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Publisher's Summary

From neuroscientist and New York Times best-selling author of Still Alice comes a powerful and heartbreaking exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce - his divorce. 

He knows his left arm will go next. 

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn't moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard's muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it's too late.

Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.

©2018 Lisa Genova (P)2018 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrators Dennis Boutsikaris and Dagmara Dominczyk bring to life this compelling story... Boutsikaris gets inside the mind and spirit of Richard... Dominczyk brings complicated layers of anger, regret, resentment, confusion, and love to the voice of estranged wife Karina." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendi
  • Houston, TX
  • 03-23-18

Not Nearly As Good As Her Others

What I feared might happen has definitely happened. Lisa Genova is showing more of her 'neuroscientist' personality in her books, which should be a balance of rich, complex characters as well as neuroscience.

I loved 'Still Alice.' I adored 'Left Neglected.' The O'Brien's are a family I won't soon forget. However, 'Every Note Played' falls flat. (Pardon the pun).

Usually we see the 'beginning' of the rare disease Genova writes about. Her characters have symptoms and then get diagnosed. In 'Every Note Played' we are immediately notified that the main character, Richard, has ALS. We are then told his story and the story of his ex wife.

The description of ALS is so personal and effective. The way Genova describes the ongoing ruin of Richard's body makes the reader (listener) cringe. The picture is clear, and Richard's pain and suffering are so real. Obviously, as always, Genova has done meticulous and immaculate research on the progression of the disease. (All of her books are focused on some kind of disease or disorder).

The problem is, the characters are completely unlikable. I wanted to stop listening several times because, quite frankly, I hate all three major characters- especially the one with ALS. Genova has disassociated the fiction with the facts, and the book comes off only as an in depth description of what happens during the frightening and terrifying stages of ALS.

I was hoping for more, but I respect Genova's writing and research abilities. Bring back characters like Alice and the O'Brien family Lisa!

-Wendi

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gripped me from the first word.

I did not like this book. I adored it. Yes, the subject matter of ALS is devastatingly sad but it is one of those subjects that is either swept under the rug or spoken of in hushed tones. In ‘Every Note Played’ it is approached without frills and very much in your face. It is raw yet poignant.

It is a story of great loss. Loss of a god given gift ripped away by a heartless disease. Loss of love stolen by pride. Then remorse followed by a kind of peace that touches your soul.

Lisa Genova has,as ever, done her research and is medically accurate. This is a superb book as time flies when you are listening to it. The narrators gave brilliant performances.

Five stars all the way.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Lisa Genova writes wonderful novels

I have loved her stories of people and families dealing with very difficult neurological disorders. I am a nurse with a better understanding of ALS and it’s impact on patients and caregivers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent story; female reader poor

Powerful and sensitive story well-written. Male reader excellent. Female reader style greatly diminished the listening experience. Her voice descended into whispers way too frequently making it difficult to hear... especially while driving. The power of the story was lost in those whispers. Quite unfortunate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lots of excellent information

This book is a worthwhile education in ALS, but both main characters are so flawed and self-ansorbed that liking this book is difficult.

It is an easy listen and moves right along, but the arrogant Richard and the angry and self-defeating Karina are immature in spite of their years.

Voice actor Dennis Boutsikaris is excellent but you want to urge the actress who plays Karina to pick it up and move it along. Too neurasthenic by a lot. Her accent, however, is charming.

There is a fairly nice kid, which I always like to see.

Educational but far from uplifting. Perhaps that is too much to ask from such a terrible disease.

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Lisa Genova does it again

I have read all of Lisa Genova's books and have never been disappointed. As a neurologist, she certainly knows her subject, and researches all of the intricacies to have not only an informative story about the subject, but also delves into the lives of not only the patient but the families and all who are affected. With her storytelling, you become involved just as her characters. My favorite author.

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Gut-Wrenching, Captivating

Genova writes truly human, unflinchingly flawed characters who are met with a cruel and dignity-robbing disease that backs them into a corner of guilt, burden and the question of responsibility. A candid depiction of ALS and the deterioration of the body throughout the awful progression of this disease.

The undercurrent of our need for redemption and amelioration is weighty and true. Who is forgiveness really benefitting? There is also the age-old tale of how a supportive wife gets lost in her efforts of giving, thereby GIVING UP her sense of self and her own dreams, and then becoming irrevocably resentful. After finally breaking free of those chains, would you be willing to get locked in them again under the pretense of helping a severely compromised ex-husband? This is a story of blame, forgiveness, the weight of love and our willingness to set aside pride in the waning moments left in a person's life. This is a story of what it takes to say the things we cannot say. Genova's writing is informative and honest. You won't love these characters, but you will love this story. I ciuldn't stop listening.

