Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje: Mini Review

After a recent post that mentioned Monty Sunshine and by implication Ken Colyer, Chris Barber and the Trad Revival Movement of the 40’s and 50’s I’ve been on the look out for books about the New Orleans scene in the early years of the 20th century. I didn’t expect to find much because I almost never buy new books and my regular haunts are charity shops. Anyway I did find this (thank you Barnardos). Coming Through Slaughter takes the sketchiest known ‘facts’ of Buddy Bolden‘s life, marinades in alcohol psychosis, and creates a gumbo portrait of a single-minded mad genius. Whether the hard-lipped Buddy Bolden ever knew what he’d got is debatable but he certainly influenced almost all of the next wave of jazz players. He died in an asylum in 1932 after 20 years of apparent madness. Inspiring and richly drawn; a beautiful book.

Paul Williams

This is the blog of Paul Williams, Ceredigion resident since 1970. I am an English and Philosphy graduate of what was once known as St David's University College, at Lampeter. I played bass in Dyfed's first punk band, and living in Llandewi Brefi, had a grandstand view of Operation Julie. Eventually, after 2 years playing bass in Brighton's 256th punk band, I returned to Wales to deal in books and then antiques. I've trained and worked as a counsellor, I am a photographer, blog and web designer and I publish the annual Wales Antiques Guide. I am married and a father of one. Apart from my family, my interests include books, maps, Nikon, Yashica and Mamiya film cameras, British Culture 1935 - 1965, Poole pottery, Welsh textiles, and Poster art. My favourite movies include anything by Pressburger and Powell favourite music includes Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, and anything form San Francisco 1965-1970. I am a late convert to 'Kraut Rock'.

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1 Response

  1. Bob says:

    Good review. Where gumbo meets gonzo from the sound of it.

    Never made it through one of Ondaatje’s books, thought the English Patient (the movie), concerning which I remain undecided, is a quarterly event (at least) in our house.

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