Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011
The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, travels to Berlin, bringing to the surface secrets buried since Hiero's fate was settled.
©2011 Esi Edugyan (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
"Had trouble with the accent"
As a non-American I had a great deal of trouble understanding what was probably a very authentic Baltimore accent. I would have kept trying, but the story didn't engage me either so I abandoned halfway through.
"Lacking pace and tension"
It's a nice novel - very unusual in content and style, and rewarding for a jazz lover. Yet, two things are annoying - one is the plot meandering and lack of depth of message; it is not a book that holds your attention, though it is well-written. Second, the reading is awful - sounds like a fake African-American accent. Its cadences sound so inauthentic that it jars. Also the language doesn't match the voice. It is Eng Lit sophistication with some argot thrown in - an uncomfortable mix that just doesn't work.
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