But Beautiful Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of But Beautiful

_But Beautiful_ is subtitled "a book about jazz." British writer Dyer concocts intimate portraits of seven famous American jazz musicians -- Lester Young, Thelonius Monk, Bud Powell, Ben Webster, Charlie Mingus, Chet Baker, and Art Pepper -- in the form of short story/slices of their lives, some based on real events, some made up, in a sort of verbal improvisation. The role of racism, violence, women, sex, and drugs is wrapped around these men's lives, as well as the music they create. Dyer is a wonderful prose stylist, writing of women in Paris "wearing crocus dresses," "the curling smoke of Negro speech," and sad music like the moment when a woman's about to cry. The book closes with a long essay about jazz.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of But Beautiful

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Life of a profession:    -   musician Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Black people in America/Europe Strong "rags to riches" component?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   musician Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Black (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   California City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   Los Angeles    -   dangerous    -   rude people Misc setting    -   prison

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like But Beautiful

Geoff Dyer Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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