[PDF / Epub] ☉ Half Blood Blues By Esi Edugyan – Pdfr25.co

Half Blood Blues The Aftermath Of The Fall Of Paris, 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 BlackFifty 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 To The Journey Than He Thought When Chip Shares A Mysterious Letter, Bringing To The Surface Secrets Buried Since Hiero S Fate Was SettledIn 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


10 thoughts on “Half Blood Blues

  1. says:

    i m glad this book didn t win the damn booker that just means it wasn t a complete snoozefest Vernon God Little thumbs down The Gathering bleah Wolf Hall zzzzz G not his best and from what i hear of this year s winner, the barnes is not positive reviews, kiddies.so i m glad this book escaped that label, because when this book is good, it sparkles like a thousand year old vampire in the sun and i was halfway through before i realized this was an author ess not that it matters, but there was something so authentic feeling about this group of hard living black male jazz musicians holed up in nazi occupied paris, that i just naturally assumed the author was privy to the way men interact with each other the baiting and insults, the quips and bravado, the sullenness that comes from waiting waiting waiting, while the female character seemed like a perfect invention a fantasy of talent and maternal sexual intrigue but not tawdry, just better than, if you know what i mean this just sounds so spot on to me don t go all joe bavaria on us, brother you ain t a prude.come on so she ain t no caviar each man got the spice he likes so you like old ordinary pepper nothing wrong with pepper, paul agreed it s black, said chip and peppery that it is, buck that it is well done, lady writer.for me, i like my historical fiction to be simply dusted with historical elements sometimes it is great to learn whopping amounts of information about a particular time and place, but sometimes the character wins the day for me and in this case, that is what happened i learned just enough about what was at stake for black individuals during the beginning of nazi power i had no idea there were different levels of blackness, each with their particular benefits or hardships musicians were initially or less safe, but when the turn came, it was swift and brutal jazz here in germany it became something worse than a virus we was all of us damn fleas, us negroes and jews and low life hoodlums, set on playing that vulgar racket, seducing sweet blond kids into corruption and sex it wasn t a music, it wasn t a fad it was a plague sent out by the dread black hordes, engineered by the jews us negroes, see, we was only half to blame we just can t help it savages just got a natural feel for filthy rhythms, no self control to speak of but the jews, brother, now they cooked up this jungle music on purpose all part of their master plan to weaken aryan youth, corrupt its janes, dilute its bloodlineswe lived with that for ten damn years.or that the nazis started their own brand of jazz, to try to quell the demand for it with a whiter, sanctioned form of the music, whose musicians used sheet music nazi jazz think about it how efficient it must have been shudder.but in this book, sid, the narrator, is complicated enough without piling all kinds of historical learning on top of him he is a loveable, hateable, conflicted, damaged unreliable narrator torn between his desire for a woman and his jealousy over the kid , hieronymous falk, whose trumpet is astonishing and who seems to draw people to him like sweet baffled honey.jennifer aka EM s review is super and mentions George Rue , especially the fourth paragraph not much else needs to be said after that but, hell, i will keep going, only to say thank you to bill thompson for sending me this book, and then lighting a fire under my ass about reading it, because i may have just let it languish on my shelves without the gentle prod when it is published in this country, i am going to order up a ton of them, and hand sell it like mad i loved the lilting prose, i loved the group of musicians, i felt genuine emotion for them as the story unspooled oh, there are some heartbreaking moments in this one, friendsi do recommend it to you highly.come to my blog


  2. says:

