Now a major motion picture starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Joe Wright ('Atonement').
Steve Lopez is a columnist for the LA Times, where he first wrote a series of enormously popular columns about Nathaniel Ayers.
Lopez heard a violin and found a former Juilliard prodigy, now homeless, whose life he tried to resurrect. Look for the DreamWorks film. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Steve Lopez is a terrific reporter. The Soloist is poignant, wise,
and funny." * Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind *
"A newspaper columnist discovers a musical prodigy among the cast-offs on Skid Row, and a story unfolds like a concerto with layers of unlikely, interconnected strains. It is also a powerful story of one journalist's search for the meaning of his own craft, for the nature of sympathy and respect." * Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down *
"With self-effacing humor, fast-paced yet elegant prose and unsparing honesty, Lopez tells an inspiring story of heartbreak and hope as he tries to help an accomplished though homeless violinist find his path off the streets" * Publishers Weekly - Books of the Year *
"A tribute to the strengthening bond between two men and to the transformative power of music." * Glasgow Herald *
"An enthralling read...A story of the redemptive power of music and the power of persistence and of friendship" * The Irish Times *
Scurrying back to his office one day, Lopez, a columnist for the L.A. Times, is stopped short by the ethereal strains of a violin. Searching for the sound, he spots a homeless man coaxing those beautiful sounds from a battered two-string violin. When the man finishes, Lopez compliments him briefly and rushes off to write about his newfound subject, Nathaniel Ayers, the homeless violinist. Over the next few days, Lopez discovers that Nathaniel was once a promising classical bass student at Juilliard, but that various pressures-including being one of a few African-American students and mounting schizophrenia-caused him to drop out. Enlisting the help of doctors, mental health professionals and professional musicians, Lopez attempts to help Nathaniel move off Skid Row, regain his dignity, develop his musical talent and free himself of the demons induced by the schizophrenia (at one point, Lopez arranges to have Ayers take cello lessons with a cellist from the L.A. Symphony). Throughout, Lopez endures disappointments and setbacks with Nathaniel's case, questions his own motives for helping his friend and acknowledges that Nathaniel has taught him about courage and humanity. With self-effacing humor, fast-paced yet elegant prose and unsparing honesty, Lopez tells an inspiring story of heartbreak and hope. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.