Seduced: the life and times of a one-hit wonder
In Seduced, Nelson George, a leading critic of blackpopular culture and the acclaimed author of The Death of Rhythm andBlues, follows up his successful first novel, Urban Romance, with afunny and passionate portrait of a young man's coming of age in the fast lane ofthe music industry. The New York Times Book Review called Nelson George "an excellentchronicler of the...music culture," and The Boston Globe said he writes with"a vitality and an emotional honest" in Urban Romance. WithSeduced, George brings us a novel even more authentic and richlyobservant. Derek Harper is an r&b junkie whose desire since childhood has been to bea successful songwriter in the tradition of his idol, Curtis Mayfield. Indeed,music frees Derek from the protective cocoon that his enigmatic father, anundertaker, and his devout mother created for him in their black middle-classQueens neighborhood. Derek's ambitions take him away from the comfortable predictability of hislife to a tiny Times Square apartment in Manhattan. There he encounters the gutsof the music industry in the 1980s: frustrated gospel signers, nefarious recordproducers, captivating vocal divas, the cultural strip-mining of jingle writing,rebellious rap groups, and record company executives in Atlanta, L.A., and NewYork. The seduction of women, music, and flash take Derek around the country,with only his parents to act as his conscience: his mother admonishes against hisirresponsible lifestyle. Yet it is his father's attitude that is more troubling toDerek. In the wake of their neighborhood's steady deterioration, his bitterpragmatism shocks Derek into maturity. His odyssey comes full circle, whenDerek gets what he thought he wanted from life--and maybe even more. Using his own lyrics, songs of the times, and colorful anecdotes, Georgeshow us how the threads of love--both romantic and familial--weave into thework of an artist and into building a young black man's life.
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SEDUCED: The Life and Times of a One-Hit WonderUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Tom Jones meets Waiting to Exhale against a backdrop of the black music business: a wildly uneven examination of the dissonances within black American culture. Former Village Voice music critic ... Read full review
Seduced: the life and times of a one-hit wonderUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
He wants to be like Stevie Wonder, a songwriter supreme. He cherishes rhythm and blues in an age of hip-hop and rap. His name is Derek Harper, his heritage black middle-class Queens. Writing and ... Read full review