Jazz Moon

Jazz Moon A passionate alive and original novel about love race and jazz in s Harlem and Paris a moving story of traveling far to find oneself David Ebershoff author of The Danish Girl and The th Wif

  • Title: Jazz Moon
  • Author: Joe Okonkwo
  • ISBN: 9781496701176
  • Page: 338
  • Format: ebook
  • A passionate, alive, and original novel about love, race, and jazz in 1920s Harlem and Paris a moving story of traveling far to find oneself David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th WifeIn a lyrical, captivating debut set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris, Joe Okonkwo creates an evocative story of emotional and a A passionate, alive, and original novel about love, race, and jazz in 1920s Harlem and Paris a moving story of traveling far to find oneself David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th WifeIn a lyrical, captivating debut set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris, Joe Okonkwo creates an evocative story of emotional and artistic awakening.On a sweltering summer night in 1925, beauties in beaded dresses mingle with hepcats in dapper suits on the streets of Harlem The air is thick with reefer smoke, and jazz pours out of speakeasy doorways Ben Charles and his devoted wife, Angeline, are among the locals crammed into a basement club to hear jazz and drink bootleg liquor For aspiring poet Ben, the swirling, heady rhythms are a revelation So is Baby Back Johnston, an ambitious trumpet player who flashes a devilish grin and blasts jazz dynamite from his horn Ben finds himself drawn to the trumpeter and to Paris where Baby Back says everything is happening.In Paris, jazz and champagne flow eternally, and blacks are welcomed as exotic celebrities, especially those from Harlem It s an easy life that quickly leaves Ben adrift and alone, craving solace through anonymous dalliances in the city s decadent underground scene From chic Parisian caf s to seedy opium dens, his odyssey will bring new love, trials, and heartache, even as echoes from the past urge him to decide where true fulfillment and inspiration lie Jazz Moon mashes up essences of Hurston and Hughes and Fitzgerald into a heady mixtape of a romance driving and rhythmic as an Armstrong Hot Five record, sensuous as the small of a Cotton Club chorus girl s back I enjoyed it immensely Frankly, I wish I d written it Larry Duplechan, author of Blackbird and Got til It s Gone

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      Published :2018-01-09T18:35:18+00:00

    1 thought on “Jazz Moon”

    1. "Love could fill, but not make whole; it could cushion loneliness, not cure it. What it did was broaden your circumference of concern beyond yourself to encompass another person. Even if – when – that person caused you grief." Ben Charles is a young, gay black man, who doesn’t quite fit in with what society expects of him.This was quite an evocative, often painfully sad story of his journey to find his place in the world, and more importantly to find love. The book is wonderfully lyrical i [...]

    2. Browsing Pintirest I was immediately drawn to this cover! 1920's, Jazz, Harlem, Paris, what's not to love? After reading a couple of reviews I thought"not my typical read." I got a sample thinking there would be no way I would like it but I was hooked! Mr. Okonkwo gave me a sense of place whether it be Dogwood, GA, Harlem or Paris, France he took me there. I enjoyed the songs and poems that were within the novel. Reading is a journey we take and this novel has the ability to make you more open m [...]

    3. This is Mr Okonkwo's debut as an author - so I can't say anything but bravo His writing sent me immediately to Baldwin's Harlem and Baldwin's Paris and Baldwin's people. His spirit seems to permeate this book but in the meantime this book also has it's own spirit.Okonkwo wrote a book about choices and consequences. Choices re what notes to play, what words to write, what to choose when life presents you with crossroads. Always what to choose and how to live with those choices. He presents diffic [...]

    4. Jazz Moon by Joe Okonkwo will make readers question everything they read and feel. Nothing like a novel about jazz that brings out the poetic side to everyone especially the characters. A debut novel that brings, to life, the action, drama, and passion of 1925. Times where everything beckoned and called to those who hearts wanted more. Inside this title, readers will get a glimpse into a poet's lifestyle. He has a devoted wife but is angry with herhe soon find himself attracted to another who br [...]

