Start reading Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind [Kindle Edition]

Dr. Nicolas Bazan
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.96 (37%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Hardcover $22.74  
Paperback $13.97  
Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Book Description

Neuroscientist Alvaro Cruz finds himself haunted by a recurring dream of a banjo player in an elusive cornfield that leads him on a personal quest to uncover the mysterious past of a New Orleans street singer known as Una Vida. Stricken with Alzheimer's, Una Vida can only offer tantalizing clues about her past through her mesmerizing vocals, incredible recollection of jazz lyrics, and the occasional verbal revisiting of a fascinating life that's fading quickly and forever into the recess of her mind. As Cruz searches for Una Vida's true identity, he learns profound lessons about the human psyche, the nature of memory - and himself.

Una Vida is filled with delightful twists and unexpected turns, all centering around one of the greatest gifts New Orleans has offered the world - jazz. But the story will also deeply touch anyone who has had to witness the heartbreaking deterioration of a loved one's memory as it is consumed by the unforgiving encroachment of Alzheimer's.

In the end, Una Vida represents a triumph of the spirit and sends an intensely personal message of hope to the world even as scientists like Dr. Bazan continue the search for the answers to one of life's most devastating diseases.

"This mystical, deeply provocative novel portrays the anguish of Alzheimer's by contrast with the brilliance of the human brain in creating reality from dreams. Neuroscientist Alvaro Cruz embarks on a hero's journey that leads through the history of jazz, the alleys of New Orleans, the tortured imagination of Goya, and the labyrinth of the mind itself."

Leeza Gibbons, founder of Leeza's Place (for the families of Alzheimer victims)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In a chance encounter on a New Orleans levee top, a respected neuroscientist crosses paths with an itinerant blues singer. The result of the meeting launches the doctor on a voyage of discovery about jazz, about his beloved New Orleans, about human relations, and mainly about his own search for understanding the horrible affliction of Alzheimer's disease which he had battled clinically for years. In his search he discovers that it is not enough to simply study the physical brain and it's attending neurons and synapses but also to recognize the beauty of the person for whom the brain functions.

Dr. Nicolas Bazan has written a novel that is wrapped within interests that he obviously knows and cares about deeply. In doing so we are not only given a well-told story, but an invitation to passionately embrace his favorite subjects through the thoughts, dreams and dialogue of his characters. Admittedly, at times we are not sure if we are listening to the musings and observations of his main character, Alvaro Cruz, or lectures in history, culture and medicine by Bazan himself. In either case we understand the goal that Cruz/Bazan has set for himself early on. In the ancient, childlike and bluesy Mazy Waters - Una Vida - we see the embodiment of all that the inquisitive Cruz must confront as cognition slowly saps essence from her being. Throughout we explore Cruz's efforts to piece together members of her family and her past, all in a race against the time left to the mind of the singer.”

(Patrick M. Burke (New Orleans, Louisiana))

About the Author

Nicolas Bazan is a man driven by his life's many passions including a thirst for knowledge about the human mind and eyes, and a hunger for great food and fine music. Born in the tiny town of Los Sarmientos in Tucuman, Argentina, Nicolas Bazan's defining moment was witnessing an aunt suffer a seizure while walking him to a music lesson when he was a young boy, putting him on the path to becoming one of the world's premier neuroscientists.

Product Details

  • File Size: 722 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star Publications, Inc. (AZ) (January 2, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041D8ATK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,797 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Una vida August 22, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Una Vida
The book Una Vida completely captured my mind. While it is as thrilling as the best detective story, it is distinguished from it by the absence of gun shots, crimes and malignant villains. I fell in love with the main characters, Mazy Waters known as Una Vida, a Jazz singer in the streets of New Orleans suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and Dr. Cruz, his wife Elvira, and Jessica, who uncover the mystery of Una Vida's past in a breathtaking journey with many twists and surprises. The main characters , and others, who play minor roles in the story, are real, good-natured, believable people, well described by a gifted writer, who has a deep understanding of the human mind, and a great knowledge of and love for New Orleans with its multi-ethnical influences and rich history in Jazz music.
The story of Una Vida suggests that the creation and recognition of art, a unique property of the human brain, is controlled by neuronal circuits, that are, at least in some patients, resistant against the demolishing effect of the disease; circuits, that do not relate to the past, nor the future, but exclusively to the present. Thus music and visual arts may provide an avenue by which the brains of some, if not all Alzheimers patients may be reached, at least for short episodes of enjoyable communication (divine sparks of humanity), an important message of hope for relatives, friends and caretakers of Alzheimers patients. There is also a lesson for drug addicts. Jessica, a very attractive potter, whose mother was delivered by the still healthy Una Vida, wins her struggle against drug addiction through her love and strong feeling of responsibility for Una Vida as she sinks into the darkness of Alzheimer's disease.
In the course of the story Dr.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read November 11, 2008
Format:Hardcover
This book was interesting from beginning to end- and brought New Orleans, mystery, alzheimer's and history to life. I highly recommend it. I plan on buying copies for friends who have relatives suffering from this disease.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Check out this extraordinary novel, which paints a wonderful portrait of Jazz, New Orleans, with all her color and character, and the mystery that surrounds the disease known as Alzheimer's.

