Janet's Reviews > The Night Train

The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton
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Aug 21, 2012

really liked it

Two teenage boys, one white and one black, are fast friends in the non-demonstrative boy way, against all the rules of 1960s rural North Carolina. They live across the literal tracks from each other in Starke, a divided small town that is only fictional because it really doesn't exist; Edgerton draws it so thoroughly and precisely that it really should be on the maps and in the history books. Larry Lime, the black teen, is learning to be a jazz musician under the tutelage of local legend The Bleeder (so named for his hemophilia). Dwayne, the white teen, heads a rock-n-roll band. Dwayne's band has the opportunity to appear on a local TV variety show, but Larry Lime has hipped Dwayne to James Brown's Live at the Apollo ("race music" to the white folks, if they know it at all), and something's about to break loose on the air. Change is coming to Starke, NC, at the height of the civil rights movement and music is bringing the change. This book is a sweet love song to music and barrier-breaking.
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