Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Links for the next meeting - The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

A five star review from Amazon -

"Highly imaginative, obsessive and truly magical novel by Daniel Mason. A combination of fiction, fantasy and travelogue, an ambitious but intriguing piece of work by Mason.
The plot seems to be travel fantasy - Edgar Drake, a piano tuner with perfection in Erards, travels in to darkest jungles of Burma and 1886 to help the Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll. A sea voyage and boat journey in to the remotest possible place one would imagine to repair and tune a piano - a special piano, a peacemaker."

"This book has a lot going for it. The plotline is intriguing - an expert piano tuner, an authority on Erards, goes to darkest Burma to tune the piano of the eccentric but hugely effective Surgeon Major Carroll. The writer knows a lot about different aspects of his subject - sea travel in the late 19th. century, the topics which interest Carroll, Burmese history, the British presence in Burma, pianos and how to tune them .... all of that seems fine. It's fairly well written and moves forward in a competent way. But I seldom was really interested. Why? I think this is a book which works too hard. There is just too much validating detail, the stuff you need to make an exotic book like this come to life. It is too consciously written and it loses the naturalness and simplicity of a well-told tale. Once the tuner, Drake, got to Carroll's base I quite liked it, and I read the second half quickly, drawn on by the story, but I was never fully convinced and I did not find it compelling."