David doc Robertson Posted August 20, 2019 Report Share Posted August 20, 2019 David doc Robertson's new book Body and Soul was named for the classic improvised lyrical phrases of the Coleman Hawkins jazz performance of the same name. On the first page of the story, which opens in 1940, Peter Daniels plays the song loud enough to drown out the humming tubes on his living room phonograph and dances with his wife to celebrate the birth of their first and only grandchild, Adam Daniels, the story's protagonist. Right away, Robertson's sensitive description teams with Hawkins' tender jazzy lyricism and allows the reader to see the couple in step and undeterred by improvisation that makes it so seductive. This vision presents the structural purpose of the book, which takes the reader beyond the story and into the novel itself as participants. Doc parallels the ballad by appealing to a body's senses, including smell, taste, etc. "If a character smells fresh bread or falls in love, I want the reader to savor the aroma or experience the emotional sensation." He points out that the novel shares a variety of feelings and reactions, both joyous and painful. Though Adam's birth provides joy for his grandparents, it hurts his mother since her son was born bi-racial in 1940 Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The story descriptively outlines the standards of the time and even takes a look back into the early 1900s. After the look further back in history, the book details Adam's journey into manhood where he starts a family and a career in law. But like Hawkins improvised with unanticipated riffs in his song, Doc improvises Adam's life story in unexpected shifts that changes the setting to El Centro, CA and even into Mexico. Through it all, the story emphasizes the importance of family and the strength one gains from the connections whether through blood or embraced by choice. And like Hawkins' music, it ultimately demonstrates a new way to tell an old story, ending with a sense of glowing satisfaction. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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