Over time, the two men form a bond and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. The Soloist is a beautifully told story of devotion in the face of seemingly unbeatable challenges.
©2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"With self-effacing humor, fast-paced yet elegant prose and unsparing honesty, Lopez tells an inspiring story of heartbreak and hope." (Publishers Weekly)
Stories like this open our eyes and remind us that there are people all around us who struggle with enormous challenges; and that sometimes we CAN make a difference. The author gets drawn into the mysterious life of a homeless man and is forced to confront not only the problems that get people to that situation, but also the choices and forces that keep them there. He learns much about mental illness, but can he get the man off Skid Row and help him deal with his problems and reclaim his rare gift of music? Well written, fascinating topic, and a true story to boot. Just published this year, and already there is a movie version in production. Listen to the book first before the movie spoils it for you!
This is one of the best audio books I've listened to in a while. Excellent writing, wonderful narration, and a terrific story.
The author provides a good perspective on how mental health affects lives and how one person can make a difference in someone's life.
It will tug at your soul, stretch your heart and bring tears to your eyes.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Knowing that Nathaniel was still able to play beautiful, classical music with string instruments and the piano, gave me internal peace and such happiness for Nathaniel. When Steven Lopez first noticed Nathaniel playing classical music with his not so perfect violin, while on a street corner in the city of Los Angeles, he saw a story for the newspaper. However, he found himself taking an interest in Nathaniel as a man and a friend. Steve worried about Nathaniel and worked with him and the system to find a place for him to live with supervision. It was a struggle for Nathaniel to come in off of the streets and live in a place of his own. He did not like living with the rules that govern society. He had lived on the streets for almost 35 years. Steve had to come to terms with the power and limitations that schizophrenia had over a man such as Nathaniel. There was no certainty that Nathaniel wouldn't leave the apartment and live on the streets again. Nathaniel was unpredictable but Steve had found a friend and realized that he would have to continue to learn to accept him as he was.
The narrator did not distinguish the character's one from the other. His voice was good and I had no issues with listening to the book but I was glad that he did let the reader know who was talking. I found that the character's all sounded too much alike. I enjoy listening to individual character's. The narrator did use good characterization of feelings such as anger, disappointment, happiness, etc.
I did not have an extreme reaction to this book.
Schizophrenia usually presents itself from a person's late teens through their early twenties. There is medication that can help the schizophrenic stabilize the voices that they hear, medication that is helpful in decreasing a person's psychotic episodes as well as their paranoia. However, even when a schizophrenic takes his medication daily. as prescribed by his physician, he will have break through episodes that do require hospitalization until stabilized. The schizophrenic is never symptom free. However, not all schizophrenic's live how Nathaniel lived. The deinstitutionalization of some of the mentally ill patient's, with many different types of mental illness, back into society was not good for the patient's themselves. Saving money was the issue, not providing "freedom from an institution." Not all of them knew to take care of themselves, even though the social workers found placement for each patient who left the hospital. They walked away and started living on the streets. Therefore, some of these people are now part of the homeless, who live in the cities all across America. Nathaniel managed to survive on the streets with schizophrenia but I think retaining the ability to play his music was awesome. Having someone such as Steve Lopez becoming involved with Nathaniel, as he did, was a miracle, if you believe in miracles. I was very happy that Steve finally learned to accept Nathaniel as Nathaniel.
This is an incredible book. The hopes and expectations of Mr Lopez remained all the while Mr Ayers tested (knowingly or unknowingly) Mr Lopez time and again.. This book is mesmerizing.
A quick listen. It is moving and shows the toll schizophrenia takes on a life and the life of a family. It also reminds us we are who we are and that may be just fine. The soul can endure even when the mind is ill.
I loved the movie but I had a hard time getting through the audiobook. It is an interesting true story, but kind of long-winded and repetitive at times.
I saw the movie and loved it.Then I listened to the book. As usual, Hollywood condenses and intermingles scenes to present a point, but that's ok. The story is well written and well narrated. It's definitely worth the credit.
The story was remarkable.
The most memorable moment was when Mr. Lopez went back to Nathaniel after he threatened his life.
My favorite character, as performed by William Hughes, was Mr. Lopez.
I was moved when Yo-yo Ma put his arm around Nathaniel and said they were brothers.
I rarely revisit a book twice, but I'll keep this one on my list for a second go.
Step Out on Nothing
When Steve Lopez realized Mr. Sanchez was helping him become a better person.
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