Sid and Chip, the bass player and drummer, childhood friends who came over from Baltimore. Ernst was a German, son of a rich and powerful industrialist. Big Fritz was also German, as was Paul, the group's only Jewish member. Then there was Hieronymus, or Hiero Falk, the band's trumpeter. Hiero is young, barely twenty, a decade or so younger than the rest of the band. He is also German, but most people would be surprised to learn this. Born of a German mother and a Senegalese father, he is one of a handful of 'half-bloods' born in a region where Senegalese troops had been stationed. These children were not accepted but shunned and singled out for unfair treatment. But Hiero has a gift; he plays the trumpet in a manner that rivals the king of all trumpeters, Louis Armstrong. By 1939, things had gotten bad in Berlin. The SS were everywhere, targeting Jews first, but also blacks and other minorities. Jazz was denounced as savage music not worthy of a true German's attention. As tensions mount and the men start to fear for their lives, a woman appears. She is Deliliah Brown, the singer in Louis Armstrong's band, and she wants them to come to Paris and play with Louis. After Paul is captured on the streets one day, the men decide to go there. Once there, things are better for a time, but not for long. Dissension starts to strain the band as members vie for Deliliah's attention and time to record. The group falls apart when Hiero is swept up and sent to a camp, but Sid manages to sneak out one precious recording, 'Half-Blood Blues' when he and Chip go back to America that makes the group's reputation. Hiero survives the war, but dies soon afterward. As the book opens, Chip and Sid are on their way to a Hiero Falk Festival in Berlin, put together by a German documentary maker who wants to reestablish the glory of those days when jazz ruled the music scene. This is surprising enough, but Chip has a shock in his pocket. It turns out that Hiero did not die, but has been living in obscurity for forty years. The men are reunited and all the old disagreements and tensions are resolved. Esi Edugyan has written a glorious book. The reader is transported into the world of jazz musicians, where the music is the thing, the only thing that matters. The tension and danger of the Nazi government is strikingly portrayed, and how it swept apart friends and families and whole generations of people. There is friendship and betrayal, sacrifice and pain along with a determination to survive and make the music survival. This book was long-listed for the Mann Booker Prize and is recommended for all readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although i have just recieved this bok it is as a fact truly an amazing book. So sit on back ,get this book while your at it ,and enjoy .
jldarden More than 1 year ago
I heard alot of praise for this book and looked forward to reading it. Sadly, I was disappointed. It had some good ingredients but just didn't gel for me. I found the characters uninteresting and generally unlikeable. Though the writing is well done, I had difficulty at times with the speech of characters. In some instances it was distracting. Also, I found the ending disappointingly flat. Can't recommend this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jack13152 More than 1 year ago
Transports you to a time and place so real you can feel it. Written in a unique style. Pure jazz rhythms of language and feeling. Hard to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Punches alex in the face
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Logan Age: 14 Gender: Male. Looks: Tall with ashy blond hair and grey eyes. Wears a purple shirt and black jeans, with his earbuds hanging out of his pocket. Weapons: A full black bow with black arrows, except for a splash of purple on the tip. Its a poison that changes to the best type during the situation. Also carries a 2 foot imperial gold dagger witha purple stone at the ends. Given to him by neptune. Status: Dating Kelly. Godly parents: Neptune and Venus. Other: I am blessed by jupiter. Yes I am roman, deal with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read worse books but i couldnt finish this. Just never got going.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Parents are Nemisis and Evan Nakamura. Brother is warrior Ethan Nakamura. Blond with pink and blue streaks. Age 16.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Luna Nocturn-Gender: Female-Age: 15-Status: Single-Heritage: A daughter of Artemis, her father is unknown/nonexistant.-Weapon: A silver sword called Moonbeam-Specialty: Hand to hand combat and sword fighting-Powers: Healing powers limited to other people (can't use them on herself), the ability to speak with nocturnal animals, slight control over the tides-Looks: Long silvery hair and eyes of the same color, extremely pale skin, high cheekbones and a slim, muscular build-Clothes: A silvery t-shirt, balck skinny jeans, silver combat boots with steel toes-Personality: Calm and easy going, intellegent, slightly isolated, tends to become violent if prevoked-Past: Was delievered to camp with a prophecy "The first, the last, the only. The moon goddess' sole blood child. Hair of silver, fingers of ice, Artemis's daughter shall tame the wild" this prophecy is branded into her right shoulder. Nothing else of her past is known.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I SO belong here. XD lol
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol im using my phone as a flashlight