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Half-Blood Blues: A Novel

cat #: 904422
ISBN 10: 1-250-01270-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-250-01270-8
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Book Summary

Berlin, 1939. The Hot-Time Swingers, a popular German American jazz band, have been forbidden to play live because the Nazis have banned their "degenerate" music. After escaping to Paris, where they meet Louis Armstrong, the band's brilliant young trumpet player, Hieronymus Falk, is arrested in a cafe by the Gestapo. It is June 1940. He is never heard from again. He is twenty years old, a German citizen. And he is black.

Berlin, 1992. Falk, now a jazz legend, is the subject of a celebratory documentary. Two of the original Hot-Time Swingers American band members, Sid Griffiths and Chip Jones, are invited to attend the film's premier in Berlin. As they return to the landscape of their past friendships, rivalries, loves, and betrayals, Sid - the only witness to Falk's disappearance who has always refused to speak about what happened - is forced to break his silence.

Sid re-creates the lost world of Berlin's prewar smoky bars, and the salons of Paris, telling his vibrant and suspenseful story in German American slang. Half-Blood Blues is a novel about music and race, love and loyalty, and marks the arrival of an extraordinarily "gifted storyteller" (Toronto Star).


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