Video review of Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Half-Blood Blues is Esi Edugyan’s second novel and it’s in the news right now because it has been shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Esi is also from our neck of the woods, here in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Her story is set partially in World War II and partially in the 1990s, and takes place in Paris, Berlin, Baltimore and Poland. Primarily detailing the lives and friendships of three musicans – Sid Griffiths (our narrator), Chip Jones and Hieronymous Falk, much of the scenarios take place in jazz alleys, rehearsal spaces, and makeshift recording studios.
While war and the persecution of both jazz musicians and black Germans provide the catalyst for much of the book’s action, and there is a pervasive sense of unease and fear throughout the book, the Nazis are not the primary focus of the story. Richly detailed and laced throughout with music and humor, this book was a delight to read.