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The Tenor Saxophonist's Story

Skvorecky, Josef; Crain, Caleb (translator); Henley, Kaca Polackova (translator); Kussi, Peter (translator)

28 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 088001461X / ISBN 13: 9780880014618
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1996
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

FINE/FINE unread copy protected by Brodart Archival cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000706

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Tenor Saxophonist's Story

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Ten interconnecting tales include "Truths," in which some things are better left unsaid; "A Case for Political Inspectors," in which fear and hypocrisy shakes the highest class levels; and "Krpata's Blues," where true love and an apartment are at stake.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The first English translation of an early (195456) episodic novel by the Czechoslovakian-born author of The Engineer of Human Souls (1984) and other chronicles of cultural dislocation and exile. In ten vignettes, Danny Smiricky, an apolitical young jazz musician (and the protagonist of the above-mentioned novel and of several other kvoreck titles) reminisces in diffuse fashion about his experiences and friendships in and around Prague in the immediate postwar, post-Stalinist period. Among other embattled souls, there's a newspaperwoman (``Madam Editor'') whose hatred of ``Bolshevism'' altered under the pressure of practical considerations; an anticommunist judge who joined the Party in order to subvert its principles; and a gorgeous teenager (``Little Mata Hari of Prague'') who may have masqueraded as a double agent. And in the final chapter, Danny weakly declares his wavering allegiance to ``socialism'' to a friend who offers to get him out of the country and to safety in the West. None of these characters is drawn with great vividness, nor do any of the opinions held or debated seem especially forceful. It's all communicated with a kind of whimsical Vonnegut-like indifference, expressed in exasperatingly digressive conversational asides, and in such shamelessly padded temporizing as the following three paragraphs (with which kvoreck begins a chapter): ``When you play the tenor sax, sooner or later you ask yourself the question./What's it really for and why and so forth and so on./Life, that is.'' There's a scattering of appreciative talk about jazz, but we otherwise learn little about this wan character, other than that he simply desires to be left alone and not risk the complications besetting people who engage life more directly. ``I don't want to get involved,'' Danny Smiick explains. Neither will most readers. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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