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Ivory Joe

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  4 reviews
First published by Bantam Books and hailed by critics, this is the rollicking love story of Leo and Tina Klein in 1950s New York. He is a charming rogue with ties to the mob. She is a leftist activist and manager of “Ivory Joe” Coulter, a heart-busting black musician. Burke weaves a deft plot involving the attempted theft of one of Joe's songs, to give us a joyous tale of ...more
Published January 2011 by Bev Editions (first published February 1st 1991)
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May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you were a fan of The Sopranos and remember the character named Hesh, and can imagine a book in which he is a central character, that's kind of what you have here. Or if you know anything about Roulette Records, Morris Levy, & Billy Ward & The Dominoes, they all come to mind also.

I really enjoyed this, even though the title did not turn out to reference early R&B start Ivory Joe Hunter. Burke's writing is very evocative of the time and place, and his ability to write from the perspective of
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Started light, ended heavy. Mobsters, race issues, southern hospitality. It all got kind of insane. The only thing that saved it from going off the tracks was the rock n roll of Ivory Joe, a former boxer and wannabe musician on piano. You keep rooting for the two girls who want their parents to reunite. It is mostly a growing up tale of innocence in the 50's. Not exactly a current topic! ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read the book thru fast, then, like bag of chips, felt guilty. The tale is good. The weakness is that it plays on an old and unfair stereotype, liberal White woman falls for handsome African American "bad boy." How it turns out and how performers were often treated by promoters and record companies makes up the background of the story. It was good, and flawed by an old cliché. ...more
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Martyn Burke's newest book from Tyrus/Simon and Schuster, MUSIC FOR LOVE OR WAR, is his sixth published novel and has been praised by Carl Hiaasen with, "Few writers can take you from the hills of Afghanistan to the gates of the Playboy Mansion, and make you believe every crazy word. Martyn Burke is slash-and-burn funny, but also unexpectedly touching and wise.

Martyn works in a multitude of worlds

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