Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bass Cathedral” as Want to Read:
Bass Cathedral
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bass Cathedral (From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate #4)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  45 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The Great American Jazz Novel by Nathaniel Mackey, winner of the 2006 National Book Award.

Los Angeles, October 1982: Molimo m'Atet, formerly known as the The Mystic Horn Society, is preparing to release its new album Orphic Bend. The members of the jazz ensembleAunt Nancy, Djamilaa, Drennette, Lambert, N., and Penguinare witness to a strange occurrence: while listening to
...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 17th 2008 by New Directions
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bass Cathedral, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bass Cathedral

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Tim
Apr 26, 2008 added it
Shelves: 2008
Fourth in Mackey's FaBBToPSE series of epistolary novels. David Hadju, in a recent review in the NY Times, called the books in the series "essentially interchangeable," and he's right; but not in the way that David Markson's last four books have been interchangeable--rather they're more like albums from an artist whose albums all sound much the same but are all still great anyway. Bass Cathedral (and the rest of the books in the series) is erudite, idiosyncratic, full of stylish prose, occasiona ...more
Chrissa
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like the TARDIS, this book is bigger than it appears on the outside and there are intimations of wonderful things. Like the Doctor, however, The Author doesn't give up his secrets willingly. In fact, he'd rather not give them up, casting prose at you that breaks and doubles back and repeats, perhaps, if you can decipher the words.

It was, for me, a difficult book. I don't speak the language of jazz; neither, it turns out, does my dictionary. I read it, essentially, for the chorus, for the parts t
...more
Evan Woodward
Jan 06, 2010 rated it liked it
A friend got me this book as a surprise gift which I really appreciated, as it is a singularly bizarre book that I never would have picked up on my own.

Mackey is an Anthony Braxton or a Sonny Sharrock of words. Inventing phrases, conjuring idioms, sonorous and flowing at times, jarring and jagged at others. I found the story itself to be less than thrilling, but his method of telling it to be fascinating.
Matthew
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Mackey definitely is pushing the boundaries of novel, and I'm curious to read the other volumes in this multi-volume work. However, it seemed on occasion that Mackey was being intentionally disdainful of his reader, and comes across as pretentious. I'd also recommend having a working knowledge of jazz and a handy dictionary.
Jeff
Dec 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
I only read about 1/3 of this book, and I did not enjoy what I read. I think the writing is technically great, but it was too dense and the story didn't seem to make much sense to me. I would skip this one, though it may reflect my lack of understanding more than any bad writing.
Shuk Wah Lee
High literature indeed. Too high to comprehend.
John Ayers
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2015
Akon
rated it it was ok
Apr 06, 2011
Ryan Ananat
rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2010
Norman
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2008
Sylvia Chan
rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2012
Ken Taylor
rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2018
Chad
rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2013
Abigail
rated it liked it
Dec 27, 2017
Oliver
rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2008
Cone
rated it liked it
Apr 28, 2015
Mn
rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2015
Rian
rated it it was amazing
Apr 24, 2016
Charles
rated it really liked it
Mar 12, 2012
Meghan
rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2009
Marc
rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2016
Jennifer
rated it it was ok
May 17, 2011
Dimitri Anastasopoulos
rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2013
Sami
rated it did not like it
Jan 25, 2016
Ray
rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2011
Joseph
rated it did not like it
Nov 06, 2016
Jamie Hall
rated it it was ok
Dec 16, 2014
Melanie
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2014
 john
rated it it was ok
Jun 26, 2008
Matthew Kirkpatrick
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
24 followers
Poet and novelist Nathaniel Mackey was born in 1947 in Miami, Florida. He received a BA degree from Princeton University and a PhD from Stanford University.

Nathaniel Mackey has received numerous awards including a Whiting Writer’s Award and a 2010 Guggenheim fellowship. He is the Reynolds Price Professor of English at Duke University and served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from
...more
More about Nathaniel Mackey

Other books in the series

From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate (4 books)
  • Bedouin Hornbook
  • Djbot Baghostus's Run
  • Atet, A.D.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »