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The Tenor Saxophonist's Story

Skvorecky, Josef

28 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 088001461X / ISBN 13: 9780880014618
Published by Ecco Press, 1997
Used Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket Hardcover
From zenosbooks (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York. 1997. Ecco Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. 192 pages. hardcover. Josef Škvorecký (September 27, 1924 – January 3, 2012) was a Czech-Canadian writer and publisher who spent much of his life in Canada. SKVORECKY was born in Bohemia, emigrated to Canada in 1968, and was for many years a professor of English at Erindale College, University of Toronto. He and his wife, the novelist Zdena Salivarova, ran a Czech-language publishing house, Sixty-Eight Publishers, in Toronto, and were long-time supporters of Czech dissident writers before the fall of communism in that country. Skvorecky’s novels include THE COWARDS, MISS SILVER’S PAST, THE BASS SAXOPHONE, THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS, and DVORAK IN LOVE. He was the winner of the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1984 Governor General’s Award for fiction in Canada. Škvorecký's fiction deals with several themes: the horrors of totalitarianism and repression, the expatriate experience, and the miracle of jazz. 088001461x. keywords: 41914. inventory # 23611. FROM THE PUBLISHER - From one of the preeminent European writers of our time, a dark and very funny novel about love, music, and political intrigue. THE TENOR SAXOPHONIST'S STORY reveals how all the important things in life are complicated sometimes hilariously so-by the paranoia of Eastern bloc politics. Misguided romance, jazz, fear and betrayal are at the heart of this novel, all narrated by a young, idealistic musician. Brash and lyrical, frightening and comic, this tenor saxophonist's riff will linger in the mind long after the final note is sounded. Bookseller Inventory # 23611

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Tenor Saxophonist's Story

Publisher: Ecco Press

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good In Dustjacket

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


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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