©2002 Daniel Mason; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Richly imagined, The Piano Tuner winds like a lazy river, carrying the reader into the mythic land of Kipling and Conrad." (People)
"A novel for readers of literary and popular fiction alike; highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Malcolm creates the aura of another world and time filled with exploration, adventure, and self-discovery." (AudioFile)
I picked this book based on my fascination with British colonialism during the 19th century and the narrator's fantastic work with Bill Bryson's book "A Brief History of Everything". The narrator's range of vocal characters is unmatched and he even manages to do female vocals well enough. The setting is richly described in detail. Unfortunately, the story is fairly slow up until the 2nd to last chapter and the payoff is left missing. For those reasons, I gave it a 3 star review
Beautifully written but the story of an anglo's journey to the "exotic" and colonial east is a bit tired by now. The main character is so vaporous that you don't really care what happens to him.
Well read interesting story, departure from usual genre; but written in classic style. Educational but not pedantic. Seemed to end too quickly for me tied loose ends together after a long journey.
The reader is immediately drawn into the protagonist's world and cannot escape. Unforgettable and disturbing reality. We have all had a 'piano tuner' experience at one time in our lives. Very well read.
I did not have any problem with the narrator, He seemed just fine to me.
As for the book itself, perhaps I just do not fully get the point. There does seem to be a lot of symbolism floating around. There is some good writing, and the writer is pretty good at describing scenes and the like, but there is too much discussion of landscape and the like. Also, sometimes there seems to be just too many words. It seemed sort of original in sections, although very much like an inverse Heart of Darkness. At other times it seemed like a shifting mix of adventure story, existential tome, and magical realism.
Bottomline, it was worth reading, but I sure do not think it is a great novel. For those that think it is a great book, what exactly is the great teaching here? And what is the ending supposed to mean, or teach us or whatever? Other than that the author had to wrap it up somehow.
I had heard such great things about this book that I was keen to hear it read. Unfortunately, I wish I had read it instead. The reader has the clipped, overdramatic tone of Mr. Peterman on Seinfeld, paintng "word pictures" of exotic journeys to faraway lands. This is an impressive first novel, but needs a better reader, one with more sensitivity to his subject. Women's voices are especially badly done, coming across as old ladies with sore throats. The men alll sound alike.
The background information about the British presence in the far east was very interesting and informative. The plot is very unbelievable, but the action of the story carries the listener along.
Very boring, the writer had very little imagination; you never connect to the Piano Turner. The ending as he tried to dramatize it just strengthen the fact the book was a bore. Had I been reading this I would have closed the pages at around chapter 4 or 5.
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