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The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton

Friday, August 12, 2011
In 1963 at the age of 17, Dwayne Hallston discovers James Brown and wants to perform just like him. His band, the Amazing Rumblers, studies and rehearses Brown's Live at the Apollo album in the storage room of his father's shop in their small North Carolina town. Meanwhile, Dwayne's forbidden black friend Larry, aspiring to play piano like Thelonius Monk, apprentices to a jazz musician called the Bleeder. His mother hopes music will allow him to escape the South.
A dancing chicken and a mutual passion for music help Dwayne and Larry as they try to achieve their dreams and maintain their friendship, even while their world says both are impossible. In THE NIGHT TRAIN, Edgerton's trademark humor reminds us of our divided national history and the way music has helped bring us together.

Goodreads Summary

This is a very intriguing and well-written novel.  Set in the 1960's, race is a hot issue. Dwayne and Larry are two unlikely friends-Larry if African-American while Dwayne is white.  They both love music, this is really what brings them together.  The secondary characters are just as interesting and fun to meet in most cases.  Larry's mother, for instance, has high hopes for her son; she wants him to use music to make his way north and to a better life. 

Dwayne has a band called the Amazing Rumblers, Larry likes to play jazz; the band tries to get on the Bobby Reese show during the novel, the reader will be rooting for them.  The ending is perfect for this novel.  The reader will love how all of the events pan out; this book was a fast-read and very enjoyable.  This book is recommended to young adult/adult readers. 

4 Stars