White Tears

Highly entertaining book by Hari Kunzru dovetailing a few bizarre crimes, mashing time and space together in such a way that you’re not quite sure what’s happening (especially towards the end, it’s a blur), spiced with details that music connoisseurs will love—especially if your specialty is 1920s early blues and jazz—liberally sprinkling in names like King Oliver and Bix Beiderbecke. It’s present day and immediate past and far distant past time periods whirred up together in a weird blender. The first half of the book unfolds like a normal work, suspenseful, but you have half an idea of what’s going on. Later chapters the work deteriorates itself (purposefully?) and you’re not sure what’s happening only you know it’s not good. Present day story is told through a narrator who’s pals with a rich kid who sets him up with an apartment in NYC and a music studio where they launch their own recording sessions. Rich kid gets beat into a coma, a robbery gone bad? Rich kid’s sister ends up hanging out with the roommate narrator and then they go on a road trip to the South where she ends up dead and the narrator ends up beaten by police then released. Other tale twisted inside this is of record collectors in the 1960s hot on the trail of forgotten gems in houses across Mississippi, the power of the music ultimately consuming one of them in fire.