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Ebook Beneath the Underdog by Charles Mingus read! Book Title: Beneath the Underdog
The author of the book: Charles Mingus
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Reader ratings: 6.9
Edition: Canongate Books
Date of issue: August 1st 2011
ISBN: 0857862189
ISBN 13: 9780857862181
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.80 MB

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A book of earnest erotica posing as a jazz memoir, Beneath the Underdog chronicles Mingus' childhood and early career as a lover and a pimp with nary of a mention of the music into which he poured his more worthwhile thoughts. Mingus' book is funny and touching at times, but it's also very repetitive (Who can keep all the women straight? Certainly not Mingus) and often stilted. Mingus' tells his story almost completely through dialogue, and while some of it does a good job at capturing voices (Mingus does a great Duke Ellington imitation), much of it sounds inauthentic—either too slangy or too formal for the context. The book's payoff—fifty or so pages of Mingus' musings on reality, love, God, and the universe—comes across as My Dinner with Andre-light. It's more world-weary, but not much more profound, than a twelve-year-old's thoughts on metaphysics.

Yet the strangest and most disappointing part of Beneath the Underdog is its refusal to discuss Mingus' music. Every so often in a lull between orgies, a character mentions something to Mingus that lets us know how his career is progressing ("I heard that album you did with Duke and Max Roach!"), but rehearsing, composing, and performing matter to him far less in the book than chasing a new piece of ass. In the absence of a real discussion of what made Mingus special, Beneath the Underdog is nothing more than a mediocre memoir about a fairly anonymous, sexually hungry man growing up in Watts in the 1930s and finally finding Kerouac's "IT" in an insane asylum in New York.

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An interesting book that says more than you can fit


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