Body and soul book review

6.55  ·  8,420 ratings  ·  357 reviews
body and soul book review

BODY AND SOUL by Frank Conroy | Kirkus Reviews

Shame on me for not getting to this series sooner. At the open, Frank is spending his time puttering around his Cornwall cottage, assisting the local coppers every now and then with cases, and romancing a beautiful local blues singer named Vickie. These nightmares are nothing new to Frank. When Katherine was only 16, she was kidnapped, held captive, and raped by a man named Adam Keach. Frank was the one who found his battered daughter. It sent her into a spiral, and Frank is worried. Only the worst sort of person would do that, an impression of Anthony that is borne out later in the novel.
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David Stratton reviews: ON BODY AND SOUL

Body and Soul

Five stars. Of course Conroy was an accomplished jazz pianist. I studied music through to my last year of school; I sing, play piano and guitar. I am particularly interested in the influence of music on writing. This started long ago, and was revived during my interview with Willy Vlautin , American novelist and famous alt-country musician.

For a moment, she had a vision of. For a moment, she had a vision of the chain to which they were attached being swung through the air, taking on force and speed before striking home. Then swung again. When his estranged daughter Katherine appears on his doorstep, ex-Detective Frank Elder knows that something is wrong. Katherine has long been troubled, and Elder has always felt powerless to help her.

Start by marking “Body & Soul (Frank Elder, #4)” as Want to Read: Frank Elder's last case could be the one that breaks him for good. Shelves: crime-mystery-suspense, book-reviews, books-read, kindle-read.
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MORE BY FRANK CONROY

On Body And Soul reviewed by Mark Kermode

Thank you! In a squalid basement apartment on New York's Third Avenue toward WW II's end, a fatherless little kid named Claude Rawlings spends his days alone while his mother--obese, left-wing, prone to booze and to bouts of instability--drives a cab for a living. The days are long, and to while them away Claude bangs around on a small white piano his mother was once a singer half buried in the back of the apartment--and the rest, you could say, is history. In other words, once Claude is grown and launched, Conroy fills out his novel with more and more soap-opera turns, among them the death of Aaron Weisfeld after the long-postponed revelation of his past , Claude's resultant and extended breakdown connected also with his own medical secret , his sudden recovery and meteoric rise to new fame as the composer of a prize-winning concerto to be premiered in London, where, in case you're wondering what ever became of Claude's long-ago first teen heartthrob, or why he still hasn't ever found out who his father was Still, especially for the first two-thirds: a masterful coming-of-ager set in a now-vanished New York, with great music, and the life of great music, galore.

Oscar Wilde once observed that "the public is wonderfully tolerant; it forgives everything but genius. A rich novel of development with the somewhat familiar title "Body and Soul," it shows that the world can be wonderfully forgiving of genius, so forgiving as to prove a handicap. From earliest childhood, Claude Rawlings's gift for music is recognized and rewarded. Though he spends most of his days dreamily roaming his Upper East Side neighborhood while his unmarried mother drives a taxi, his budding interest in the piano attracts the patronage of a local music-store owner, Aaron Weisfeld. Weisfeld steers Claude to the right teachers, who help him develop skills that lead to a job as an accompanist to the child of a Park Avenue family. Claude's exposure to wealth prompts him to apply successfully for a scholarship to an exclusive private school, which leads to admission to a prestigious college, where he meets a rich woman whom he marries after they graduate. His fame as a pianist spreads, and he even begins to compose music.

Imagine a relentless, unstoppable force, someone who thrives on murder and mayhem and doesn't even think about playing by the rules. Harvey's final Frank Elder novel places his hero in a bleak and amoral world. This is both an advantage and an obstacle as Frank once again faces Adam Keach's own particular brand of terror. Catherine, now twenty-three, struggles with post-traumatic stress. She's on a flat share in Dalton, East London, having therapy due to nights of bad dreams that have been haunting her since she was sixteen.

1 COMMENTS

  1. Uwe L. says:

    Start by marking “Body and Soul” as Want to Read: In the dim light of a basement apartment, six-year-old Claude Rawlings sits at an old white piano, picking out the sounds he has heard on the radio and shutting out the reality of his lonely world. Frank Conroy was an American.

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