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Extended Audio Sample Half-Blood Blues: A Novel, by Esi Edugyan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,635 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Esi Edugyan Narrator: Kyle Rile Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Berlin, 1939. A young, brilliant trumpet-player, Hieronymus, is arrested in a Paris cafe. The star musician was never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black.

Fifty years later, Sidney Griffiths, the only witness that day, still refuses to speak of what he saw. When Chip Jones, his friend and fellow band member, comes to visit, recounting the discovery of a strange letter, Sid begins a slow journey towards redemption.

From the smoky bars of pre-war Berlin to the salons of Paris, Sid leads the reader through a fascinating, little-known world, and into the heart of his own guilty conscience.

Half-Blood Blues is an electric, heart-breaking story about music, race, love and loyalty, and the sacrifices we ask of ourselves, and demand of others, in the name of art.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Unforgettable…Brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed. It’s a work that promises to lead black literature in a whole new direction.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “A superbly atmospheric prologue kick-starts a thrilling story about truth and betrayal…[A] brilliantly fast-moving novel.”

    Times (London)

  • “Shines with knowledge, emotional insight, and historical revisionism…Truly extraordinary in its evocation of time and place, its shimmering jazz vernacular, its pitch-perfect male banter, and its period slang.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Destined to win a wide audience…Deftly paced in incident and tone, moving from scenes of snappy dialogue, in which band members squabble and banter humorously, to tense, atmospheric passages of description…Edugyan makes fresh tracks in this richly-imagined story…Half-Blood Blues itself represent a kind of flowering—that of a gifted storyteller.”

    Toronto Star

  • A 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist
  • Winner of the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • A 2011 ALA Notable Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Library Journal Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jake | 2/13/2014

    " Really enjoyed this. At first I thought it was probably an overhyped book on generally "sexy" themes, but I was hooked by the midpoint mark and the second half was fantastic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sharon | 1/31/2014

    " Terrific insight into the jazz scene in Europe between the wars and the impact of WWII on African Americans in Europe at that time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nicole Mcgovern | 1/21/2014

    " This book is so much better than the description. I felt like I had read nothing like it before! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bernie Charbonneau | 1/4/2014

    " WOW! This is one fabulous tale! This was the Giller Award for 2011 in Canadian Lit. and has won numerous other awards and I must say very well deserved. I do not give 5 stars liberally, a novel must have a certain "grab" factor for my highest nomination, and this has it in spades. The flow and prose of this novel is so captivating that I was continuously using the annotations feature on my ereader. I have read a couple of Giller prize winners in the past (want to give a fellow Canuck props when I can)and found that some have been hit or miss with me but this book is real good, really good. Highly recommend! "

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