Title: Op weg naar stilte. Het leven van Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden
Author: Michael Ondaatje
Language: Dutch (Orig. title: Coming through slaughter)
# Pages: 158 (4069)
Ondaatje tells the story of a not very well know musician, around the turn of the century in New Orleans. Buddy Bolden apparently was one of the first improvisers in those days. Apart from musician, he made a living through a barber shop. From 1907 onwards he lived in a hospital for the mentally ill, until he died in 1931. There he never showed any interest in music.
Ondaatje, famous author of “The English patient”, tells this story through fragments. Quotes from friends and relatives, thoughts by Bolden himself, reports from police, doctors and newspapers, all together they should give a view of the man. Unfortunately the fragmentation makes the book very difficult to follow. At times I didn’t have a clue where the perspective was at the moment I was reading. It hurt the story, the view of the times. This is a shame, as at times one gets drawn in and captured by the life of the star in New Orleans.