Friday, April 26, 2013

the last book I ever read (Tiger Rag: A Novel by Nicholas Christopher, excerpt one)

from Tiger Rag: A Novel by Nicholas Christopher:

Bolden shook his head. He wasn’t happy. Zahn lit another cigarette. Tillman replaced a cracked drumstick. Willie Warner, the B-flat clarinetist, cursed under his breath: he had never played a better solo in his life—for nothing. Guideau handed Zahn a fresh cylinder. Zahn removed it from its gold tube with the photograph of Thomas Edison on the side and screwed it onto the mandrel. He tightened the worm gear, tested the spring, and adjusted the sapphire stylus. Sitting against the wall, Guideau waited for the stylus to dance on the turning cylinder. Four inches high, two inches in diameter, the cylinder revolved one hundred twenty times a minute as the stylus cut grooves thinner than capillaries into which the music flowed. The device still amazed Guideau, who had grown up on a pig farm in Hiram, Ohio, where there were tools, but no machines.

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