The Horn (Paperback)

John Clellon Holmes

One of the best jazz novels ever written, by John Clellon Holmes, a figure in the Beat literary movement of the mid 20th century.

Edgar Pool is the Horn, the greatest tenor saxophonist of his generation, the man who created bop and who has become a myth for younger musicians. The Horn lives no life but jazz, his nights are spent in the crowded nightclubs of New York where the wistful, throaty sounds of his saxophone speak of the desires and pasts of his audience. After being out-played for the first time by a younger man the Horn sets out to stumble through New York for the last time. As his friends and lovers search for him they remember his life, and try to find the truth of his brilliant and tragic career. The Horn is a brilliant evocation of the world of jazz and a vivid memorial to the musicians who created it.

Publication date: 07/09/2009


ISBN: 9780285638648

Imprint: Souvenir Press

Subject: Fiction

Reviews for The Horn

'This is a book you can return to again and again just for the writing alone... Holmes is a writer, not a musician, but somehow he captures the life of a jazz musician in the first half of the twentieth century... It should be on the reading list of anyone who cares about jazz.'

Sandy Brown Jazz website 

'Welcome back into print. Apart from Edgar Pool himself, his immediate crisis and backstory, the novel's supporting characters and the different ways in which they have sustained or challenged him are vividly realized.'

Times Literary Supplement 

'The writing is powerful, the story complex and the overall book a true inspiration. Read it.'

The Leeds Guide 

John Clellon Holmes

John Clellon Holmes

John Clellon Holmes (March 12, 1926 – March 30, 1988) was an American author, poet and professor, best known for his 1952 novel Go. Considered the first 'Beat' novel, Go depicted events in his life with his friends Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg. He was often referred to as the 'quiet Beat' and was one of Kerouac's closest friends. Holmes also wrote what is considered the definitive jazz novel of the Beat Generation, The Horn.