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Trumpet (2000)

Trumpet (2000)

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3.95 of 5 Votes: 3
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0375704639 (ISBN13: 9780375704635)

About book Trumpet (2000)

Thank fuck that's done. Not because it was bad - the opposite - because it was unrelenting, heart-breaking and brutal. Reading it's like being in a car crash, with you going through the windscreen in the first few chapters and the rest just the grind of the miles of asphalt against your face as you're carried forward by your own momentum. This book is about the revelation after his death that Joss Moody was a trans man, given the name at birth of Josephine Moore. The book focuses largely on the massive transphobic reaction that this revelation meets with in the press and from his son, while Joss's widow Millie struggles to survive overwhelming feelings of grief and loss in isolation in a small Scottish village.I found this book almost unbearable. The unrelenting transphobia this book portrays made my blood fucking boil. Maybe in a world where such a thing is a sad relic of a distant past reading this book might be bearable. Might be enjoyable. But not in this world where Lucy Meadows was hounded to her death by shit-eating tabloid hacks (may they burn in Hell). Not here, not now. This book is almost 15 years old. And the horror of how little has changed in how trans people are treated is sickening. Every time Joss was referred to as "she", as "pretending", it just set my teeth on edge and made me feel sick. How fucking hard is it? His name was Joss, if he wanted you to call him Josephine, he would have told you to call him Josephine, he would have given that as his name. If he wanted you to refer to him as "her" or "she", he would have mentioned it in his nearly-70-odd years of life. He didn't so don't. It's not hard. There's no giant book of political correctness you have to consult. It's basic fucking manners. The same courtesy you'd extend to anyone. If someone doesn't like what you're calling them, and you don't actually want to be a dick, you stop. Basic playground ethics, people. How fucking hard is that?I'm not trans, I'm cis, but as a woman it was so depressingly and identifiably awful in watching it play out - we have found a fanny therefore all else is invalid. It doesn't matter who you were, or what you did, or what your achievements are, or what you were like - we have found your fanny, now that is what you are, all you are. Jesus, how often have you seen that in the press? From the way Olympic athletes are criticised or ridiculed for not being sexy or feminine enough, or that the ones that have passed the sex-object-test have their entire achievements boiled down to how to "yeay for you, you're doable". Jesus, even negative shit - look at Amanda Knox - the actual serious, life-and-death horrors you can do, and it all boils down to "what a pretty cunt". We found your fanny, all else is irrelevant. Reading this story was like watching someone wash away Joss Moody's entire life. They found his cunt, all else was irrelevant. His jazz career, his friends, his marriage, his role as a strong, black father to his son. Gone. Blotted out. Awful.The other, almost as bad, strand to this story, apart from the transphobia, is what it is like to raise a child who is a shit. Not in the big dramatic We Need To Talk About Kevin way, but in the small, quiet, everyday way of raising a kid who is just a shit. We all know people like that. Know people who are good parents, raise their kids right, and at the end of the day are left with giant selfish shits who give not a fuck about them. People who you look at and think, "God, what did they ever do to deserve a wean like that?", knowing it's nothing at all. Colman Moody is giant, selfish wean, a child of man, someone who has never wanted for anything - money, love, support - and he is no good to anyone. His father dies and his mother is grieving, and rather than, in her time of need, support her, or talk to her about his shock at finding out his father was trans, or even listening to her when she tries to talk to him about it, he rallies the gutter press to hound her from her home, to destroy his father's memory, to cash-in on his long-held but now vindicated sense of sullen self-entitlement and self-pity. His mother is an elderly woman. She has just lost her husband of 30-odd years. She wants to die and go into her husband's grave with him, but has chosen to stay strong for her child. And what does he do? He does everything he can to drive her to it. To tear up her whole life so she will not even have her memories. All will be tainted with salacious gossip and implied perversion. Imagine, pouring your whole life, all your love into a child like that, and then in your old age, when you really need them, all you get back is betrayal and bitterness and their self-centred indifference to you. That's the thing about having kids, they are not like spouses that can be divorced if things don't work out. Children are as large in their absence as their presence, and once had are there for life. For good or ill. Strangers you bring into your family never knowing who they will turn out to be. Regardless of how they are brought. Millie Moody broke my heart, a small, dignified, warm and caring woman, about the same age as my gran, trying desperately to cope with grief that she cannot share with anyone else. She's tragic. I could have wept for her. Seriously, this is a great book but it's not a light read. If you have any humanity at all this book will be a hard read.

