The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

By Steve Lopez
Read by William Hughes

6.68 Hours 04/17/2008 unabridged
Format:
  • Regular Price: $13.95

    Special Price $4.00

    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781455190324

  • Regular Price: $5.95

    Special Price $1.79

    ISBN: 9781482127355

  • Regular Price: $19.95

    Special Price $9.98

    ISBN: 9781433215223

  • Regular Price: $29.95

    Special Price $14.98

    ISBN: 9781433215230

A moving story of the remarkable bond between a journalist in search of a story and a homeless, classically trained musician—now a major motion picture from DreamWorks starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. When Steve Lopez saw Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles’ skid row, he found it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years earlier, Ayers had been a promising classical bass student at Juilliard—ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African Americans—until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless, paranoid, and deeply troubled, but glimmers of that brilliance are still there. Over time, Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers form a bond, and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers’ life. Lopez collects donated violins, a cello, even a stand-up bass and a piano; he takes Ayers to Walt Disney Concert Hall and helps him move indoors. For each triumph, there is a crashing disappointment, yet neither man gives up. In the process of trying to save Ayers, Lopez finds that his own life is changing, and his sense of what one man can accomplish in the lives of others begins to expand in new ways. Poignant and ultimately hopeful, The Soloist is a beautifully told story of friendship and the redeeming power of music.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

New York Times Bestseller

A moving story of the remarkable bond between a journalist in search of a story and a homeless, classically trained musician—now a major motion picture from DreamWorks starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

When Steve Lopez saw Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles’ skid row, he found it impossible to walk away. More than thirty years earlier, Ayers had been a promising classical bass student at Juilliard—ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African Americans—until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia. When Lopez finds him, Ayers is homeless, paranoid, and deeply troubled, but glimmers of that brilliance are still there.

Over time, Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers form a bond, and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers’ life. Lopez collects donated violins, a cello, even a stand-up bass and a piano; he takes Ayers to Walt Disney Concert Hall and helps him move indoors. For each triumph, there is a crashing disappointment, yet neither man gives up. In the process of trying to save Ayers, Lopez finds that his own life is changing, and his sense of what one man can accomplish in the lives of others begins to expand in new ways.

Poignant and ultimately hopeful, The Soloist is a beautifully told story of friendship and the redeeming power of music.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Written with elegant spareness, there are no punches pulled in this portrait of Nathaniel Ayers, but God do you root and hope and pray for him. The Soloist is singularly and unforgettably true in all respects.” Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights
“Steve Lopez is a terrific reporter. The Soloist is poignant, wise, and funny.” Sylvia Nasar, New York Times bestselling author of A Beautiful Mind
“The Soloist is an intimate portrait of mental illness, of atrocious social neglect, and the struggle to resurrect a fallen prodigy. It is also a powerful story of one journalist’s search for the meaning of his own craft, for the nature of sympathy and respect.” Mark Bowden, New York Times bestselling author of Black Hawk Down
“Perhaps the fact that William Hughes is an accomplished musician and a political science professor allows him to slip so easily into both the voice of free-associating, schizophrenic, homeless musical prodigy Nathaniel Ayers and the more professional voice of LA Times columnist Lopez…Hughes reads Lopez’s narration with the casual authority of one telling his own story.” Publishers Weekly
“William Hughes’ easy conversational style captures the heart of this memoir…Hughes hits no wrong notes in his narration. He is especially impressive in rendering emotions that run the gamut from wonder and awe at the power of music to Ayers’s random profane outbursts when paranoia kicks in.” AudioFile
“Hughes renders Lopez and Ayers as a pitch-perfect duet. His soothing, sonorous tones for Lopez exhibit both gravity and grace, effectively reflecting the kindhearted reporter, who tries to help Ayers gain back his life. Equally compelling is Hughes' presentation of Ayers, whose cautious, contemplative nature is conveyed in a voice that rises just above a whisper, indicative of Ayers' myriad moods.” Booklist
“Lopez's writing is as propulsive as good fiction, and his central character is nothing if not a singularly fascinating gent…Yet for all its positive-striding spirit, Lopez's book is rife with suspense…The Soloist is inspirational but also very gritty stuff. A BookPage Notable Title.” BookPage
“[A] touching story…Hughes reads with appropriate empathy, frustration, and concern in his voice.” Kliatt

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Steve Lopez

Steve Lopez is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, where he first wrote a series of columns about Nathaniel Ayers. The father of three children, he currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Alison and their daughter, Caroline.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 6.68
Audience: Adult
Language: English