The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton
A Novel

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Clyde Edgerton

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Clyde Edgerton is the author of 10 novels, including The Bible Salesman and The Night Train. Five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. He lives with his wife, Kristina, and their children in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he is a professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
 
Published July 25, 2011 by Little, Brown and Company. 232 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Night Train

Kirkus Reviews

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Southern mores demand that Larry support Dwayne (who's white) without attracting attention, and Edgerton deftly shifts from intimate looks at their growing friendship to wide-angle shots of the racial divides among businesses and residents in the area.

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The New York Times

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Larry Lime also gives his friend a troublesome rooster so Dwayne can wreak havoc by releasing him during a screening of "The Birds.") Even as one is won over by the easy rhythms and gentle humor of Edgerton’s rich, slice-of-life portrait, it’s hard not to wonder why there seems to be no ...

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The two music-mad boys live in divided communities, poignantly characterized by the burdens of their respective pasts, which "brought hardships to the people of West Starke not understood by the people of East Starke, and guilt to the East not understood by anybody—a guilt that if moving deep i...

Mar 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

The Wall Street Journal

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(Larry Lime's full name, dreamt up by his spiritual grandmother, is Larry Lime Beacon of Time Reckoning Breathe on Me Nolan.) The boys forge a surreptitious bond over music—Larry Lime is learning piano from a local jazz legend, and, when no one is looking, he helps Dwayne's band, the Amazing Rumb...

Jul 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

Star Tribune

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In his ninth and latest novel, "The Night Train," Clyde Edgerton plunges his pitch-perfect language into the muck of attempting to describe music and its effects on us -- and rises plain and clear as middle C.

Jul 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

Dallas News

Some novels that depict the complicated relationships between Southern blacks and whites often head down a self-righteous path that preaches to us what we ought to feel or learn.

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

About.com

There is the rich white man who owns most of the businesses in town, the old white woman who does not want a black woman to care for her, and the old black woman whose life revolves around the church.

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https://bookpage.com

Edgerton, an ardent jazz fan and performer himself, is uniquely equipped to render jazz on paper.

Feb 16 2016 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

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.

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

Chamber Four

Maybe if I knew more about jazz, this would make sense, maybe Edgerton’s leaving pauses in between the notes and I just don’t get it.

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Southern Lit Review

SLR: You are recognized as one of the masters of humor.

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

Southern Lit Review

Despite the broader culture orchestrated throughout The Night Train, what appeals to this reader is the never-ending colorful cast of eccentric characters who we come to love—Larry Lime Nolan, whose real name is Larry Lime Beacon of Time Reckoning Breathe on Me Nolan, named so by his grandmother ...

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Night Train: A Novel

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