I've read this book twice, shortly after its publication and recently for a book-club discussion. The prose is lovely and the story compelling. However, I did not understand what motivated any of the major characters to do the things they did, excluding the son Colman. Millicent's love of Joss and grief upon losing him was written about in a convincing manner. However, I did not understand her character fully. She didn't seem to have any substance aside from loving Joss and holding his secret. I wondered if she was a good mother and strong partner and was glad to see her ask this question of herself in the novel. The narrative leads you to believe that it is somehow perverse to want to know why Joss lived as a man; however, this is the question held by most readers in our book club. If Jackie Kay wanted readers to question *their* motives, then she might have chosen a less flat character than the journalist to show readers the mistake in thinking this way about Joss. A section of the narrative suggests that Joss was happy as girl yet chose to live as a man upon becoming an adult. I was not sure if the gender bending was done in order to access entry into the male-dominated jazz world or because Josephine really felt as if she had been assigned a sex that she did not identify with, or both. Knowing this would have made Joss more sympathetic and less mythical, a figment of Jackie Kay's imagination. Still, I think the novel is important and should be read by many people.

Do You like book Trumpet (2000)?

Lasot jau šīs grāmatas pirmās lapuses,saprotu,ka grāmatas turpmākais teksts man varētu šķist interesants,jo grāmatas lapusēs ir raksturota mūzika,kas man pašai ir ļoti tuva. Džekijas Kejas sarakstītajā grāmatā "Trompete" ir spilgti kāda trompetista-Džosa Mūdija- dzīvesstāsts,taču viņš nomirsts un tikai tad var noskaidrot,kas viņš tāds bija,ko darīja,ko mīlēja,un pats galvenais- noskaidrot visu sarežģīto un līdz šim neizprasto. Pirms šī trompetista nāves nav skaidri saprotams,kāds ir viņa raksturs vai aizraušanās ar mūziku iemesls,jo liekas,ka uz visiem manis uzdotajiem jautājumiem lasot grāmatas rindas,viņš itkā slēpjās no patiesības un izvairās atklāties lasītājiem.Taču,kad sapratu-viņš ir miris,pēkšņi galvā jaucās tik daudz domu kā vēl nekad lasot kādu citu grāmatu,nevaru izskaidrot kāpēc,bet arī šī neziņa,kas raisījās manā prātā,drošvien,bija "pateicoties" noslēpumainajai personībai,kura atklājās grāmatas lapusēs. Džosa dzīve nebija viegla,taču to nekādīgi nevarēja iztēloties bez mūzikas,jo viņš itkā dzīvoja mūzikai un mira tai. Viņš uzskatīja,ka mūzika ir visa viņa dzīve un ja būtu jāatsakās no tās,tad viņa dzīvei pēkņi nebūtu nekādas jēgas.Kaut gan tas pirmajā brīdī šķiet aplami,bet tā arī bija-viņš varēja stundām ilgi negulēt,neēst,nedzert,bet viņam bija jāpatur rokās kaut neilgu laiku viņa dzīves jēga-trompete,un viss pēkšņi šķita tik vienkārši un pašsaprotami.Dienas ritēja savu gaitu,bet viņš novecoja,ar gadiem viņam radās arvien vairāk noslēpumu no apkārtējiem un arvien jauni,nesaprotami atgadījumi,kuri vien skaidri bija Džošam. Par viņa skolas gadiem nevienam nekas nebija zināms,tāpēc vajadzēja atrast kādas personas,ka par viņu varētu pastāstīt kaut nedaudz,jo,to,ka mūzika viņam bija svarīgāka par pašu,zināja visi,bet pat to-kāda trompetista dzīve bijusi senāk,nenojauta neviens. Viedokli un kādas ziņas par viņa pagātni melēja pie skolas laika draudzenes,kura tad viņam bija ļoti mīļa un svarīga, mātes,kas tikai retu reizi spējusi saprast,kas notiek dēla prātā, džeza grupas biedriem,kas ikdienu uzturējušies vienā telpā ar Džosu,bet nekad nav zinājuši viņa slēptākos nodomus un sapņus,visi zināja tikai to,ka viņš ar mūziku bijis apsēsts jau agrāk,skolas gados,un nebrīnijās,ka šī apsēstība jau pāraugusi gluži vai drudzī,kas pārņēmusi mūziķi tik ļoti,ka nu jau par viņu varēja runāt tikai pagātnes formā. Izlasot grāmatu es varēju paskatīties no cita skatu punkta,ka dzīve ne būt nav tāda,kāda tā šķiet,tā ir pilna pārteigumu,mistēriju un noslēpumainu.Pēc grāmatas izlasīšanas daudz kas tapa skaidrs,taču uz katru manu jautājumu grāmatas lapuses man man nesniedza atbildi.Bet varbūt tāds arī bija nolūks? Džoša noslēpumainība atklājās arī autorē,kas sarkastījusi šo aizraujošo grāmatu,kas neatgādināja nevienu līdz šim lasīto! Dzīve ir sarežģīta,tāda pati kā šī grāmata...

