THE SNAKE HORN by Morton Grosser


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If the hip scene at Danny's house, where his jazz musician father Beau has been suffering from a run of bad karma, seems a bit exaggerated, it does provide an ironically congenial setting for the materialization of music master Anthony Quennell, who arrives via a time warp from 1670 when Danny plays the antique horn (a tartold) he's been given as a present. Right from Danny's first double-take (""He was obviously hip; he had long curly hair and a ruffled blouse. . . . He was probably some dangerous drug freak, I thought"") Quennell's presence is played for farce, but with enough authentic historical, musical and occult background to make him palpable. Before being piped home with an anti-dybbuk chant (on a day chosen by a Chinese herbalist) ""Tony"" Quennell teaches Beau a few good 17th century horn riffs and borrows a few themes from Handel (born 1685) which will establish his own reputation among his contemporaries via his Suite for the Royal Pavilion at Bath. Funnier than the usual variations on this popular theme.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1973
Publisher: Atheneum