    That was why I come Not to find a friend, but to finally, and forever, lose one The downside of being an avid reader is that you can go through a great deal of books without really connecting to one It s not that you re jaded, just that at a certain point it takes to really impress you There are, after all, only so many stories a person can tell, so plots become cliched, characters become familiar But every once in a while a voice comes along that makes you sit up and pay attention A voice that takes familiar notions and makes them feel fresh alive It sends a shiver down your spine when it happens That is exactly what happened to me when I picked up Esi Edugyan s Half Blood Blues right from the first page, when she wrote we lay exhausted in the flat, sheets nailed over the windows The sunrise so fierce it seeped through the gaps, dropped like cloth on our skin Couple hours before, we was playing in some back alley studio, trying to cut a record A grim little room, like a closet of ghosts than any joint for music, the cracked heaters lisping steam, empty bottles rolling all over the warped floor If I had to describe Half Blood Blues very quickly I d say that it s like Cabaret crossed with Amadeus with a dash of Atonement, but that wouldn t exactly do it justice The plot follows the Hot Time Swingers jazz musicians who were on the brink of greatness until World War II broke out and shattered their lives forever First we have Sid Griffiths, our narrator, whose passion for music fills every pore on his body on his first experience hearing jazz in a speakeasy I was in love Pure and simple This place, with its stink of sweat and medicine and perfume these folks, all gussied up never mind the weather this, this was life to me His passion leads him and his childhood friend Chip away from Balti and all the way to Germany, where there s a great deal of excitement about the burgeoning jazz scene They have to go a little underground once the Nazis come to power, but leaving would be impossible to Sid Especially after they hook up with Hieronymous Hiero Falk, a young prodigy who both inspires and infuriates Sid with his natural talent Sid advocates for the kid but can t help but undermine him in increasingly less subtle ways, acting as something of a Salieri to Hiero s Amadeus I admit it, Sid notes He got genius in spades Cut him in half, he still worth three of me, It ain t fair It ain t fair that I struggle and struggle to sound just second rate, and the damn kid just wake up, spit through his horn, and it sing like nightingales It ain t fair Gifts is divided so damn unevenly They eventually escape to Paris with the help of the haunting jazz singer Delilah, and while this should have been their saving grace, it ends up being their downfall.But this is only half of the story The other half takes place in 1992, when Sid and Chip are invited back to Berlin to attend the premier of a documentary honoring the memory of Hiero, who was arrested by the Gestapo after the Nazis occupied France, and never seen again this is no spoiler, by the way It happens in the first chapter, and the narrative goes back and forth between WWII and 1992 to flesh out the details The journey to Berlin stirs intense feelings of pain and guilt in Sid, but the truth is that these emotions have never been unfamiliar to him in the decades since Hiero vanished Sid may be the narrator, but it is Hiero who drives the plot, whose spectral presence haunts every page.It s a story of passion, jealousy, and betrayal, and while these elements feel familiar and at times predictable , it is impossible not to fall under Edugyan s spell Her writing is beautiful, and the way she weaves all of the plot elements together belies the incredible craftsmanship it must have taken to make it all feel so organic Sid is an incredibly contradictory character he says I guess folk just ain t built to be faithful to nothing, not even to pain Not even when it their own, but the way he has lived his life shows that he has never been able to forget the hurts inflicted on him by Hiero and Delilah, let alone the pain he caused them Sid has lived with this ache but he is incapable of confronting it directly I don t think it is unfair to say that when he travels back to Berlin he is hoping to finally find some form of release from his memories So despite these contradictions Sid never feels false on the contrary, the fact that he is at odds with himself is the very thing that brings him to vibrant life Edugyan even pulls off one of my most common gripes when she briefly introduces Louis Armstrong as a character Now, I generally roll my eyes when an author inserts a real person into a historical novel, but that s because most writers do it in the most clumsy, contrived manner possible Not so with Edugyan Armstrong s place in the story feels natural, organic She doesn t just put him there for kicks she makes him an integral force in the plot.I hadn t so thoroughly enjoyed a novel this much since I read The Dubious Salvation of Jack V. last summer Falling under a book s spell is a thrilling experience, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy Half Blood Blues as much as I did.


  3. says:

    This is a mystery to me It has some excellent ingredients, but it doesn t meld into a potion that has any power to engage, and I can t quite work out why The narrative voice I found warm, the friendly banter between characters amusing, the historical background of interest and well rendered, so what went wrong Why did I end up hopping an skipping over pages and pages, merely in order to find out if my suspicions were confirmed at the end Yes, indeed, I had a horrible feeling that was exactly where we were going.So there s one reason the plot Contrived, and yet strangely predictable, at least after around the half way stage And at around the half way stage it suddenly slows right down to a snail s pace, a strange disease seems to hit the fan, one that causes stasis, and readerly mutterings of oh get on with it Why hang around The friendly banter does not fill the chasm And on top of that, there are only two characters who seem even vaguely real or believable, the others are either names or ridiculous, one or t other.Next


  4. says:

    Jazz under the Nazis, both in Germany and in occupied Paris Friendship and betrayal in the worst of circumstances, when betrayal can literally lead to death And then, years later, revisiting those haunts, those people, those betrayals This is a really amazing book.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


  5. says:

    The story of Half Blood Blues revolves around two African American jazz musicians, Sid and Chip, as well as Hiero, a wunderkind half German, half Senegalese trumpet player The action begins in 1939 Berlin and then moves between 1992 Berlin and Poland, and 1939 Paris.Here s what I loved about Half Blood Blues the crackling dialogue, the history, and the brilliant beginning of the novel The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and once you develop an ear for the dialect, the book is quick to read.Unfortunately, many things in Half Blood Blues bothered me As soon as the characters go into hiding from the Nazis, the pace crawls Perhaps this tempo is a result of Sid the narrator becoming a passive observer of events He just watches all the other characters take action This passivity meant I couldn t get a good sense of who Sid really was, and that affected how I perceived the relationships in the book I did not get the feeling that he was particularly ambitious one of the possible motivations in the story, but he gets over slights quickly and I kept wondering what the story would be like if another character had told it I would have loved to have seen of an exploration of identity, half bloodedness as the title suggests , and the irony that African Americans went to interwar Europe to escape the racism back home These elements are touched upon by Sid mentioning that some of his family pass for white, his girlfriend Delilah s mixed race face , and rival Hiero s stories about who his father was One of the telling details I really liked was the shocking visit to Hamburg s Hagenbecks Zoo.But there are many contradictory details For example, Hiero carries his trumpet with him everywhere, then suddenly does not have it with him when they flee Berlin Sid and Chip are able to give a history lecture to Louis Armstrong about German culture, but they don t know that France has declared war on Germany Also, the idea that a black man was able to live peacefully in a remote Polish village during communism, doesn t jive with my experiences of visible minorities in Eastern Europe As well, Sid is aware that he speaks with a dialect and claims Hiero has transposed the dialect into German But Hiero doesn t understand English, so how does he create a Balti German accent It s also linguistically questionable because German has a different syntax.There are flashes of genius when the characters start to talk about friendship, love, art and sacrifice, but the heart of the discussion comes too late in the book and ends too soon Half Blood Blues did give me with a chance to witness Nazi occupied Europe through a new lens, but I find myself looking to Edugyan s reading list at the end of the book, to help provide the grit and details of how a person like Hiero would have survived.


  6. says:

    This book was ok I didn t love love love it I found it hard to get into that could be because I was reading it amidst a house full of people, though The language of the intriguingly unreliable narrator seemed contrived compared to George Rue, which did a better job of a similar patois I would have liked music she did a great job describing the first person feeling of playing music, but a less good job really bringing the jazz scene in Nazi Germany Paris in the 30s to life ETA as karen says in her fantastic review, Edugyan favours character for historical detail.Still, I did love the descriptions of how the music sounded, filtered as they were through Sid s personal and professional jealousy The first time Sid and Chip play with Hieronymous Falk The kid nodded He begun to tease air through the brass At first we all just stood there with our axes at the ready, staring at him Nothing happened I glanced at Chip, shook my head But then I begun to hear, like a pinprick on the air it was that subtle the voice of a hummingbird singing at a pitch and speed almost beyond hearing Wasn t like nothing I ever heard before The kid come in at a strange angle, made the notes glitter like crystal Pausing, he took a huge breath, started playing a ear splitting scale that drawn out the invisible phrase he d just played Worth noting, Sid claims he hated it although describes everyone else crying and pretty much destroyed by their first and subsequent experiences of Hiero s horn playing, including Louis Armstrong It didn t get truly suspenseful until about p 250, and I thought that was too late in the game Plus the ending seemed rushed after all that lead up, and a little too expository for my taste.What I did enjoy very much was how the characterization and character arcs seemed to mimic the band and the playing of jazz itself the lead trumpet player, the kid Hiero, being the star player whom we saw take the spotlight only occasionally, but in important and plot moving ways and the rhythm section Chip and Sid drums and bass anchoring the narrative in both timelines Sid s feelings towards Hiero vacillated through a lens of jealousy and admiration and fear and guilt, and as the least accomplished musician and the narrator, this both held the story together and kept it moving or less on pace plus set up much of the tension between all of the rest of the characters That was an uber clever structure.Like I said though, I wanted music and of the musical and racial history of the time.


  7. says:

    This is an extremely well written book not surprising, I guess, since it was nominated for both the Man Booker and the Giller prizes It took a period in history the Second World War that I care very little about and an aspect of that war that had never impinged on my consciousness the Black experience of that war and made me care very much indeed The story is told by Sidney Griffiths, a black jazz musician who is performing in Europe as the war is beginning Sid is not a very likeable guy he s extremely jealous of any one talented than him and is always looking for an angle to push himself forward For me, he is a perfect example of not needing to love a main character to be interested in what happens to him and his cohort of fellow musicians Maybe one of the reasons that I continued to care about Sid was the comparison to his life long friend, Chip, another seemingly amoral character always looking for a way to advance his interests Most of the time, Chip drags Sid along with him, although he s not above dumping Sid if it becomes obvious that his pal will be a hindrance Sid seems to do the advance planning for the group and is often on the hook for coffee or lunch bills he can t escape his feelings of responsibility.I think the main reason that I continued to care about Sid was his obvious humanity I don t know about you, but I ve felt competitive, I ve been jealous of someone who could do a better job that I could, I ve found myself unwillingly plunged into friendship where I ve felt used, and I ve been spiteful All the sins that Sid commits, I can envisage myself committing too And by book s end, we realize that Sid really does care about some of the shenigans that he has pulled enough that he confesses to them and looks for forgiveness, an admirable act of bravery, and something that I question whether I would have had the fortitude to do in similar circumstances Ms Edugyan makes you feel the oppression, taste the dust, tense with fear, and long to hear the jazz that these men perform By happy accident, I heard an interview with Herbie Hancock the same day that I finished Half Blood Blues and I am going have to check out some jazz in the near future.