Trumpet is a delight. Very loosely based on an actual event which took place in America, Jackie Kay moves the action to Scotland in the second half on the twentieth century. After the death of jazz trumpeter Joss Moody a lifelong deception is revealed which impacts in different ways on friends and family members. The shockwaves cause a press furore which drives his grief-stricken wife to seek shelter in the highland village which was the family's second home. Colman, the couple's adopted son, is so traumatised by the revelation that he is alienated from his father's memory and falls prey to a female journalist determined to exploit the scandal to the hilt; she persuades him to collaborate in the writing of a racy book about his father's life. The story is told in both first and third person, and from various characters' point of view. Some of the most charming and well-observed of these witnesses are those involved with the post mortem nuts and bolts: the registrar, the undertaker. And in the process of Colman's search into his father's background other fascinating characters shed light on the enigmatic musician. But it is Millie, the widow, who lingers with us. Her memories and reflections on the couple's life together are more powerful than any extravagant expressions of love and grief would be. She is strong; as a white Scot marrying a black musician in times when a black face was an extraordinary sight, she has had to be. She reveals a marriage in which passion and deep, abiding love were at the heart of everything. Through her we glimpse the engaging and irresistible personality of the husband she will always adore. Jackie Kay's style is intelligent, humorous, humane and full of insight. I thoroughly recommend Trumpet.
—Suzanne Egerton

Absolutely heartbreaking. Jackie Kay is just as good as I was led to believe and as a first novel (albeit from an established poet) this is phenomenal. I kept my sunglasses on long after the sun had gone down in an attempt to hide my tears from the other hotel guests around the pool.There's a hell of a lot in here and I'm sure it will stand up to several repeat readings. For me, first time through, this felt like a study of grief and of family and of racial issues, and barely about gender at all. But little things, like a review excerpted on the back cover of my 1998 library paperback (Trumpet was published in and seems to be set in 1997) once again brought home to me the massive progress made in society's perception of trans people even in the past 15 years. A Guardian reviewer writes "...Joss Moody, a jazz trumpeter who pretended to be a man and even had a wife and foster-child who called her Dad". Pretended? Her? I can't imagine a review being written in the same way in 2014, even if the gutter press can still be as bad as depicted in this novel. Something to keep in mind and be grateful for.

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