    5. A fine book of 1920s Paris, with glimpses of brilliance in its writing. But the hero is not anyone I would root for, so poor are his choices and so badly does he treat those who love him, and -- I cannot believe I am saying this -- I didn't care for the poetry inserted rather gratuitously, I thought, into the narrative. It only interrupted the flow without adding to the story. Yet I will look forward to the next book by this author.

    6. Lyrically written tale of a gay African American poet in the 1920's who must deal with both homophobia and racism in the American South and Harlem. He also encounters racist and homophobic individuals in Paris which was not as free of prejudice as it pretended to be. The protagonist evolves as a poet and as a human being. He begins by writing doggerel, but eventually becomes a published poet who gives readings. There are a few really excellent samples of his poetry included in the novel. I also [...]

    7. Okonkwo created such a complex, compelling character with Ben. This young man had a difficult childhood, a decent life he gives up to take a chance on a life where he can be more himself and ultimately ends up in a place he hadn't planned on (at least that's my interpretation). At the same time, all the settings become characters of their own. Ben's childhood (which we get through stories he tells) is very different from Harlem which is different than the sailing to Paris which is different from [...]

    8. JAZZ MOONI read to be a better writer. I read to be a better person. I read to better understand the human condition, and to understand history. I read to better open my mind, expand my imagination, and to go on a journey past my own life’s experience.And all of the above reasons why I read are fulfilled in Joe Okonkwo’s stunning debut novel, Jazz Moon. I shed tears, laughed, was even enraged at times, and was deeply heartened by Okonkwo’s emotionally satisfying prose; it’s as if my head [...]

    9. "Perhaps it wasn't that people changed, but that they revealed themselves; that fertile ambitions bloomed and clamored to be harvested." See reviews first on my blogIn this story we follow Ben from 1925 to 1928. We see his marriage take shape, and what made them get married in the first place. We see him try to figure out how to deal with “this thing” as he calls it, and how it affects every part of his life, and how he tries to do the right thing but ends up not doing so well at. We also ge [...]

    10. “It was raining cats and jazz.” From its first sentence, readers will know that Jazz Moon was written by a lover of words and music–someone who hears the music in the vowels, consonants and syllables of language and can weave them into poetry. Ben, the protagonist of Joe Okonkwo’s Jazz Moon has one constant love and that is poetry. It saves him again and again.Ben Marcus Charles writes poetry in the mornings before heading off to his work as a waiter at a downtown hotel. His wife, Angeli [...]

    11. A novel set in Harlem and Paris in the 1920s. Ben is a young black man, a poet and a waiter, who lives with his wife Angeline in New York City, though they're both originally from the small-town south. He struggles with what he calls this thing – eventually revealed to be his attraction to other men – a problem which kicks into overdrive when Ben meets the handsome trumpeter Baby Back Johnston. From there on out it's a matter of Ben figuring out who he is and who he loves, and the ensuing ta [...]

    12. It was an interesting subject, something that demanded sympathy by virtue of what it was, but it didn't translate all that well because of who the main character was. I mean, he's selfish. Several times he's supposed to have an epiphany of how he uses and throws people with no regard to their emotions, but two seconds later he's doing the same thing again to another person. He's also gay and black in the Jazz era, and that's supposed to add additional complications to his life, and technically I [...]

    13. Jazz Moon by Joe Okonkwo will make readers question everything they read and feel. Nothing like a novel about jazz that brings out the poetic side to everyone especially the characters. A debut novel that brings, to life, the action, drama, and passion of 1925. Times where everything beckoned and called to those who hearts wanted more. Inside this title, readers will get a glimpse into a poet's lifestyle. He has a devoted wife but is angry with herhe soon find himself attracted to another who br [...]

    14. Set in Harlem and Paris during the Jazz Age, this love story centers on Ben Charles, a young gay black man. He escaped to the big city from his rural Georgia home town. He was a rescuer: first befriending a young woman he met on the train to New York. They married -- to protect her reputation (she was pregnant by another man) and in his effort to deny his homosexuality. She became a successful hairdresser. He was a waiter, writing poetry on the side. Then he met trumpeter Baby Back Johnson and f [...]

