Seduced

( 1 )

Overview

"[A] smart, funny, and wonderfully resonant novel . . . It's the 1980s, and aspiring songwriter Derek Harper is a man easily seduced. Not only do the Big Three *money, fame, and women *keep him running, but Harper falls prey to subtler forms of seduction as well: the ease of rationalizing bad behavior, abdicating responsibility, and keeping the whole world at arm's length. All these issues are brilliantly interwoven with a behind-the-scenes look at the music industry, particularly the evolution of rap."

*Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Seduced is

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Overview

"[A] smart, funny, and wonderfully resonant novel . . . It's the 1980s, and aspiring songwriter Derek Harper is a man easily seduced. Not only do the Big Three *money, fame, and women *keep him running, but Harper falls prey to subtler forms of seduction as well: the ease of rationalizing bad behavior, abdicating responsibility, and keeping the whole world at arm's length. All these issues are brilliantly interwoven with a behind-the-scenes look at the music industry, particularly the evolution of rap."

*Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Seduced is at its most compelling when author Nelson George delves into the differences between life in the projects and the middle-class heaven of St. Albans and how it evolved over thirty years. . . . George's style is, well, seductive, luring the reader into a world that takes in the range of black experience funneled through the music industry."

*St. Petersburg Times

"Seduced shows Nelson George at the top of his game doing what he does best: zinging the black music biz. The road chapters alone have enough shrill wit, stabbing satire, and tight accuracy to parallel the life of anyone who's ever been out there during the Reagan-stressed '80s."

*Houston Chronicle

"In Seduced, Nelson keeps it real. This is a sex story, a New York story, and a music biz story rolled into one, starring a humble, beautifully average middle-class dreamer, who's not unlike a male version of a Terry McMillan heroine."

*Touré

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Editorial Reviews

Salon
Nelson George spent most of the 1980s in the music world, which he covered for Billboard, the Village Voice and an assortment of other magazines. Now he's produced a novel about Derek Harper, who also happens to spend most of that decade in the music world -- not as a journalist, but as an aspiring songwriter. Derek, alas, has been born too late. Raised in middle-class Queens on a diet of Motown and Philly soul, he arrives on the scene just as these styles are going into the dumpster, abandoned in favor of disco, rap, new jack and so forth. He spends most of the book trying to reconcile his tastes with those of the era, seeing just how much he can accommodate before winding up (as the title would have it) seduced.

Not surprisingly, the author's take on the music business is crammed with amusing and accurate detail. There are sleazeball promoters, temperamental rappers, fans, scams and (for Derek, at least) regular disillusionments. The non-musical portion of the book, however, isn't nearly as convincing. George lays the foundation, sketching in his protagonist's boyhood, family, friends and his succession of failed romances. But all this stuff seems to exist on the margin of his career, and since Derek fails to advance an inch into maturity until he hits 30, there's not much character development to pull the reader in. At one point Derek praises rap for its incursions into "the realm of politics, pain and psychological horror." George's book might have profited from a dose of the same. --James Marcus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345412669
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/21/1997
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Nelson George
Nelson George

Nelson George is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. He has written for Playboy, Billboard, Esquire, the Village Voice, Essence, and many other national magazines, as well as writing and producing television programs and feature films.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2000

    SEDUCED INTO A COMFORTABLE PLACE

    SEDUCED took it's time to get where it was going, but when it did, it made up for it's slow pace with gripping story and complex characterization. Not one of the best book that I have read, it gripped me with it's world of music and success and how it doesn't always mix. All in all, it turned out to be a good book.

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