It's a story about compassion, about the human condition that inspires us to reach out to those more vulnerable than ourselves, and about music and its mysterious connection with the human brain.

Written by an accomplished and lauded neuroscientist, Una Vida: A Fable of Music and The Mind convinced this particular reader that scientists are truly artists at their very core.

A must read...and I hear they're making it into a movie!
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Una Vida January 13, 2012
By BSWA
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Touching story that for once shows New Orleans in a beautiful way. The portrayal of a woman with Alzheimer's who experiences music on a fully cognizant level nails the reality of the disease.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Hardcover
I just finished Una Vida last night while I was lying awake thinking about my dear Vincent and how he would love the story. What a great ending to a wonderful and intriguing story. Vincent loved Charlie Parker and the guys learning jazz back in the 1940s were trying to learn his style. It's great to know that Dr. Bazan is out there still trying to find the mystery of the brain disorders. He has created a wonderful and historical read-my favorite kind of book.

Anni Beach
Award-winning co-author of "Don't Throw Away Your Stick Till You Cross the River"
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Share many lives through Una Vida March 23, 2011
Format:Hardcover
As I write I am almost intimidated to do so because your writing is so beautiful. Una Vida makes clear your love of science and your special ability to capture the tenderness of life with gripping immediacy. Your "big brain and strong heart and deep soul" come through.

I grew up in the Five Spot.

Who are Jessica and Una Vida?

It is fascinating how the Haggar -Ishmael story makes its way around.

Allen Taylor
Director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research,
Professor of Nutrition, Biochemistry, and Ophthalmology
USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Tufts University
Director of Scientific Training Encouraging Peace - Graduate Training Program International Nutrition Foundation Tufts University 150 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02111 [...]
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fable of Inquiry October 27, 2013
Format:Paperback
In a chance encounter on a New Orleans levee top, a respected neuroscientist crosses paths with an itinerant blues singer. The result of the meeting launches the doctor on a voyage of discovery about jazz, about his beloved New Orleans, about human relations, and mainly about his own search for understanding the horrible affliction of Alzheimer's Disease which he had battled clinically for years. In his search he discovers that it is not enough to simply study the physical brain and it's attending neurons and synapses but also to recognize the beauty of the person for whom the brain functions.

Dr. Nicolas Bazan has written a novel that is wrapped within interests that he obviously knows and cares about deeply. In doing so we are not only given a well-told story, but an invitation to passionately embrace his favorite subjects through the thoughts, dreams and dialogue of his characters. Admittedly, at times we are not sure if we are listening to the musings and observations of his main character, Alvaro Cruz, or lectures in history, culture and medicine by Bazan himself. In either case we understand the goal that Cruz/Bazan has set for himself early on. In the ancient, childlike and bluesy Mazy Waters - Una Vida - we see the embodiment of all that the inquisitive Cruz must confront as cognition slowly saps essence from her being. Throughout we explore Cruz's efforts to piece together members of her family and her past, all in a race against the time left to the mind of the singer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Loved this book. What an incredible story. The characters were so well done and the pages practically turned themselves. I will read it again, and you should read it too.
Published 16 months ago by Lindsay Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Piece of Literature - Highly Recommended
Dr. Nicolas Bazan has authored a beautiful piece of literature.

This captivating narrative is set in the magical city of New Orleans where anything is possible. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Brent C
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended novel; an intellectual, interpersonal journey
This remarkable narrative truly captures the complex distinction between the medical science of a condition and the actual patients experiencing that condition, and the tremendous... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Taryn Möller Nicoll
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This is one of my favorite stories. It belongs with The Alchemist, as another great spiritual journey. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Glenn Ripps
5.0 out of 5 stars Una Vida
It is a fascinating story, very atmospheric, with touches of magic realism and interspersed with autobiographical echoes. The book can be read as a novel, but at many levels. Read more
Published 20 months ago by V Hachinski
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour of New Oleans and the people who made and make it special
Una Vida is a masterpiece of plot development and the name of the lead character in this remarkable novel. Dr. Read more
Published on October 13, 2009 by David S. Papermaster
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category