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The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymus Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, is arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He is twenty years old. A German citizen. And he is black.
Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin. Persuaded by his old friend Chip, Sid discovers there's more to the journey than he thought when Chip shares a mysterious letter, bringing to the surface secrets buried since Hiero's fate was settled.
In Half Blood Blues, Esi Edugyan weaves the horror of betrayal, the burden of loyalty and the possibility that, if you don't tell your story, someone else might tell it for you. And they just might tell it wrong ...
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A superbly atmospheric prologue kick-starts a thrilling story about truth and betrayal... [a] brilliant, fast-moving novel. (Kate Saunders Times 2011-08-27)
Assured, vivid and persuasive... Impressively evocative of period and place, and an effortlessly involving and dramatically unusual second novel. (Sharon O'Connell Time Out 2011-06-16)
Simply stunning, one of the freshest pieces of fiction I've read. A story I'd never heard before, told in a way I'd never seen before. I felt the whole time I was reading it like I was being let in on something, the story of a legend deconstructed. It's a world of characters so realized that I found myself at one point looking up Hieronymus Falk on Wikipedia, disbelieving he was the product of one woman's imagination (Attica Locke)
Edugyan really can write... redemptive (Bernadine Evaristo Guardian 2011-06-25)
Mesmerising... Edugyan has a perfect ear for conversations and the confusions of human love and jealousy... moving... A remarkable novel. (Morning Star 2011-07-21)
Ingenious... (Anthony Cummins Daily Telegraph 2011-08-06)
A mature, moving second novel was very deservedly shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this week... Half Blood Blues shines with knowledge, emotional insight, and historical revisionism, yet it never becomes over-burdened by its research. The novel is truly extraordinary in its evocation of time and place, its shimmering jazz vernacular, its pitch-perfect male banter and its period slang. Edugyan never stumbles with her storytelling, not over one sentence. (Arifa Akbar Independent 2011-09-09)
This is a wonderful, vibrant, tense novel about war and its aftermath. Its author has brought both the wartime past of a devastated city and its confident reinvention of itself in a new era to life with extraordinary assurance. (Susan Hill Man Booker Prize judge 2011-09-06)
Half Blood Blues shines with knowledge, emotional insight, and historical revisionism, yet it never becomes overburdened by its research. The novel is truly extraordinary in its evocation of time and places, its shimmering jazz vernacular, its pitch-perfect male banter and its period slang. (Canberra Times, Australia 2011-09-17)
Sid's voice... is a triumph of vernacular writing and convincingly captures the mood of the late jazz age in Europe... punchy and atmospheric. (Edmund Gordon Sunday Times 2011-09-25)
A story of friendship, betrayal and redemption, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011
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Book Description Serpents Tail, London, UK, 2011. Soft cover. Condition: New. 1st Edition. First UK Edition, First Printing. This true first edition, first printing (first impression) with the number "1" to the copyright page to indicate a true first print. A paperback original with no hardcover printed, already reprinted but this is the true first with the gold sticker 'As heard on book of Bedtime Radio 4' to the cover, this is not present on reprints.Man Booker shortlisted for 2011 and winner of the Giller Prize 2011. Seller Inventory # 001393
Book Description Serpent's Tail, London UK, 2011. Soft Cover. Condition: New. First Edition. A fine unread 1st impression of a paperback original, Signed and dated (15/10/11) by the Author on the title page. Signed by Author. Seller Inventory # 005087