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Book Blues, and Disorderly Notions

Ah yes, one thing that I forgot to note in the last entry is that I finished Esi Edugyan's Half-Blood Blues, and have started in on Tom Darby's Disorderly Notions.

I'm not particularly skilled at reviewing fiction, but I can say that the former struck me as quite good: a sort of riddling tale of one jazz man's confrontation with his past and his conscience in Nazi-occupied Europe. The trick of it is, this fellow was "passing" for Aryan whilst his Jewish, and his obviously black bandmates slowly fell afoul of "The Boots", one by one, all the while trying to cut the perfect record before the axe fell...

Being only one-chapter into Disorderly Notions, I can't reasonably say much about it yet, asides from it's quasi-autobiographical nature (Prof. Darby is a professor of mine), and focuses on the subject of life at the end of history. The initial setting is 1989, and follows the madcap recapitulation and reflection of history by Dr. Hamilton West and his Uncle Anubis, as they pick-up roots and dash as East as they can. It's a philosophically and intellectually weightier tome (as one might expect), but not so much so that a reader couldn't gloss over some of the less obvious symbols and metaphors without missing a beat; much of it deepens and garnishes the overall theme, without disrupting it, or turning it on its head. At least thus far. The whole bloody thing could very well be thrown on its head on page twenty-six, for all this fellow knows! And that's to say nothing of "the chicken incident".

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