Coming Through Slaughter

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Based on the life of cornet player Buddy Bolden, one of the legendary jazz pioneers of turn-of-the-twentieth-century New Orleans, Coming Through Slaughter is an extraordinary recreation of a remarkable musical life and a tragic conclusion. Through a collage of memoirs, interviews, imaginary conversations and monologues, Ondaatje builds a picture of a man who would work by day at a barber shop and by night unleash his talent to wild audiences who had never experienced such playing. But Buddy was also playing the field with ...

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Caroline D

Oct 18, 2012

Excellent but not for the light hearted

Interested in the history of New Orleans and a reader of Michael Ondaatje's books, we read Coming Through Slaughter. Although a fictionalized account of a turn of the century jazz musician, facts are known and presented. The prose? In a word, poetic. The writing is beautiful and compelling while telling the story of a tortured young man living in the Storyville section of New Orleans - a small geographic area devoted to jazz and red lights (not Treme).

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