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Now's the Time Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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
From the Inside Flap
Part mystery, part journey, completely heart-felt, Nows the Time follows jazz trumpeter Didi Heron as she searches for the lost tape of her fathers last gig before he tragically died. A celebration of family ties and musical legacies, Nows the Time is a meditation on jazz and jazz players. Drawing inspiration from a potpourri of stories from the American jazz tradition, notably those of trumpeter Clifford Brown, Strauss has created a fictional work rooted in historical fact.
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Top customer reviews
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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.
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.
Now, years later, Didi is grown and a trumpet player looking for a break. Her boyfriend and her roommates keep letting her down in all sorts of things, and when a record company hears her play, it's not her they want, but the piano player.
But then Didi learns about a tape of her father's last recording, a recording said to be amazing. This begins her search for the tape, and on her journey, she finds herself.
Didi is a remarkable character, complex and compelling. Sultry and bluesy, Strauss pens a tale of warmth, loss, and balm for the soul. The plot is sound, the mystery slowly unfolding, keeping you turning the pages quickly as the characters leap to life. History and music buffs will enjoy this one!