But Beautiful: A Book about Jazz

Front Cover
Macmillan, Jun 26, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
67 Reviews
In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the men who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most important, the way he hears the music, Dyer imaginatively reconstructs scenes from the embattled lives of some of the greats: Lester Young fading away in a hotel room; Charles Mingus storming down the streets of New York on a too-small bicycle; Thelonius Monk creating his own private language on the piano. However, music is the driving force of But Beautiful, and Dyer brings it to life in luminescent and wildly metaphoric prose that mirrors the quirks, eccentricity, and brilliance of each musician’s style.
 

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Review: But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz

User Review  - Tony - Goodreads

A remarkable set of stories and characters. Is it fiction? Non fiction? Historical fiction? Are they essays? This defies genre and becomes like a piece of improvisational Jazz in and of itself. The ... Read full review

Review: But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz

User Review  - Arjun Ravichandran - Goodreads

Great book, focusing on the heartbreakingly tragic lives of jazz musicians, who pushed the boundaries of 20th century art, whilst simultaneously battling institutional racism, poverty, and a ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
7
Section 3
29
Section 4
33
Section 5
59
Section 6
61
Section 7
81
Section 8
83
Section 10
103
Section 11
129
Section 12
131
Section 13
147
Section 14
149
Section 15
179
Section 16
183
Section 17
219

Section 9
101

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About the author (1997)

Geoff Dyer is the author of Ways of Telling, critical study of John Berger; The Missing of the Somme, about World War I; and the novels Paris Trance, Out of Sheer Rage, The Color of Memory and The Search.

Bibliographic information