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The Songs by Charles Elton
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The Songs

Best Seller
The Songs by Charles Elton
Jun 06, 2017 | ISBN 9781590518007

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  • Jun 06, 2017 | ISBN 9781590518007

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“In The Songs Charles Elton weaves a complex, multi-layered narrative examining the nature of truth, connection, family, and mortality all at once… A very compact, novel of a minimalist writing style that has the direct impact of a blunt object and the final lines of the novel are simply beautiful.” WOMAN AROUND TOWN
“A terrific story about a folk singer’s musical legacy and the ways in which his notoriety affected his family.  Its heartbreaking, funny, and thoughtful all at once…Rich with musical references – I just loved it!  Definitely a great book for summer.” A BOOKISH WAY OF LIFE

“Elton’s characters are nuanced, memorable and clearly grounded in their twentieth-century, Jewish British world. Though Iz is the sun around which the narrative orbits, the story is driven by the flawed and funky footnote folks in his life. Told through multiple points of view, The Songs is an intimate look at the familial effects of fame and a smart, music-centric story that calls to mind Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.“ —BOOKLIST

“The completely self-absorbed, ultimately inscrutable protagonist at the center of this thoughtful novel about fame and fortune is folk singer Iz Herzl, beloved by millions for his passionate political advocacy and commitment to justice…Like Mr Toppit, Elton’s first novel, this new work examines the complex, mostly dark consequences of a family dealing with public notoriety and stardom, and it is not a pretty picture…Sad and moving…A heartbreaking read.” 

“A blend of light, rather English humor, tragedy, and individual experiences of struggle… Thoughtful.” 
“Music seems to be something of a theme this summer… The follow-up to Elton’s Mr Toppit… [The Songs] is the story of siblings Huddie and Rose who are searching for the truth about their musician father Iz Herzl, a protest singer and political activist. Now in his 80s, Iz refuses to discuss the past but his children are particularly curious about their half-brother Joseph, now a West End songwriter. A tale of family, fame and ambition.” 

“This is a truly wonderful novel – heartbreaking, funny, and such a painful dissection of family life it makes one wince.”
–Deborah Moggach, author ofThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Songs is a compelling and surprising novel about a family defined and separated by a musical legacy. Charles Elton is a writer of unusual intelligence and emotional insight, moving with ease from one viewpoint to another, building a collective portrait that is both complex and convincing.”
–Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher

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