American Harold Middleton is a music professor and former war crimes investigator who is called to Poland to assess whether or not a manuscript purported to be an original, previously undiscovered, Chopin is genuine or a fake. However, the man that Harold meets with is murdered soon after their meeting and it soon becomes clear that there is more to the manuscript than mere rarity.
For what is essentially a publishing gimmick the book is delightfully entertaining. The plot rollicks along with red herrings and shocking twists aplenty, just as a good thriller should. The only evidence that the story is written by 15 different people is that there are perhaps a few more characters than normal, but the upside to that is that there are more genuine surprises than you might expect with a book authored by a sole writer who has pet characters and plot threads. There are several themes which are carried throughout the book, such as the role of music, and these help to produce a surprisingly cohesive story.
None of the characters are particularly well developed, there are too many and the book too short for that, but as this is a book all about a fast paced plot that's not a huge turnoff on this occasion. There was enough information to glean about Harold, his daughter Charlie, the evil Faust and a few of the other characters to engage my interest and keep me listening.
The book is narrated by actor Alfred Molina who does a superb job of handling the dialogue-rich story which features a couple of dozen characters.
This was really an excellent book! It could have turned out to be awful with so many fingers in the pudding, but it was just the opposite. I found it unique and I couldn't wait to see where the next author took us. The two winner short stories were a nice addition. Thank you writers for such excellent work and story line. It was a real great read.
Each chapter of this book was written by a different author, the promise was to have a seamless story. And it is seamless, yet noting the difference in writing style, slightly different prose was fascinating. I READ books to enjoy the use of language and style; I usually listen to books that are just plain engrossing and fun. In this book I was able to experience both. Enjoyable, good listen!
I loved how each author made his/her chapter as exciting as possible and with its own arc that still fit into the arc of the overall story. The characters are fun. Well worth it.
This is an amazing story. It is fast paced, and really action-packed. The plot, to be put simply, is similar to the DaVinci Code. Harry Middleton holds a rare manuscript, and someone is out to get it from him. This someone will kill anyone who stands in the way, including Harry.
It has a really good plot and story behind it, but the only thing is that near the beginning they introduce so many different characters that it is difficult to keep everyone straight in your mind. Once you get down who the people are and their relationship to protagonist Harry Middleton, it flows nicely and is a really cool story.
Alfred Molina does a wonderful job bringing the story to life. I couldn't wait to get in my car after school knowing that I had this book waiting for me! Hope you enjoy!
I am not english native. I do buy english audiobooks to learn english and to get entertained at the sametime. :o)
About the book: I liked it very much, but: Plot has many twists, many characters do survive about 15 seconds :o) Characers are described only vaguely... Everybody is shooting everyone without hesitation. It is reminding me B action film. Entertainment only, do not look for something more. Anyway, I would buy that one again.
I've only recently found this audio book and have enjoyed it so much I immediately bought The Copper Bracelet. Not only was I fascinated by the concept but all the threads opened up by each of the writers were immensely intriguing. The way Jeffery Deaver pulled it altogether in the last chapter was extraordinary. Kudos to all for taking up the challenge and participating in it so brilliantly.
Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child have always been favourites of mine and I can't wait for their new works to come out. Not only is The Chopin Manuscript a really, really good listen, but it's opened my eyes and ears to a whole other group of writers that I am now going to investigate as potential favourite authors too. Good going Gentlemen & Ladies!!
With so many authors, it is hard to believe that such a cohesive and engaging story. This book keeps you guessing until the end and the authors seemed to challenge each other by twisting the expected storyline into completely unforeseen directions.
I was very reluctant to try this, hating the idea of multiple authors working in any which direction on the same story. But, it worked surprisingly well, perhaps thanks to the skill of the narrator. Anyway, I liked it.
The only negative about this audiobook is that the bonus short stories seem a bit lackluster after hearing the book itself.
The writing, performance, and overall presentation are nearly unmatched. No wonder this was the audiobook of the year. Why did I not listen to this sooner? Simply remarkable.