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Body & Soul

Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
Length: 18 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As a boy, Claude Rawlings looks up through the grated window of his basement apartment to watch the world go by. Poor, lonely, supported by a taxi-driver mother whose eccentricities spin more and more out of control, he faces the terrible task of growing up on the margins of life, destined to be a spectator of that great world always hurrying out of reach. But there is an out-of-tune piano in the small apartment, and in unlocking the secrets of its keys, as if by magic, Claude discovers himself. He is a musical prodigy.

Body & Soul is the story of a young man whose life is transformed by a gift. The gift is not without price - the work is relentless, the teachers exacting - but the reward is a journey that takes him to the drawing rooms of the rich and powerful, private schools, a gilt-edged marriage, and Carnegie Hall. Claude moves through this life as if he were playing a difficult composition, swept up in its drama and tension, surprised by its grace notes. Music, here, becomes a character in its own right, equaled in strength only by the music of Frank Conroy's own unmistakable and true voice.

©1993 Frank Conroy (P)2019 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“Beautifully written, and hypnotically readable...the best story I know of in a long, long time.” (Vanity Fair)

What members say

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Undeveloped characters, and impossibly simplistic.

Oh, my. A hard working child becomes a concert pianist, stepping on others and clawing his way to the top. Implausible and poorly developed. Amusing until about half way through, the ridiculous romances begin. Really stupid.