Young Man with a Horn

Young Man with a Horn

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Overview

Rick Martin loved music and the music loved him. He could pick up a tune so quickly that it didn’t matter to the Cotton Club boss that he was underage, or to the guys in the band that he was just a white kid. He started out in the slums of LA with nothing, and he ended up on top of the game in the speakeasies and nightclubs of New York. But while talent and drive are all you need to make it in music, they aren’t enough to make it through a life. 

Dorothy Baker’s Young Man with a Horn is widely regarded as the first jazz novel, and it pulses with the music that defined an era. Baker took her inspiration from the artistry—though not the life—of legendary horn player Bix Beiderbecke, and the novel went on to be adapted into a successful movie starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590175774
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 09/11/2012
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 794,884
Product dimensions: 5.02(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

Dorothy Baker (1907–1968) was born in Missoula, Montana, in 1907 and raised in California. After graduating from UCLA , she traveled in France, where she began a novel and, in 1930, married the poet Howard Baker. The couple moved back to California, and Baker completed an MA in French, later teaching at a private school. After having a few short stories published, she turned to writing full time, despite, she would later claim, being “seriously hampered by an abject admiration for Ernest Hemingway.” In 1938, she published Young Man with a Horn, which was awarded the prestigious Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1942 and, the next year, published Trio, a novel whose frank portrayal of a lesbian relationship proved too scandalous for the times; Baker and her husband adapted the novel as a play in 1944, but it was quickly shut down because of protests. Her final novel, Cassandra at the Wedding (also published as an NYRB Classic), examined the relationship between two exceptionally close sisters, whom Howard Baker asserted were based on both Baker herself and the couple’s two daughters. Baker died in 1968 of cancer.


Gary Giddins was the jazz critic for The Village Voice, where his column “Weather Bird” ran for thirty years, and is presently director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has contributed articles about music and movies to The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, Esquire, The New York Sun, and Vanity Fair, among others. He has written twelve books, including Visions of Jazz, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1998, and Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams. His most recent book is Warning Shadows: Home Alone with Classic Cinema.

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Young Man with a Horn 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
rainpebble on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have completed Young Man With a Horn by Dorothy Baker and loved the way it was written, the storyline; just everything about this book. I found it to be quite marvelous. I do think that one would possibly have to like music and understand obsessions to perhaps not be bored. Reading it is rather like listening to Miles Davis, Gorden Dexter, Chet Baker & others of their caliber. I absolutely loved it.The storyline is about a youngster named Rick Martin, who in just passing by pawn shops and seeing the instruments becomes enamoured by them and he stops daily and looks by the hour at these instruments and imagines playing them. He pulls a tune out of his head and imagines playing; what notes he would pull, how long he would hold them, etc. He teaches himself to play the trumpet and the piano in this manner. The book is only biographical to his music. The remainder of his story is fictional. He becomes a wonderful musician and is quite recognized by like musicians.I know my description of this book does it nowhere the credit it deserves. It is a wonderful, humorous & yet sad story with extraordinary characters.This was a five star read for me and I KNOW that I will read it again and probably again, as I have Of Lena Geyer. Young Man With a Horn is a wonderful book and I truly loved it. My best read of 2012 thus far.