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The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music | [Steve Lopez]

The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than 30 years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard - ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans there - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia.

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.

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Publisher's Summary

When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than 30 years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard - ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans there - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia.

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.

What the Critics Say

"With self-effacing humor, fast-paced yet elegant prose and unsparing honesty, Lopez tells an inspiring story of heartbreak and hope." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (494 )
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4.2 (281 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MEMcL Carlsbad, CA 07-26-14
    MEMcL Carlsbad, CA 07-26-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    210
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    "A very well-done book."

    This was a "special" on Audible, and when I started to read it, I wasn't sure that I would like it. After all, the description of the book pretty much tells the whole story. Except that it doesn't.

    The writing by Steve Lopez is so non-judgemental of this musical prodigy. He is able to describe in a very benign manner the oft bizarre Nathaniel Ayres and his life living on the streets of LA and coping with schizophrenia, somehow making sense of his behavior. It was touching and insightful, and a very enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Annapolis MD United States 03-31-14
    Joy Annapolis MD United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    173
    72
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    "Excellent"

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Gonzalez MADERA, CA, US 08-21-09
    Daniel Gonzalez MADERA, CA, US 08-21-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable!"

    I liked the book as well as the movie. Enjoyable to listen to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly LEWISTON, ME, United States 05-28-12
    Kelly LEWISTON, ME, United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2013

    I am a very picky reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Book for the soul."
    What other book might you compare The Soloist to and why?

    Step Out on Nothing


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Steve Lopez realized Mr. Sanchez was helping him become a better person.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carly Dondo 08-11-14
    Carly Dondo 08-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "If you don't mind that it's written in the present"
    Would you try another book from Steve Lopez and/or William Hughes?

    William Hughes, yes, Steve Lopez if he wrote it in past tense.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Steve Lopez? Why or why not?

    The story was sweet, but writing in the present tense irritates me.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Gave up. Don't know


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I did see it.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francie Pasadena, CA, United States 01-16-11
    Francie Pasadena, CA, United States 01-16-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my cup of tea"

    I didn't like the book at all and I am very sorry I purchased it.

    5 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joann New Orleans, LA, USA 02-02-09
    Joann New Orleans, LA, USA 02-02-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Loved It, Will See the Movie"

    I purchased this book because it is being made into a movie and I wanted to read the book first. Can't wait to see the movie.

    1 of 10 people found this review helpful

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