Summary and book reviews of Jazz Bird by Craig Holden

Jazz Bird

by Craig Holden

Jazz Bird by Craig Holden X
Jazz Bird by Craig Holden
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Dec 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2003, 400 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Based on a true story - at once a love story, a crime novel, and the tale of the courtroom battle between two powerful men whose respective futures hang in the balance.

An exquisitely written novel of love and betrayal, of money and power, set at the apex of that time of glitz and innocence known as the Jazz Age

CINCINNATI, 1927...

Lawyer George Remus became the country's biggest bootlegger, grossing over $80 million until his arrest. Upon his release from prison, he learns that his beautiful wife, Imogene, has left him and that his bank accounts are empty. On the morning of their divorce, he runs her car off the road in the middle of rush hour in Eden Park and shoots her to death.

Shocked and fascinated by this horrible crime, the country gears up for a sensational trial pitting the man known as "the king of the bootleggers" against Chief Prosecutor Charlie Taft, the youngest son of the former president. The trial is a national spectacle, a lens focused on the fabulous rise and fall of the Remus empire and the tragic love story within it, and an attempt to answer some tantalizing questions: What actually happened to the fortune? What are the motives of the federal agent who brought Remus down? What complex emotions and desires, leading ultimately to the ruin of three men, really lie within the heart of the woman known as the Jazz Bird?

Based on a true story, The Jazz Bird is at once a love story, a crime novel, and the tale of the courtroom battle between two powerful men whose respective futures hang in the balance.

Prologue: Out of Eden

He found himself on the grass of a great dewy meadow surrounded by trees and violent outcroppings of rock and the high clear sky. It was October, he knew. It was 1927. The sharp air of the morning burned in his nostrils. He felt as if he had just awakened from a long and exhausting dream. Or been born. He breathed carefully and looked around and, realizing that he was alone, began to walk. The dew wetted his shoes.

Ahead, down a short slope, he saw a road they had driven many times. He came to it and stepped into it. A motorcar approached. He waved but it veered around him, its throaty electric horn blaring and distorting and fading as it went. The wind it generated whipped about him, spinning dirt into his eyes and chilling his wet feet and lower legs. He stepped back to the berm.

Other cars came. One finally slowed, and stopped. The driver leaned across. "Mr. Remus?" he said. "Is that you? Is everything all right?"

Remus got in. It was a Packard, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Book Magazine - Chris Barsanti
Considering what a tawdry tale Holden has here, the book is awfully antiseptic. It's easy to read, but it's not the kind of novel you would recommend to anyone else or be likely to remember much of the next day.

The New York Times Book Review
Holden knows how to create a tight, high-velocity narrative and surprising characters, successfully combining these elements with some wild, over-the-top plot twists and a nightmarish, Hitchcockian sense of terror.

The Washington Post
Craig Holden writes like a dream.

Booklist - Bill Ott
A fine mix of history and romance, stylishly layered with noir sensibility.

Publishers Weekly
Based on a true story, this deftly written novel by Holden (Four Corners of the Night) delves deep into the murk of the Jazz Age, blending mystery and history in a heady cocktail.

Kirkus Reviews
A consistently interesting fictionalized version of a real-life Jazz Age crime....A little long and a little slow, but with a Gatsby-like quality that lifts it way above the average.

Library Journal - Susan Clifford Braun
Reminiscent of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime, this is an exceptional period piece that portrays the roller-coaster life of the Prohibition era with color, verve, and consistency. Holden's best work, it is highly recommended for all fiction collections.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Jazz Bird, try these:

  • Inamorata jacket

    Inamorata

    by Joseph Gangemi

    Published 2005

    About this book

    It's 1922 and Martin Finch is on the case of a lifetime—to determine whether a beautiful Philadelphia socialite is able to contact the spirit realm. He is prepared to debunk a fraud but instead the man of science falls in love with the medium in this debut historical thriller.

  • Bandbox jacket

    Bandbox

    by Thomas Mallon

    Published 2005

    About this book

    More books by this author

    A madcap and poignant book portraying New York in the 1920s, the Jazz Age - the gaudiest American decade of them all.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Price We Pay
    The Price We Pay
    by Marty Makary
    The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest affidavits in history, originating in ancient Greece. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Fountains of Silence
    The Fountains of Silence
    by Ruta Sepetys
    The Spanish Civil War and its aftermath was a complicated period in history. The issues each side ...
  • Book Jacket: Curious Toys
    Curious Toys
    by Elizabeth Hand
    In Curious Toys, Elizabeth Hand tells the story of Vivian, a 14-year-old girl disguised as a boy ...
  • Book Jacket: Your House Will Pay
    Your House Will Pay
    by Steph Cha
    Steph Cha's novel Your House Will Pay shows how a legacy of violence and injustice can ripple ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Mighty Justice
    by Dovey Johnson Roundtree & Katie McCabe

    An inspiring life story that speaks urgently to our troubled times.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

From the author of
Calling Me Home

An emotionally raw and resonant story of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W G Up M C D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.