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Now's the Time Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Kearney Street Books; First edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972370676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972370677
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,329,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Larry Strauss really knows how to tell a lively story, just like the great improvisers he celebrates. Now's the Time avoids every cliché of jazz fiction. Its main character searches for a legendary recording and finds her self in the process. Didi Heron's view from the bandstand is sharp, accurate, unsentimental. She became as real to me as Clifford Brown or Mary Lou Williams. More, please! --Michael Steinman, host of Jazz Lives at WordPress

A riveting jazz odyssey, written with passion, authenticity, depth, and insight. The pages burn. Larry Strauss writes with a real love and understanding of the jazz musicians who give their lives to their art. --David Evanier, author of Roman Candle: The Life of Bobby Darin

A quintessential search into the past with surprising and moving revelations that echo into the present, Now's the Time is Strauss' strongest work yet, and will not only delight jazz aficionados but all readers of insightful and compelling storytelling. --Leonard Chang, author of Crossings, Black Heron Press

About the Author

Larry Strauss grew up in New York City. He earned his MFA from Antioch University and has published three novels and more than ten books of non-fiction, including Defend Yourself for Avon. He is the head of the English Department and head basketball coach at a high school in South Los Angeles.

More About the Author

A former subway graffiti artist, stand-up comic, television writer, ghost writer, and corporate poet, Larry Strauss writes the kind of fiction he likes to read: funny, surprising, insightful, and poignant. He teaches high school English and coaches basketball in South Central Los Angeles, and tries to recruit kids out of materialism, violence and despair and into the world of ideas. Strauss grew up on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, then attended high school and college in Los Angeles. He wrote for television in his twenties, including three episodes of the first season of Transformers, then ghost-wrote and co-authored books with a doctor, nutritionist, financial planner, and two psychologists. He also wrote The Magic Man, a biography of Magic Johnson for the mid-grade audience. His first three novels, Fake Out, One Man One Vote, and Unfinished Business were published by Holloway House Books, now a subsidiary of Kennsington. His fourth novel, Now's the Time, is due out in March 2010 from Kearney Street Books. Strauss lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Eleanor, and their son.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Meredith on March 10, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When Didi sets out to locate the tape of her father's great last performance, she isn't sure what she'll find. At first she questions people who remember him and might know where the tape is. After a while, she begins to see beyond the glamour and the loss. She learns to judge these people who shared and overshadowed her father's past. Finding out about his world helps her play along with him inside her mind. There's music on every page, but the real quest is larger than that. Anyone who has lost their father will join right in as the hunt for the tape turns into a discovery of the man and the spirit and moves beyond simple admiration to become a search for the creative life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're interested in jazz and down for a wild ride, saddle up. Didi Heron, this book's young and alienated jazz trumpet player, takes the reader on a hero's (in this case heroine's) journey in search of a vanished musical tape. It's a recording of her jazz piano father's last gig before he died twenty or so years back. The present is now 1976 as Didi sifts through clues, cities, and her father's fellow musicians from long ago. Along the way, we learn a great deal about jazz history and the telling stories that help us to better understand the legendary 1950's jazz greats. We also get to see the more downbeat side of that world which took its toll on families and friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey and found Didi's character refreshingly honest if not always likable. The prose is spare, pacing quick tempoed, characters colorful, and the mystery at the heart of this novel keeps you turning the page. Definitely a good pick for that next long flight or a lazy day at the beach.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book immensely. Though Didi has a clear goal in the book, the story isn't quite like anything I've ever read.

The standard tropes of noir-y fiction are gone, and replaced by real three-dimensional characters, ones that you know pretty well by the end.

This book reminded me of Walter Mosley's work, minus the violence of course. Like Mosley (in particular his character Socrates Fortlow), Strauss focuses not on the extreme edges of humanity, but instead starts with characters somewhat in the middle, and then expands outwards.

I recommend this book for a relaxing trip back into our musical past, and I recommend it to jazz-lovers and jazz-neophytes alike.
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