Christian Mihai: A New Joseph Conrad?

Those of you who follow Cristian Mihai’s blog, know that he recently made his work Jazz free for download.  This counts as his breakout novel.  Without anything to lose, I decided that I would give a current author a try.  (Looking at my reading list reveals how hesitant I am to read the works of the living.)  From reading Mihai’s blog, I expected a work of quality.  My disenchantment with contemporary literature made that the limit of my expectations.

As it turned out, I was blown away by this stunningly complex and wonderfully written piece.  The writing felt as if some inimitable combination of Fitzgerald and Hemingway.  The novel’s vision seemed to combine a Scholastic focus on happiness with a Conradian or Dostoyevskian knowledge of the fallen nature of humanity despite a drive for nobility.  One felt as if one were reading about real people, yet on an elevated level and vividly alive.  Yes, you’ve read this passage correctly: we have here an utterly unique young novelist, who’s well worth reading.

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Jazz follows a young man named Chris, who has had the misfortune of having Cupid incite love in him for a girl named Amber.  Formerly, this girl was the fiancée of Chris’s cousin Jay; but, following a rather squalid dissolution of this relationship, she flees New York City for Paris.  Chris follows her hither to discover that he has taken up with a new boyfriend called Jacques.  This beginning leads to a riveting psychological tale written in beautiful style.  Many native English novelists have less exciting prose style than this Romanian–hence my calling him a new Joseph Conrad.

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I could not put the book down for the first six chapters, at which point errands called me away before I could finish it in a second sitting.  The mesmerizing quality of Jazz is especially due to the fast-paced and vivid style of Mihai.  It pays special attention to the characters’ expressions and actions–rather like what one finds in Hemingway.  But, the action is always fleshed out by the narrator’s thoughts and interior struggles á la Fitzgerald.  The effect is most compelling, and Jazz can easily withstand several readings.

My only hope is that Mihai continues to fascinate his present readers and manages to reach an ever wider audience.  I now find myself eager to shell out money for his other works!

Parisian Painting

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23 thoughts on “Christian Mihai: A New Joseph Conrad?

  1. Liz Gray says:

    I love it! Congrats Christian! I loved reading Jazz and you have a way of nailing unrequited love! And sometimes we build someone up in our own mind way more then they can actually deliver and the fall to earth (ok crash) is painful. I loved Jazz too!

  2. Beautiful post! Love the beautiful art, and you make me want to read the Jazz book!

  3. what a beautiful review! my internet is very slow right now, and it’s all i can do to open emails, and it’s not allowing most of the comments to go through… but when the new system is installed, i look forward to reading not only christian’s, but also more of your posts!
    thanks so much for writing this!
    lisa/z

  4. […] Christian Mihai: A New Joseph Conrad?. […]

  5. kcorym says:

    I forget, who painted the top painting?

  6. Natchurally says:

    The artworks are amazing and thanks for recommending the book. I’m properly going to read it soon! Thanks!

  7. I should give “Jazz” a read when I gain the opportunity to purchase it properly. Mr. Mihai sure is interesting, huh?

  8. […] Sad, Sad Symphony stands as a very short piece of fiction by Christian Mihai, the author of Jazz.  Unlike his prior work, this one focuses on a more academic topic: why do artists produce art?  […]

  9. I enjoy, lead to I discovered exactly what I was having a look for.
    You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.
    Bye

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