Swirling riffs of language and a propulsive beat set this gritty, transcendent novel in motion.
Amid the sparkle and hum of a New York City winter, Jed and his best friend, Flyer, are filming a documentary of their neighborhood. All around them are images that Jed's older brother Zeke wrote about: drummers, drunks, dog walkers, and the beautiful water towers that dot the city's skyline. But what Jed is really in search of is Zeke, a poet who loved jazzman Charlie "Bird" Parker and who left behind his CDs, a notebook, and a lot of unanswered questions.
When Jed encounters a mysterious homeless girl he thinks holds the key to connecting him to Zeke, it could be his only way to unlock his deepest sorrow and discover how to be—who to be—on his own.
As true and lyrical as a sax solo, Birdland touches down at the core of the human heart and sends it soaring.
It felt a little awkward to get into, a bit like the main character but I really did enjoy this book. It gives a good feel for emotions, especially guilt and understanding relationships. Worth reading.