Jimmy Rankin Recommends


Jimmy Rankin may have got his start making music with his brothers and sisters in The Rankin Family, but he's long since established himself as a successful solo musician as well. This April, he released his fourth solo album, Forget About the World.

CBC Radio 2's Kelly Cutrara regularly approaches Canadian musicians and asks, "what is the book you think everyone should read?" Recently, she caught up with Jimmy Rankin, who picked Michael Ondaatje's debut novel Coming Through Slaughter. Here's what he had to say about it:


"I like to read good books, good literature. I don't like to waste time on crap. [Coming Through Slaughter] was just beautifully written and beautiful prose about [Buddy Bolden]. He'd obviously done a lot of research in New Orleans on one of the forefathers of jazz. The way Ondaatje [writes]...I've read all of his books. I just love the way he writes. It's very painterly and poetic."

Slaughter-125.jpgComing Through Slaughter
Michael Ondaatje

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Set at the turn of the 20th century in New Orleans, this haunting, boldly lyrical novel is the fictionalized life of jazz legend Buddy Bolden, the first of the great New Orleans trumpet players. At the age of 30, Bolden suffered a psychotic episode and was subsequently committed to an asylum, where he spent the rest of his life. Starting from this tragic circumstance, Ondaatje unravels the mysterious genius's history and brings to life his descent into madness in stirring, sensual prose.

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