The narrators are flawless. I doubt I would have had the same reaction to this book if I'd read the print version ~ this is a case when narrators enhanced the experience. Dennis Boutsikaris is simply outstanding as the disease progresses and his voice exemplifies Richard's journey from taut arrogance, through disbelief and denial to stark surrender. Dagmara Dominczyk depicts a wife mired in excuses and blame. Her anger and her anguish are palpable. I was so affected by the hospital chapters, as soon as I finished listening to the novel, I immediately sought out Schummann's Fantasie in C Major. Breathtaking.

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Raw and real

Expect any novel by Lisa Genova to tell it like it is. She does not sugarcoat yet she offers an empathetic, tender rendering of life with a torturing illness. Painful and beautifully written, Every Note Played is another successful work.

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Enjoyable but a tear jerker

Our book club picked this for our current book. I listened to it while on vacation and at work. I really enjoyed it.

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Another Amazing Story from Lisa Genova!

I think I have read (or listened, or both) to all of the books Lisa Genova has written starting with "Still Alice". That book took me in and touched me in ways that most other books can't. My mother had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and I had already lost my Grandfather and two of my aunts to this hideous disease. I bought several copies of this book because I kept giving them to family and friends that I wanted to "Just read this book". I've read every book she has written since then and I particularly appreciated "Every Note Played". Hearing the thoughts of the different people affected by ALs, how each one reacted to the news and took care of each other was touching. The narration was spot on for both readers - a very touching listen.

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  • Carol Gladwin
  • 05-28-18

So touching and insightful.

Love her characters and ability to help you relate to them. She is an amazing storyteller.

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  • V Nerd (Kermit), Reviews by Audio Killed the Bookmark
  • 05-25-18

5 Heartbreaking Stars

Oh my goodness this book certainly hits you right in the feels!

This is all about the story of Richard and Karina, they were married for a while, but it all kind of went pear-shaped and they split a few years ago, they have a daughter between them, Grace, who is currently at University, and doesn’t really have much to do with her father.

Richard is a pianist, a really famous concert pianist, he has played all over the world, and has many fans and admirers, Richard loves this, he loves that fact that people love him, he is quite an arrogant man.

Karina is also a pianist, she prefers Jazz, she gave up her dream as a performer to support Richard in his dream.
The thing is, Richard took advantage of this, while he was away playing with the orchestra, Karina was looking after their new baby, Richard however was looking after his own needs with other women!

Karina couldn’t take it anymore, and rightly left him!

Richard is unfortunately diagnosed with ALS, he tries his best to cope with it on his own for a while, but after a strange twist of fate and a wrong number dialled, Karina ends up being his carer.

This book pulls no punches in relation to this awful disease, it starts from the twitching in the muscles, and takes us through every terrible thing that can happen after diagnosis, like the wheelchair, or the fact that your body locks itself, or that you can’t swallow, or that you have the option of recording your own voice and “banking” it, because after a while you won’t be able to talk / eat / chew anymore.

A big shout out also has to go for the guys who help care for people diagnosed with ALS, they are angels in a time of hell for the person with this awful disease, their time and patience with these people is remarkable.

You may know a little about ALS, like seeing Stephen Hawkins, or you took part in the ice Bucket challenge to raise money for it.

You may have first hand experience of this silent killer, I luckily for one have not, but i sure do send my hugs & prayers to anyone that has.

Not everyone is like Stephen Hawkins, in fact ALS will probably kill within 3 years, it is a devastating disease, and i hope one day that we find a cure, because currently there is NOTHING!

I didn’t realise that Lisa Genova was a neuroscientist, but after reading Still Alice & this book, it kind of makes sense, she knows exactly what she is talking about, and pulls no punches and rightly makes no apologies for it.

It broke my heart, but i am am so glad i read it

Prepare yourself for this one, it’s a tough read.

Find your hankies,

Vicci

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  • Sydney Cider
  • 07-03-18

Fantastic novel

This is a wonderful, touching story buy the female narrator with the whispering voice drove me insane. Totally ruined the story for me. I started every chapter hoping it would be the male.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marian
  • 06-25-18

Unforgettable

Another unforgettable book by Lisa Genova. What a gift she has in portraying unimaginable conditions in such a way. This book has so many layers and the connections with classical music were awesome. Just had to keep listening. Will stay with me for a long time. Thank you.