Half Blood Blues

half-blood-blues

Both of us here at This Book is Rad tried to read this award-winning novel by Esi Edugyan, but neither of us could really get into it. There was something about the dialect in which the characters speak that we just couldn’t get used to. Maybe we need to give this another try. Especially since Half Blood Blues won Edugyan the coveted Giller Prize, Canada’s top literary award.

Here’s a brief synopsis from Wikipedia:

The book follows a jazz bassist named Sidney “Sid” Griffiths and his bandmates, from the blues music scene in 1939 Berlin and Paris into the 1940s, when Griffiths and his friends attempt to flee the impending peril that looms over Germany. Racial hatred is in vogue, and a mixed-race German citizen (dubbed by the Nazis with the epithet “Rhineland Bastard”) like Hiero Falk can be arrested and simply disappear, lost to history. Juxtaposed against this is another narrative, set in 1992. Sid and Chip re-unite and travel back to Berlin for the screening of the documentary about Hiero Falk, and in which both Sid and Chip appear. Watching their life on the big screen turns out to be somewhat different than they expected, and the mysterious letter that Chip has received leads them to another journey, across countries, time, and their own emotions.

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