Ruthiella's Reviews > Half Blood Blues

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 05, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012
Read from May 05 to 12, 2012

Told mostly in flashback by Sidney Griffiths, who is one of the last living members of the Hot Time Swingers, a jazz band comprised of both German and African-American musicians, who had their heyday in the heady days of pre-war Berlin, the focus of the story is Hieronymus Falk, the Swingers’ young prodigy trumpeter, who was arrested by the Gestapo due to his non-status as a black German national and disappeared. Most of the narration and dialogue is in US slang, even when the characters are ostensibly speaking German, which I found odd; German slang does not have double negatives; there is no equivalent for “ain’t”, etc. I also didn’t buy any of the relationships described in the book except for the anti-friendship between Sid and Chip, which rang true to me. If you ignore all that and just focus on the language, it is a beautiful book akin to a bittersweet piece of music about love, ambition and betrayal. I just wish the rest of it had measured up. Read for The Readers' Summer Book Club 2012.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Half Blood Blues.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.