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Sonny's Blues is about a lot of things. What appeals most to me is the message of hope. "But now I feel like a man who's been trying to climb up out of some deep, really deep and funky hole and just saw the sun up there, outside. I got to get outside."
I feel like it's imperative that this song be mentioned. The story reminds me of John Mayer's song, "In Repair". In his video, " ...more
At the end of the story, Sonny, out of jail and back home with his brother, rediscovers his lifeline, the one thing that makes his life worth living, his music. But his first attempts to play piano are rocky:
And Sonny hadn’t been near ...more
That said, if someone were to point a gun at my head and demand I tell them the best short story I'd ever read, I would pick this one.
The story is simple enough. A man and his younger bro ...more
I knew this was a story about a jazz musician on drugs, but really it is about brothers, from the perspective of the musician's much ol ...more
This is my first time reading James Baldwin, and boy was I pleased! I really enjoyed his writing style and descriptive elements. Towards the beginning of the story, he likens being n ...more
- "My clothes were wet – I may have looked as though I’d been sitting in a steam bath, all dressed up, all afternoon"
- "He wanted Sonny to leave the shoreline and strike out for the deep water. He was Sonny’s witness that deep water and drowning were not the same thing "
- "…like an animal waiting to be coaxed into the light."
and there are so much more!
What I also found quite interesting and cunning were the instances were dialogue and action/setting c ...more
This is one of my favorite short stories of all time. James Baldwin just has a gift for writing situations so that the reader really feels them. He writes without much flourish and yet his sentences convey certain basic truths so beautifully that reading them, all I can think of is "Yes. Just, Yes."
This story is my personal favorite because I too am a musician. When the narrator finally begins to understand Sonny's music, I practically cried with the joy and beauty of it. The idea of music as bo...more
All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. What is evoked in him, then, is of a ...more
Sonny's Blues deals with the roots of addiction, the danger of stifling artistic creativity, the value of persistently loving family in spite of difficulty and differences ... so much is going on in this ...more
James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic.
James Baldwin offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the 1950s and '60s. The eldest of nine children, his stepfather was a minister. At age 14, Bal ...more