White Tears

White Tears

Book - 2017
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Two ambitious young musicians, one shy, the other a glamorous heir, are drawn into the dark underworld of blues-record collecting while navigating the ghosts of a repressive past and the fallout of a scam involving one's claim that a viral video of an unknown singer is long-lost recording of a famous blues musician.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780451493699
Branch Call Number: FIC Kunz
Characteristics: 271 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Two young white men obsessed with Black music create a mix and release it under a fake identity, leading to a brutal attack and a journey that brings them face to face with a ghost in this fast-paced story examining cultural appropriation.

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Nicr Dec 08, 2017

Terrific novel of music, race, obsession, ghosts and paying the piper.

debwalker Aug 12, 2017

What happens when white hipsters record a black man singing and then repackage it as a long lost blues vinyl from the 1920s? Comeuppance!

Aug 09, 2017

I had not heard of this author before, and am not sure how this book was added to my reading list. However, it captured my attention right away when the protagonist was out recording ambient sound in the city. Then there is the story, which quickly drew me in and then kept twisting. and turning itself inside out and went all over the place.

Beyond the story and the history it carries in the music and the rich Wallace family, who make their money running prisons... There is the intricacy in the writing, the reflection of technology, digital vs. analog, reality vs. imagination, layer upon layer... "Electromagnetic grief."

"If Marconi was right and certain phenomena persist through time, then secrets are being told continuously at the edge of perception. All secrets, always being told."
- Hari Kunzru

Aug 03, 2017

Note: This is not a sequel to "White Teeth" or "White Noise." This fifth novel by the London-born, Brooklyn-based (Is it a law that all contemporary novelists live there?) is about 2 white guys and the blues. The premise and theme are promising, but the execution is lacking. It ends up as a rather drab, unconvincing thriller rather than the meditation on race, music, and the past that it's billed as.

LPL_DirectorBrad Mar 17, 2017

Truly exceptional writing. Reading this book felt like watching a coin you toss into one of those big funnels where it spins faster and deeper into the abyss until it finally vanishes. Great writing about music, cultural appropriation, and dealing with the ghosts--past and present--of racism and exploitation. If this book doesn't immediately appeal to you, give it a chance. It dives deeper and deeper into a blurry, haunting ride into the racial heart of darkness of the United States. Highest recommendation!!


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