Body & Soul (Google eBook)
As a boy, Claude Rawlings looks up through the grated window of his basement apartment to watch the world go by. Poor, lonely, supported by a taxi-driver mother whose eccentricities spin more and more out of control, he faces the terrible task of growing up on the margins of life, destined to be a spectator of that great world always hurrying out of reach. But there is an out-of-tune piano in the small apartment, and in unlocking the secrets of its keys, as if by magic, Claude discovers himself. He is a musical prodigy. Body & Soul is the story of a young man whose life is transformed by a gift. The gift is not without price — the work is relentless, the teachers exacting — but the reward is a journey that takes him to the drawing rooms of the rich and powerful, private schools, a gilt-edged marriage, and Carnegie Hall. Claude moves through this life as if he were playing a difficult composition, swept up in its drama and tension, surprised by its grace notes. Music, here, becomes a character in its own right, equaled in strength only by the music of Frank Conroy's own unmistakable and true voice.
Bristling with character and invention, Body & Soul is Dickensian in its range and richness. This is a novel with all the emotional appeal and moral gravity of a classic bildungsroman, but with a tone as contemporary as a jazz riff—an unforgettable achievement by one of the great writers of our time.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Body and SoulUser Review - Penny - Goodreads
September choice for Neighborhood Book Club - about Claude Rawlings rise from a poor boy of a taxi cab driver, slightly crazy mother and unknown to him father, who lived in NYC. He became involved ... Read full review
Review: Body and SoulUser Review - Erin Almond - Goodreads
"Body and Soul" is the first novel I've read that deftly and eloquently captures music on the page. Not just what it's like to listen to music -- although of course that's in there too -- but what it ... Read full review