The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

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Thorndike Press, Aug 1, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 391 pages
15 Reviews
A moving story of the remarkable bond between a journalist in search of a story and a homeless, classically trained musicianadestined to be a major motion picture from DreamWorks, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.
When Steve Lopez saw Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angelesa skid row, he found it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years earlier, Ayers had been a promising classical bass student at Juilliardaambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americansauntil he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless, paranoid, and deeply troubled, but glimmers of that brilliance are still there.
Over time, Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers form a bond, and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayersas life. Lopez collects donated violins, a cello, even a stand-up bass and a piano; he takes Ayers to Walt Disney Concert Hall and helps him move indoors. For each triumph, there is a crashing disappointment, yet neither man gives up. In the process of trying to save Ayers, Lopez finds that his own life is changing, and his sense of what one man can accomplish in the lives of others begins to expand in new ways.
Poignant and ultimately hopeful, "The Soloist" is a beautifully told story of friendship and the redeeming power of music.

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Review: The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

User Review  - Elizabeth - Goodreads

Lopez isn't the most adept writer I've ever encountered, but this true story is so compelling, it doesn't really matter. A journalist for the Los Angeles Times, Lopez encounters a homeless ... Read full review

Review: The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

User Review  - Jeff Grogan - Goodreads

This is one of my favorite music-centered books I've read in my life. Lopez perfectly blends the dizzying world of schizophrenia with the counter-dizzying world of music in a story that will charm ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Steve Lopez is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of two previous novels, The Sunday Macaroni Club and Third and Indiana. He has been an editor-at-large for Time magazine and has also written for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives in Los Angeles.

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