    15. I just finished reading JAZZ MOON by Joe Okonkwo, a student who was in my graduate Children's Writing and Literature class last year, and I was totally blown away-far over the moon. This captivating first novel explores the artistic, sexual and cultural awakening of a young poet, Ben Charles, who moves to the rhythm of jazz, first in Harlem, and finally in Paris, France. In the liberated Parisian society, Ben, alienated and alone, discovers who he is amidst the city's underground scene, where ja [...]

    16. I picked this up without looking at it carefully. I love reading about the 20s, and especially that period in Paris and NY. Most of what I've read has focused on women, literary figures, or the period in general, so this came as quite a surprise, focusing instead on a gay African American man who moves from Harlem to Paris. The author paints a rich portrait of the time and provides a glimpse of a side of Paris in the 20s that certainly existed but has not often been presented. Against this rich [...]

    17. Joe Okonkwo’s gorgeous debut novel is rich in history and steeped in poetry. You’ll want to keep turning the pages as you walk alongside the compelling main character’s search for himself amid the sound of jazz and the smell of whiskey, "refer," and sex during the Harlem Renaissance. Set in in New York City and Paris in the 1920s, the book explores race and sexuality and ultimately the human condition. Some of my favorite lines include:"Norman swirled the whiskey around in his glass. 'Happ [...]

    18. I really loved this book and thought it was magical, with beautiful writing and interesting characters who I couldn't quite figure out how I felt about - which is such a good thing to me in a novel. However, I don't think I liked the ending, and the whole last quarter of the book was not nearly as strong as the portion of it.

    19. Excellent novel set in a romantic age of Black creativity, discovery & influence. I felt there were a few questions I would've loved to see answered towards the end; but otherwise it was a fantastic read that I'll highly recommend.

    20. Evocative historical novel that transports you back to the Jazz Age. Beautifully written with engaging characters and plot.

    21. Historical fiction at its best! Great book JoeInterview with the author: fivequestionsub/post/156836

    22. I absolutely loved this book and wouldn't hesitate to read it again. Although there were times when I question the main characters choices, I can identify with him. The author made it a point to paint a realistic character who doesn't always make the "right" decisions but also has to deal with the aftermath of every one of them. It is not a fairy tale and the ending is not exactly happily ever after but if anyone enjoys a book that offers raw emotions with some historical insight then they will [...]

    23. I received this book through giveaways for an honest review.Jazz Moon is very well-written. Okonkwo does a great job of painting the scene and really taking the reader to the 1920's America and France. I really liked Ben's growth throughout the book.

    24. This book delivers! Okonkwo takes his readers to Harlem, to Paris, and deep inside the heart of anyone who has ever had their heart broken. I was captivated from cover to cover. Well done!

    25. Initially, this reads as the tale of a young black man in Harlem coming to terms with his sexuality, a dangerous proposition in the 1920s (though perhaps less dangerous than it was a few decades later). Then the setting switches to the jazz scene in Paris, and since both of these are areas with which most of us are unfamiliar, we spend nearly the entire book thinking of it as exotic. As a result, we are expecting the unfolding events to be of revelatory import. But about the time that Ben is str [...]

    26. I loved the rhythm of reading. Joe Okonkwo gives us a playlist on the last pages so I made one into Spotify. Here's the link: open.spotify/user/1214034

    27. Jazz Moon is a hat tip to poets like Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and other poets of that era , and draws the reader in from the very first words.The book is at its best the the first third. There was stakes, there clear explorations and motivations, and the atmosphere of jazz age is at best. However it's book once the halfway points its loses it's way. And I've been trying to pinpoint why i think it does. If the first part was expanded the the flashback and filling in the gaps of time of the [...]

    28. This is a book you want to be able to sink into, get lost in and savor. The rich and sultry sights and sounds and even scents that it brings to life are quite evocative (and enjoyable), and I found myself slowing my typical reading pace in order to better appreciate them. The characters are somewhat bigger than life, but also unapologetic and very human in their imperfections. At times, because the sense of place and plot were so rich, I did want the author to spend a bit more time to delve deep [...]

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