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Publisher's Summary

When the love of your life dies, the problem is not that some part of you dies too, which it does, but that some part of you is still alive.   

The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret. Unbeknown to all but his wife Millie, Joss was a woman living as a man. The discovery is most devastating for their adopted son, Colman, whose bewildered fury brings the press to the doorstep and sends his grieving mother to the sanctuary of a remote Scottish village.

Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize, Trumpet by Jackie Kay is a starkly beautiful modern classic about the lengths to which people will go for love. It is a moving story of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, of loving deception and lasting devotion, and of the intimate workings of the human heart.  

©1998 Jackie Kay (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Trumpet

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful and True

A beautiful meditation on what it's like to change identities, and to be true to yourself; about grief and forgiveness; about the funny problems of conventional life, and unconventional life too. It rings true.

Amazing narration, by an actor so skilled at making not just different accents but different people come alive in the recording.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing characterization and performance to match

The narrator was great, the different voices made it easy to distinguish between characters and sections. There is one section in particular where the text flows from the son speaking as a 30 something young man to his memories as a child and the narrator's change in voice provides as seamless and smooth a transition as the text.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Story and Narration

Would you listen to Trumpet again? Why?

I would definitely listen again. I was easily able to connect with the main characters and the narrator did a fantastic job of bringing them to life.

What about Cathleen McCarron’s performance did you like?

There were times when her narration felt so real and so raw that it brought me to tears.

Who was the most memorable character of Trumpet and why?

I loved Millie. I truly felt like she was sharing her love, her grief, and her memories with me. My heart broke for her at times.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesomely Written and Narrated

I love this book, I love the story, and I love the voice performance. Very touching. Please listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Perpetuated ignorance of gender dysphoria

This book made me angry. While the writer clearly is gifted in creating atmosphere and using language to set the tone, the characters who were ignorant and misunderstood the trauma of gender dysphoria seemed to be the loudest. Love was a key theme, that is true, but hatred and ignorance were so descriptive it hurt to hear it expressed with such vileness. I feel this book normalizes sensationalizing the heartbreak of gender dysphoria. There was no education, no edification in the progress of the characters coming to understand. The character of Sophie, the journalist spoke too loudly. There were no consequences for her level of hatred and selfishness. The character of Coleman, the son, did progress but so much of the book was given to his disdain, with overuse of the 'f' word that it was like being battered by the language. At the conclusion of this book, I am left feeling like the author has no compassion for those who live a life knowing they were born in the wrong body.

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awesome

this was amazing. timely. heart-wrenching and heart-warming. So well-narrated. so intense and well-written/read.
I loved the narrator, who brought it to life.

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  • Ian C
  • 11-20-16

Touching, Cathartic, Thought-Provoking

Deep, emotional exploration of identity, love, and the interconnectedness of humanity. Each character has their own story to tell, affected by the event at the start of the novel in a different way. Ultimately however, they are brought together for their connection to a single special person, their understanding of what Joss truly is: not male or female, or black or white, but human. Fantastic read

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs Kate Evans
  • 02-03-14

Love, loss and some laughs.

Would you consider the audio edition of Trumpet to be better than the print version?

Yes. I have the print edition but am currently hooked on all things audio.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Definitely Millie. I liked her honesty, the fact that what she and Joss had was no less real than any other couple

Which character – as performed by Cathleen McCarron – was your favourite?

Again it was Millie. Some heartbreakingly tender descriptions of her love for Joss.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

If music be the food of love, play Jazz.

Any additional comments?

Thoroughly enjoyed the book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Pensive Scarlet
  • 02-21-21

Mesmerising

I don't know how to describe this book, I thought to write a beautiful tale, but that is not really it. The story is deeply sad and deeply uplifting all at the same time.
The words do not feel like just words, they feel like something so much more.
This is one of those books that left me feeling empty when it ended, like a person left my life.

The narration is wonderful

1 person found this helpful

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  • hayat
  • 04-03-18

tender, sweet and soothing

one of my favourite books with an amazing narration. thank you Jackie Kay for writing something so beautiful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 07-09-21

Tedious story

Really couldn't see the point of this book. Repetitive and too long for the weak storyline.

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  • Sandra
  • 07-01-21

Enjoyable story, well narrated

I enjoyed this story and the book had a distinctive style. In the main that style was engaging but on occasion there was time spent on areas that didn’t hold my interest. The narration was excellent.

Overall, this was a good listen and I’d recommend it.

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  • Sarah Fry
  • 05-23-20

a good read

Read very well with a range of voices
I wanted more for the story, more Jos, or more from the mother son relationship.

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  • Caron Elliott
  • 12-26-19

Beautiful & Heartbreaking

Jackie Kay is fabulous. What a story! I really enjoyed the book and the narrator is amazing too!