I have long respected Bruce Lewis as a virtuoso Jazz guitarist. A close cousin to Blues, Jazz is dissonant, unstable and like the music he has mastered, the author’s prose follows suit. In the tradition of Thomas Wolfe, Lewis’s words are a cry to the very soil that birthed each character. In lyrical outbursts, Joshua Celeste remembers and is remembered. We are introduced to the characters that make up Joshua’s life from the fields of his boyhood home at Water Maple Farm in Kentucky, with a cattle rancher father and misplaced, glamorous mother to the streets of Budapest, Hungary as a traveling guitarist, a melancholic ex-pat.
Bruce Lewis moved to Budapest on May 4th 1993 and stayed until May 22nd 2012. He played with some of the best European musicians in the world, traveling with his guitar to twelve different countries. His insight into the culture and people of the ancient city make Joshua Fragmented part travelogue and history lesson along with a beautiful, philosophical lesson on the sacrifices of art and the pull of home.
This book resembles the dissonance of Jazz as a cast of brilliantly articulated characters sing angular harmonies in the reader’s ear. We hear the passionate railings of his academia-minded brother, Doc and his loyal, sex-obsessed and jealous bandmate, Crip Kovacs right alongside his grandmother Bertha, mother Agnes and the steady stream of women in which Joshua searches for meaning. It is a testament to the lost, nomadic quality of an ever changing modern world. I am most proud to have a small part in bringing this powerful and original work of fiction to light.
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