Coming Through Slaughter

Coming Through Slaughter

Bringing to life the fabulous, colorful panorama of New Orleans in the first flush of the jazz era, this book tells the story of Buddy Bolden, the first of the great trumpet players--some say the originator of jazz--who was, in any case, the genius, the guiding spirit, and the king of that time and place.

In this fictionalized meditation, Bolden, an unrecorded father of Jazz, remains throughout a tantalizingly ungraspable phantom, the central mysteries of his life, his art, and his madness remaining felt but never quite pinned down. Ondaatje's prose is at times startlingly lyrical, and as he chases Bolden through documents and scenes, the novel partakes of the very best sort of modern detective novel--one where the enigma is never resolved, but allowed to manifest in its fullness. Though more 'experimental' in form than either The English Patient or In the Skin of a Lion, it is a fitting addition to the renowned Ondaatje oeuvre.

Title:Coming Through Slaughter
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780679767855
Format Type:

    Coming Through Slaughter Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    ”What he did too little of was sleep and what he did too much of was drink and many interpreted his later crack-up as a morality tale of a talent that debauched itself. But his life at this time had...

  • Matthew Quann

    [3.5 Stars]The first time I put on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew I was laying on my bed in the dilapidated housing the university passed off as residence. The walls were cold brick on three sides and th...

  • Warwick

    Michael Ondaatje was already well established as a poet when he published this, a poet's first novel if ever there was one. It's an attempt to recreate the inner life of Buddy Bolden, a cornet player ...

  • Khashayar Mohammadi

    "Idiosyncratic" would be an understatement. Its as if Italo Calvino is adapting a Wong-Kar-Wai script into a novel. Ondaatje dances on the sharp edge of Prose and Poetry. People are condensed into sin...

  • Michael

    I wanted to love this first novel of Ondaatje, but I am left feeling it is like a jazz improvisation that doesn’t achieve flight enough to linger long in the mind. My disappointment feels similar to...

  • MJ Nicholls

    The one novel on the Isle of Arran for sale that was remotely acceptable. There are no longer any remotely acceptable novels for sale on the Isle of Arran....

  • Pierce

    Sometimes you read something by an author and it's very good, and you think back over their other stuff that you've read, and realise that it was all good, and some of it was even very good, or very, ...

  • Paul

    In June 1907, Charles "Buddy" Bolden is 'escorted' by Civil Sheriffs McMurray and Jones en route from New Orleans to an insane asylum in Jackson, Louisiana. He has suffered a complete breakdown while ...

  • Paul Secor

    Thinking about this book, I remembered a line that's spoken near the end of the film, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend". Donald M. Marquis, in his book...

  • Matt

    English Patient, who? Now THIS is more like it. Experimental, impressionistic prose in the wild subjective to convey the surging, elemental sensibility of one of the deeply mythological founders of j...