Columnist Steve Lopez is at a dead end. The newspaper business is in an uproar, his marriage to a fellow journalist has fallen apart and he can’t entirely remember what he loved about his job in the first place. Then, one day, while walking through Los Angeles’ Skid Row, he sees the mysterious bedraggled figure Nathaniel Ayers, pouring his soul into a two-stringed violin. At first, Lopez approaches Ayers as just another story idea in a city of millions. But as he begins to unearth the mystery of how this brilliant and distracted street musician, it sparks an unexpected quest.
Sample Discussion Guide Questions:
As a columnist it would have been easy for Steve Lopez to use Ayers; story as a means to generate newspaper sales and readership, but instead Lopez developed a real and lasting relationship with Nathaniel Anthony Ayres. Why do you think Lopez took such a personal interest in Ayres?
How did Lopez’s relationship with Ayers impact you? Are there aspects of their relationship with which you can identify when taking into consideration your personal relationships? What are the similarities in their relationships? What are the differences?