Terrific novel of music, race, obsession, ghosts and paying the piper.
What happens when white hipsters record a black man singing and then repackage it as a long lost blues vinyl from the 1920s? Comeuppance!
I had not heard of this author before, and am not sure how this book was added to my reading list. However, it captured my attention right away when the protagonist was out recording ambient sound in the city. Then there is the story, which quickly drew me in and then kept twisting. and turning itself inside out and went all over the place.
Beyond the story and the history it carries in the music and the rich Wallace family, who make their money running prisons... There is the intricacy in the writing, the reflection of technology, digital vs. analog, reality vs. imagination, layer upon layer... "Electromagnetic grief."
"If Marconi was right and certain phenomena persist through time, then secrets are being told continuously at the edge of perception. All secrets, always being told."
- Hari Kunzru
Truly exceptional writing. Reading this book felt like watching a coin you toss into one of those big funnels where it spins faster and deeper into the abyss until it finally vanishes. Great writing about music, cultural appropriation, and dealing with the ghosts--past and present--of racism and exploitation. If this book doesn't immediately appeal to you, give it a chance. It dives deeper and deeper into a blurry, haunting ride into the racial heart of darkness of the United States. Highest recommendation!!
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