Carlo Lucarelli Almost Blue

ISBN 13: 9780099459439

Almost Blue

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9780099459439: Almost Blue

A serial killer is terrorising the people of Bologna and rookie Detective Inspector Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. She only has one witness who can identify the killer - and he is blind. Simone spends his nights listening to Chet Baker and scanning the radio waves of the city, eavesdropping on other people's lives. He imagines what people are like - based on the 'colour' of their voice - and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing when he tunes in to the killer. Together Simone and Negro are the only people able to stop the killer, before he closes in on Simone. From the diverse perspectives of the detective, the blind Simone and the killer, Lucarelli, master of Italian noir, weaves a gripping thriller.

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About the Author:

Carlo Lucarelli was born in 1960 in Modena, Italy. He has written eleven noir novels and his work has been translated into many languages. He hosts a popular late-night television show in Italy that examines unsettling and unsolved crimes. He also teaches creative writing in Turin and edits an on-line magazine. He has written one other novel called Day After Day.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The sound of a record dropping onto a turntable is like a short sigh, with a touch of dust mixed in. The sound of the automated arm rising up from its rest is like a repressed hiccup or a tongue clucking drilyóa plastic tongue. The needle, as it glides across the grooves, sibilates softly and crackles once or twice. Then comes the piano, a dripping faucet. Then, the bass, buzzing like an enormous fly at a window. Finally, the velvety voice of Chet Baker singing "Almost Blue."

If you listen carefully, you can almost hear him taking a breath and opening his mouth to sing the first A in Almost. It sounds so tight it seems more like a long O. AlĖmostĖblue . . . with two pauses. He takes two breaths. You just knowóyou can tellóthat his eyes are closed.

Thatís why I like "Almost Blue;" you have to sing it with your eyes closed.

My eyes are closed even when Iím not singing. Iím blind. Iíve been blind since I was born. Iíve never seen colors or light or movement of any kind. I listen.

I scan the silence around me the way an electronic scanner sweeps the airwaves for sounds and voices, tuning automatically into any and all frequencies. I know how to use both my scanners perfectly, the internal one that Iíve had in my head for the past twenty-five years, ever since I was born, and the electric one in my room next to my stereo. If I had any friends, I know theyíd call me Scanner. Iíd like that.

But I donít have any friends. Itís my own fault. I just donít understand them. They talk about things that have nothing to do with me, they use words like lucid, opaque, luminous, invisible. Like in the bedtime story that my parents used to tell me when I was little to help me fall asleepóthere was a beautiful princess whose skin was so clear it seemed transparent. I spent many sleepless nights wondering about that word before I understood that transparent means you can see into it.

For me, it means that you can poke your fingers through it.

Colors, too, have different meanings for me. Colors have a voice, colors make sounds, just like other things, so that I can distinguish between them. Identify them. Understand them. Azure, for example, with that z in the middle, is the color of zabaglione, zebras, and zinnias. Vases, violins, and vixen are all violet; a loud yell is always yellow. I canít imagine black but I know it is the color of barrenness, of bleakness, the black hole of emptiness.

But itís not just a question of alliteration. Some colors signify the very idea that they contain. For the sound of the idea inside them. Green, with that harsh r sound that scratches and flares its way out of the middle of the word, is the color of something that scathes and burns, like the sun. But blue, on the other hand, is the color of beauty. For example, for me, a pretty girl might have blonde hair, but a truly beautiful girl would be barefoot, brave, and have blue hair.

Some colors even have shapes. Something large and round is definitely red. But shapes arenít as interesting; I donít understand them. To understand them, you have to touch them, and I donít like touching things or people. Besides, you can only touch things that are nearby. By listening and imagining I can travel further. I like sounds better.

Thatís why I use my scanner. Every night I go up to my room in the attic and put on Chet Baker. I always put on the same record because I like the sound of his trumpet, all those deep, precise p sounds. I like the way he sings slowly, the way his voice seems to come from a place somewhere behind his throat. You can tell itís hard for him to find his voice and that to find it he has to close his eyes and concentrate really hard. "Almost Blue" is my favorite song. I always play it first, even though itís the last track on the record. I wait all day for that moment at night when the trumpet, the bass, the piano, and his voice come together and fill the emptiness inside my head.

Then I turn on the scanner and listen to the city.

Iíve never seen Bologna, but I know it well, even if itís probably my own imaginary Bologna. Itís a big city: almost three hours.

I know that, because once I tuned to the CB radio of a truck and followed it for the whole time it was within the range of my scanner. The truck driver never stopped talking on it, from the moment he first appeared on the scanner until he disappeared. He talked his way across the city.

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Carlo Lucarelli
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A serial killer is terrorising the people of Bologna and rookie Detective Inspector Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. She only has one witness who can identify the killer - and he is blind. Simone spends his nights listening to Chet Baker and scanning the radio waves of the city, eavesdropping on other people s lives. He imagines what people are like - based on the colour of their voice - and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing when he tunes in to the killer. Together Simone and Negro are the only people able to stop the killer, before he closes in on Simone. From the diverse perspectives of the detective, the blind Simone and the killer, Lucarelli, master of Italian noir, weaves a gripping thriller. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099459439

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A serial killer is terrorising the people of Bologna and rookie Detective Inspector Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. She only has one witness who can identify the killer - and he is blind. Simone spends his nights listening to Chet Baker and scanning the radio waves of the city, eavesdropping on other people s lives. He imagines what people are like - based on the colour of their voice - and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing when he tunes in to the killer. Together Simone and Negro are the only people able to stop the killer, before he closes in on Simone. From the diverse perspectives of the detective, the blind Simone and the killer, Lucarelli, master of Italian noir, weaves a gripping thriller. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099459439

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. A serial killer is terrorising the students of Bologna. Detective Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. Only one eye witness can identify the killer and he's blind. Simone likes to imagine what people are like, based on the tone and colour of their voice, and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing upon hearing the voice of the killer. Num Pages: 176 pages. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 176 x 112 x 11. Weight in Grams: 98. . 2004. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099459439

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Book Description Vintage, 2004. Book Condition: New. A serial killer is terrorising the students of Bologna. Detective Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. Only one eye witness can identify the killer and he's blind. Simone likes to imagine what people are like, based on the tone and colour of their voice, and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing upon hearing the voice of the killer. Num Pages: 176 pages. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 176 x 112 x 11. Weight in Grams: 98. . 2004. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099459439

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Almost Blue, Carlo Lucarelli, A serial killer is terrorising the people of Bologna and rookie Detective Inspector Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. She only has one witness who can identify the killer - and he is blind. Simone spends his nights listening to Chet Baker and scanning the radio waves of the city, eavesdropping on other people's lives. He imagines what people are like - based on the 'colour' of their voice - and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing when he tunes in to the killer. Together Simone and Negro are the only people able to stop the killer, before he closes in on Simone. From the diverse perspectives of the detective, the blind Simone and the killer, Lucarelli, master of Italian noir, weaves a gripping thriller. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099459439

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