The Soloist

Quickly read this one on a flight home. Salzman’s writing style is very readable, but I was disappointed overall in the book. Maybe it was because he re-used certain things in Lost in Suburbia (e.g. the time spent sitting in a box to impress NASA, the cello stuff). There was a nice tempo in the story as he jumped from jury duty to music lessons and back thru the past.
Basically, a child prodigy who never got social skills ends up teaching and not performing, gets jury duty where he almost loses his virginity to a fellow juror. The trial is a murder case, where a Zen student kills his master after contemplating the koan, if you come upon Buddha in the road, kill him. The question of insanity vs. knowing consequences of your actions. The cellist the lone holdout for not guilty, which results in hung jury. Side story is the discovery of the tiny Korean kid’s talent, taking him to concerts, enduring his mom’s harsh words. Eventually the cellist gets a cat. All is well.

auth=Salzman, Mark