  8. says:

    The premise of the novel is a good one black Jazz band in Nazi Berlinbut it is TED I OUSthe plot is unfathomable, the writing is creative 101 oh, lets do first persononly it irritates the reader and fails on description and indeed, any form of engaging language.After chapter two, I stopped, read a few later in the book and the last chapter and was not disappointed it went in the trash.A poor plot, characters that do not engage, and only a page turned in so much as you long to get on to a page that says something.


  9. says:

    I really enjoyed reading this book I even thought that it was even a notch better than the eventual Booker winner last year, Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending The only difficulty I had with this book is Edugyan s writing style There are some sentences that are verbose Her choices of words seem to me as not exact even using my limited vocabulary as the yardstick Lastly, there also seem to to be some grammatically incorrect sentences I first thought that the slight variations to conventional grammar could be attributed to the fact that her characters were supposedly Europeans and non English native speakers But those sentences were in the narration and not part of the spoken dialogues But if you try to forgive or go beyond those minor and really unimportant annoyances, the story is amazingly engaging Half Blood Blues is about the 20 y o Hieronymous Falk, a German black man He was a pianist and he was arrested by German soldiers in a cafe during the fall of Paris in World War II The book is divided into six parts with the milieus and time going back and forth Three cities Paris, Berlin, Poland in 1939 1940 flashback particularly leading to the arrest or disappearance of Hiero and 1992 present time when his friends, Chip and Sid the narrator , now in the eighties, are remembering Hiero Just like that Barnes novel, Sid is also an unreliable narrator because he withheld his participation in the arrest of his friend Think of it like The Kite Runner meets with Shining Through because of Holocaust as its backdrop Then don t forget to play some jazz music playing in the background as this book has music as part of its grand ensemble.Since I am not really a jazz fan, my takeaway from this book is what I learned about that district near the border of France Germany where France allowed to be populated by Black immigrants These Blacks came from their former colonies in Africa I think the idea was that France considered these black immigrants as second class citizens so they seemed to me as the disposables The main protagonist, Hiero, is part of this population.Because of this fact, it was easy for me to sympathize to Hiero s character and it kept me leafing through the pages to find out what was the role of his white friend, Sid, on his arrest.Well worth my money and time.


  10. says:

    Sometimes two stories vie for attention the story the author could have written and the one she actually did write Such is the case with Half Blood Blues.If you come into this book expecting the promises of the publicist in essence, the black German experience under the tyrannical rule of the Third Reich you will find this book to be wanting However, if you are looking for a book that delivers on what the author fully intends an exploration of a one time tight knit jazz band with striving for fame, inter band jealousies, and betrayals set in the late 1930s, then this book shines It is not, perhaps, the interesting topic, but it is the one this author tackled, and her prose positively sings and vibrates.We know early on that Hiero the eponymous half blood , half German, half black is arrested in a Paris caf and we know that the narrator Sid feels as if he bears some responsibility In flashbacks from a vantage point of half a century later, Sid Griffiths and Chip Jones, two African American members of the Hot Time Swingers band, travel back again to Europe where it all began and the path to redemption So what is Half Blood Blues really about It s an electrifying story about following a passion Listen, jazz, it ain t just music It life It s about what we ask of ourselves and what we demand of others in the name of friendship and art It s about the times when pretty good is not good enough. and how we berate ourselves for our lacking And it s about finally being able to ask forgiveness and to forgive ourselves for our failing, because only in forgiveness can we ever really be free In other words, it s about life itself and how we define it for ourselves.From the first sentence Chip told us not to go out Said, don t you boys tempt the devil , written in a near musical patois, to the band s meeting with Louis Armstrong, the man all of them worshipped, the story will hold you in its thrall Like any musical composition, there are times when the narrative slows down perhaps than I would have liked and times with a note or two is out of place Yet many of its images are searing and the ending darn near broke my heart and not in a manipulative or predictable way.This book has been awarded the Scotibank Giller prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker prize The accolades are well deserved.