Coming through Slaughter
12%
off

Coming through Slaughter

3.89 (5,046 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

At the turn of the century, the Storyville district of New Orleans had some 2,000 prostitutes, 70 professional gamblers, and 30 piano players. It had only one man who played the cornet like Buddy Bolden. By day he cut hair and purveyed gossip at N. Joseph's Shaving Parlor. At night he played jazz as though unleashing wild animals in a crowded room. At the age of thirty-one, Buddy Bolden went mad. From these sparse facts Michael Ondaatje has created a haunting, lushly atmospheric novel about one of jazz's legendary pioneers and martyrs. Obsessed with death, addicted to whiskey, and self-destructively in love with two women, Buddy Bolden embodies all the dire claims that music places on its acolytes. And as told in Coming Through Slaughter, his story is as beautiful and chilling as a New Orleans funeral procession, where even the mourners dance.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 156 pages
  • 133 x 210 x 10.92mm | 181g
  • Vintage Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0679767851
  • 9780679767855
  • 75,653

Flap copy

Bringing to life the fabulous, colorful panorama of New Orleans in the first flush of the jazz era, this book tells the story of Buddy Bolden, the first of the great trumpet players--some say the originator of jazz--who was, in any case, the genius, the guiding spirit, and the king of that time and place.
In this fictionalized meditation, Bolden, an unrecorded father of Jazz, remains throughout a tantalizingly ungraspable phantom, the central mysteries of his life, his art, and his madness remaining felt but never quite pinned down. Ondaatje's prose is at times startlingly lyrical, and as he chases Bolden through documents and scenes, the novel partakes of the very best sort of modern detective novel--one where the enigma is never resolved, but allowed to manifest in its fullness. Though more 'experimental' in form than either "The English Patient or "In the Skin of a Lion, it is a fitting addition to the renowned Ondaatje "oeuvre.
show more

Back cover copy

At the turn of the century, the Storyville district of New Orleans had some 2,000 prostitutes, 70 professional gamblers, and 30 piano players. It had only one man who played the cornet like Buddy Bolden. By day he cut hair and purveyed gossip at N. Joseph's Shaving Parlor. At night he played jazz as though unleashing wild animals in a crowded room. At the age of thirty-one, Buddy Bolden went mad. From these sparse facts Michael Ondaatje has created a haunting, lushly atmospheric novel about one of jazz's legendary pioneers and martyrs. Obsessed with death, addicted to whiskey, and self-destructively in love with two women, Buddy Bolden embodies all the dire claims that music places on its acolytes. And as told in Coming Through Slaughter, his story is as beautiful and chilling as a New Orleans funeral procession, where even the mourners dance.
show more

Review quote

"Anybody who cares about good writing ... should get this book and luxuriate in it." -- Minneapolis Tribune "One of the most innovative and liberating writers of our time." -- Geoff Dyer, The Observer "A beautifully detailed story, perhaps the finest jazz novel ever written." -- The Sunday Times "Coming Through Slaughter ... is so stuffed full of the dolour and lust that both buoys and blemishes a life, it reads like a story dying to be told." -- Books in Canada
show more

About Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje is the author of three previous novels, a memoir and eleven books of poetry. His novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in 1962 and now lives in Toronto.
show more

Rating details

5,046 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,572)
4 37% (1,891)
3 23% (1,175)
2 6% (310)
1 2% (98)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X