Nashville Chrome: A Novel

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HMH, Sep 14, 2010 - Fiction - 272 pages
3 Reviews
A “splendid” novel based on the rise and fall of the Browns, Arkansas siblings who became country music legends, by an award-winning author (Dallas Morning News).

Late in 1959, the Brown siblings—Maxine, Bonnie, and Jim Ed—were enjoying unprecedented international success, rivaled only by their longtime friend Elvis Presley. They had a bona fide mega hit on their hands, which topped both the country and pop charts and gave rise to the polished sound of the multibillion dollar country music industry we know today. Mesmerized by the Browns’ haunting harmonies, the Beatles even tried to learn their secret. Their unique harmony, however, was only achievable through shared blood, and the trio’s perfect pitch was honed by a childhood spent listening for the elusive pulse and tone of an impeccably tempered blade at their parent’s Arkansas sawmill.

But the Browns’ celebrity couldn’t survive the world changing around them, and the bonds of family began to fray along with the fame. Heartbreakingly, the novel jumps between the Browns’ promising past and the present, which finds Maxine—once supremely confident and ravenous in her pursuit of applause—ailing and alone. As her world increasingly narrows, her hunger for just one more chance to secure her legacy only grows, as does her need for human connection.

Lyrical and nuanced, Nashville Chrome hits all the right grace notes with its vivid evocation of an era in American music, while at its heart it is a wrenching meditation on the complexities of fame and of one family—forgotten yet utterly unforgettable when reclaimed by Bass—who experienced them firsthand.

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User Review  - cherybear - LibraryThing

Loved it. Didn't realize it was based on real people until I started recognizing some of the songs. Now I have to read the book by Maxine Brown and look at her website. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Bigrider7 - LibraryThing

In the acknowledgments section of this wonderful book(in the advanced reader's copy), the author provides a quote which may best describe the essential meaning to be gleaned from this book, and also ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Rick Bass's fiction has received O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and his memoir, Why I Came West, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

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