Book Review: Body & Soul by Frank Conroy () | overtheroadtruckersdispatch.comOscar Wilde once observed that "the public is wonderfully tolerant; it forgives everything but genius. A rich novel of development with the somewhat familiar title "Body and Soul," it shows that the world can be wonderfully forgiving of genius, so forgiving as to prove a handicap. From earliest childhood, Claude Rawlings's gift for music is recognized and rewarded. Though he spends most of his days dreamily roaming his Upper East Side neighborhood while his unmarried mother drives a taxi, his budding interest in the piano attracts the patronage of a local music-store owner, Aaron Weisfeld. Weisfeld steers Claude to the right teachers, who help him develop skills that lead to a job as an accompanist to the child of a Park Avenue family. Claude's exposure to wealth prompts him to apply successfully for a scholarship to an exclusive private school, which leads to admission to a prestigious college, where he meets a rich woman whom he marries after they graduate. His fame as a pianist spreads, and he even begins to compose music.
David Stratton reviews: ON BODY AND SOUL
Body and Soul
Imagine a relentless, unstoppable force, someone who thrives on murder and mayhem and doesn't even think about playing by the rules. Harvey's final Frank Elder novel places his hero in a bleak and amoral world. This is both an advantage and an obstacle as Frank once again faces Adam Keach's own particular brand of terror. Catherine, now twenty-three, struggles with post-traumatic stress. She's on a flat share in Dalton, East London, having therapy due to nights of bad dreams that have been haunting her since she was sixteen. She's just ended an affair with celebrated British artist Anthony Winter, who convinced her to pose nude for his series of provocative paintings. Ensconced in a cottage in bucolic Cornwall, Frank understands, with the clarity of hindsight and common sense, that he should leave well enough alone, "let time do its thing, allow wounds to heal.
Thank you! In a squalid basement apartment on New York's Third Avenue toward WW II's end, a fatherless little kid named Claude Rawlings spends his days alone while his mother--obese, left-wing, prone to booze and to bouts of instability--drives a cab for a living. The days are long, and to while them away Claude bangs around on a small white piano his mother was once a singer half buried in the back of the apartment--and the rest, you could say, is history. In other words, once Claude is grown and launched, Conroy fills out his novel with more and more soap-opera turns, among them the death of Aaron Weisfeld after the long-postponed revelation of his past , Claude's resultant and extended breakdown connected also with his own medical secret , his sudden recovery and meteoric rise to new fame as the composer of a prize-winning concerto to be premiered in London, where, in case you're wondering what ever became of Claude's long-ago first teen heartthrob, or why he still hasn't ever found out who his father was Still, especially for the first two-thirds: a masterful coming-of-ager set in a now-vanished New York, with great music, and the life of great music, galore. First printing of 75,; film rights to Spring Creek Productions. There was a problem adding your email address.
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For a moment, she had a vision of. For a moment, she had a vision of the chain to which they were attached being swung through the air, taking on force and speed before striking home. Then swung again. When his estranged daughter Katherine appears on his doorstep, ex-Detective Frank Elder knows that something is wrong. Katherine has long been troubled, and Elder has always felt powerless to help her. But now Katherine has begun to self-destruct; the breakdown of her affair with a controversial artist, known for his pornographic paintings, has sent her into a tailspin. But when the artist is found murdered in his studio, suspicion falls on Katherine.