Book #70: Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub

When a graduate student with a passion for jazz arrived in New York to discover that a legendary saxophonist he had assumed long dead is not only still alive but playing in an East Village club, he spends night after night in awe-struck attendance.

And when the legend grants him an interview on Halloween, he jumps at the opportunity. What unfolds is an endless night filled with an extraordinary story told by a dying master: a story centered upon the Halloween night of his eleventh year, a white woman screaming in a shanty town, a killer and an unidentified man fleeing with a strange bundle in his arms. 

I received Pork Pie Hat by Peter Straub from a Nocturnal Readers box. It is a short story about a man interviewing a Jazz musician and that musician’s hidden traumatic secret.

I honestly didn’t care for this novella. I haven’t read anything from Straub, but this novella wasn’t a good representation for me. The writing is very well done. The story is a quick one and the writing has a fluid quality that seems to illustrate how Hat performs with his saxophone.

Now, beside that, I didn’t feel any emotion towards Hat. This is a thinking book more than a feeling book. I prefer a mixture of the two, a balance if you will. I want to feel the dread and excitement. However, I found myself only thinking what exactly happened. What did I just read? What did Hat witness?

So, yeah, this book was not for me.


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