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

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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: #6,275,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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
Billy Heron died in a horrifying car crash, leaving behind a wife and young daughter. He played piano for the great jazz player Lonnie Baylor. The night he died, he played a great gig, finally finding the music within himself.

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!
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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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