Micro-Review #129: Bluesman

by Andre Dubus III

Dubus’ first novel tells the story of Leo, a teen coming of age in smalltown Massachusetts during the Vietnam war. For the first time in his life, Leo is having sex, falling in love, and feeling like an adult thanks to a real job building houses.

Underscoring this awakening is a passion for the blues. Leo plays a mean harmonica and dreams of being in a band. When real life intrudes, it’s possible he’ll lose the music dream and a whole lot more. That’s too bad, but we won’t bail on Leo. Despite a somewhat dolorous tone, his story is infused with an unmistakable generosity of spirit. It’s a poignant, human book.

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