Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very dense prose and slow moving, 20 Mar 2013
This review is from: Intermission (Hardcover)
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I really, really wanted to like this book.

As a jazz fan and a lover of literary fiction I thought this would be right up my street. The premise is intriguing. In New York, June 1961. The Bill Evans Trio, play a series of concerts that become . Shortly afterwards, the young bass player Scott LaFaro is killed in a car accident, and Evans disappears. This book speculates on what could have happened to him, seeing events through the eyes of his mother, brother and eventually through those of Evans himself.

Through elegant and measured prose Martell tells us how Evans came to find his love of music, how the family came to the USA from Russia, concentrating on the importance of family in a time of grief. There is no doubt that Martell can write, he beautifully conjures a sense of melancholy and captures the foibles of inter-family relationships.

But for me the prose was the problem with the book as well as the positive. Martell enjoys his languoros sentences almost too much and the writing comes at the expense of plot and musical detail. I would have loved to hear more about the music itself, about what made Bill Evans the musician he was, instead we are given long, admittedly dextrous, but ultimately unaffected passage of descriptive text. Evans himself is barely a character, more a gap in the novel, and despite the tone of mourning we learn very little about the process of grieving the man is going through.
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3.4 out of 5 stars (26 customer reviews)
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