Posted 20 hours ago

Love is Blind

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I was resting on one stars, but I decided to give two, purely because the first half of the book did in fact, intrigue me, and the writing was good.

In the late 1890s, Brodie Moncur is an expert piano tuner, working for a Edinburgh based piano manufacturer, and when the chance arises for him to move to Paris to try to reinvigorate their showroom there he grasps it with both hands. But a chance meeting with a talented musician sends Brodie in a downward spiral, defining his life for years to come. They are: A Good Man in Africa (1981, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize) An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), The New Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, 1995), Armadillo (1998) and Any Human Heart (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet). He settles on John Kilbarron — “a bit passé, perhaps, but one of the real old-school klaviertigers 10 or 20 years ago. I assumed that the flaw in the system would ultimately form a key plot point - but when it didn't it caused me to wonder if the author saw the flaw.My sincere thanks to Penguin Books UK and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Then, after a hundred or so pages of nothing, the book just ended, and while I suppose the ending made sense, and made up a little for what had gone before, it was incredibly anticlimactic and failed to provide nearly the same emotional punch as many of Boyd's other works. On the plus side, there's quite a lot of story here as the tale sweeps from Edinburgh to Paris to St Petersburg and then swoops off to the Andaman Islands. Brodie meets Lydia Blum, a Russian soprano destined to be the love of his life, although their affair results in them going on the run in fear of their lives .

For example, it made perfect sense to me that Brodie came to be framed for embezzlement and then subsequently fired from the Channon Piano firm, despite the fact that clearly he was innocent! Whether describing a lethal standoff or a bloody visitation, Boyd holds us fast, fixing our gaze on details that are startlingly fresh even as he tells a story that we seem to know well .

In his new novel, William Boyd has a veteran pianist explain the way a piece of music draws a listener’s tears: Just when you think you know where the harmony is going to go, it remains tantalizingly unresolved. There are lots of female breasts (lots) and quite a lot of masturbation (not explicit) all of which render sex as a transaction rather than something more emotional, no matter how many times Brodie swears his undying (ha!

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