Trombone

Trombone

by Craig Nova
     
 

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Craig Nova's classic novel Trombone is a powerful and poignant portrait of the complexities between an arsonist father and his good son. Dean Gollancz is an easygoing man of modest means. He longs for the Big Time, and when his job at the Print Shop doesn't pay the bills, he commits arson for a Chinese gangster in Los Angeles. His son Ray feels deep love and

Overview

Craig Nova's classic novel Trombone is a powerful and poignant portrait of the complexities between an arsonist father and his good son. Dean Gollancz is an easygoing man of modest means. He longs for the Big Time, and when his job at the Print Shop doesn't pay the bills, he commits arson for a Chinese gangster in Los Angeles. His son Ray feels deep love and loyalty for his father, but when he wins an Ivy League scholarship, Ray must decide how much of his own life to sacrifice for Dean's respect. The destructive nature of their relationship is brought to the fore when Iris, a classmate of Ray's, becomes his father's lover. Longing for Iris and knowing he can never be like Dean, Ray must decide whether he even wants to be, and whether it is right to be that way at all. "[Nova's novels] deserve to be ranked among the best American fiction of the past two decades." -- Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post "Trombone is a novel of crime, passion, adventure ... by one of our most acclaimed and prolific fiction writers." -- Howard Frank Mosher

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nova ( The Good Son ; Incandescence ) here taps the heat and energy of the bond between a son and his arsonist father . Ray Gollanz is not yet 20 when he first accompanies his father, Dean, on his outside job as an arsonist-for-hire. Intelligent and perceptive, Ray knows that his much-beloved dad father used twice already is a big talker and a ladies' man who signals the end of each affair by playing his trombone. The potentially destructive nature `join forces' below of Ray and Dean's attachment, captured first in Ray's memory of their watching the light of atom bomb tests when he was a little boy, is stirred when Dean and Iris Mason, Ray's high-school classmate in Bakersfield, Calif., become an item. After Dean is scared off by Iris's father, Ray and Iris join forces and together begin to test the limits of their tolerance for danger and self-revelation. Iris leaves home and Ray, opposing Dean, accepts a scholarship to college in the East. He comes back to Bakersfield when Dean's life begins to fall apart and, facing the risk of exposing his feelings, attempts both to find Iris and to sort through the demands of filial loyalty. Calling to mind Barry Gifford's Wild at Heart , this ambitious novel is hampered by its schematic plot and the sometimes portentous, often strangled dialogue of characters who cannot say what they feel. Yet the gritty settings and the vivid characterizations of Ray and Dean, combined with the compelling undercurrent of tension, create a powerful effect. (June)
Library Journal
The melancholy tone of this novel is echoed in the songs Dean Golancz plays on his trombone everytime a new affair ends. Witness to this is Dean's son Ray who tries to escape his father's need for danger by going to college in the East. Another family drama on a par with Nova's Incandescence ( LJ 6/15/79) and The Good Son ( LJ 7/82), Trombone exudes an air of danger. The tension builds between father and son with the arrival of Iris Mason. As the two become involved with Iris a new distrust forms between them. Dean pushes the limits further and further while Ray quits school to try and save his father and seal his relationship with Iris. Ultimately one man overcomes his obsession with risk while the other is destroyed by his. Recommended for general readers and where his previous books have been popular.-- Kathy Ingels Helmond, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. at Indianapolis Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802139139
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/2002
Pages:
247
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.65(d)

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