Nashville Chrome: Book summary and reviews of Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass

Nashville Chrome

By Rick Bass

Nashville Chrome
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2010,
    272 pages.

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Book Summary

Late in 1959, the Brown siblings - Maxine, Bonnie, and Jim Ed - were enjoying unprecedented international success, rivaled only by their longtime friend Elvis Presley. They had a bona fide megahit on their hands, which topped both the country and pop charts and gave rise to the polished sound of the multibillion dollar country music industry we know today. Mesmerized by the Browns' haunting harmonies, the Beatles even tried to learn their secret. Their unique harmony, however, was only achievable through shared blood, and the trio's perfect pitch was honed by a childhood spent listening for the elusive pulse and tone of an impeccably tempered blade at their parent's Arkansas sawmill.

But the Browns' celebrity couldn't survive the world changing around them, and the bonds of family began to fray along with the fame. Heartbreakingly, the novel jumps between the Browns' promising past and the present, which finds Maxine - once supremely confident and ravenous in her pursuit of applause - failing and alone. As her world increasingly narrows, her hunger for just one more chance to secure her legacy only grows, as does her need for human connection.

Lyrical and nuanced, Nashville Chrome hits all the right grace notes with its vivid evocation of an era in American music, while at its heart it is a wrenching meditation on the complexities of fame and of one family - forgotten yet utterly unforgettable when reclaimed by Bass - who experienced them firsthand.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Like the sound Chet Atkins pulls from the Browns in the studio, the narrative has a pitch-perfect chorus of longing and regret, with an undertone that connects and heals." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Rick Bass Author Biography

Photo: Nicole Blaisdell

Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958. His father was a geologist who passed on his passion to his son.  Bass received a B.S. in petroleum geology at Utah State University in 1979, and then worked as a gas and oil geologist in Jackson, Mississippi.  He started writing short stories during his lunch breaks.

In 1987 he and his wife, the artist Elizabeth Hughes, moved to the Yaak Valley in the northern Rockies, near the Idaho-Montana-Canada border.  They have two daughters and a couple of hunting dogs.  Bass is active in working to protect the Yaak area from roads and logging, and serves on the board of the Yaak Valley Forest Council and Round River Conservation Studies.

He is the author of over twenty books. His first short story collection...

... Full Biography

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