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Instrumental

A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music
Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
4 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

James Rhodes' passion for music has been his absolute lifeline. It has been the thread that has held him together through a life that has encompassed pain, conflict and turmoil. Listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatised teenager or discovering an adagio by Bach while in a hospital ward - such exquisite miracles of musical genius have helped him survive his demons and, along with a chance encounter with a stranger, inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today. This is a memoir like no other: unapologetically candid, boldly outspoken and surprisingly funny - James' prose is shot through with an unexpectedly mordant wit, even at the darkest of moments. An impassioned tribute to the therapeutic powers of music, Instrumental also weaves in fascinating facts about how classical music actually works and about the extraordinary lives of some of the great composers. It explains why and how music has the potential to transform all of our lives.

©2014 James Rhodes (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The publishing sensation of the year." ( Mail on Sunday)
"Thrilling and harrowing.... Unsurpassed and unsurpassable" ( Sunday Times)
"There is an insight, often startling but always valuable, on almost every page...a tough, riveting read." ( The Times)

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  • A.Connor
  • 03-19-18

I urge others to hear this..

This is an important book - privilege, power & child rape; cultural contexts for ‘treatment’ & some kind of survival for Rhodes & for others, via music.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • shane
  • 08-06-19

very honest and open, I was instantly drawn in

There is a brutal honesty which is unapologetic in its delivery, and rightly so. An incredibly powerful insight into a, frankly, fucking awful start to life. I discovered this book by accident or by coincidence after a podcast I listened to featuring James Rhodes - I was unfamiliar with his name or his work, but after listening to the podcast and hearing about the existence of this book I had to discover more. I would like to say thank you James, for putting it all out there, exposing your soul and telling your story. There were so many moments that had me gasping, horrified, then equally hysterical, laughing out loud whilst commuting on the train, I was fully absorbed, and discovered a love for new music along the way.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-06-19

Fascinating and Honest

I listened to Fire on all Sides first and immediately went on to this. Both brilliant. My only criticism would be that the reader in 'Fire' was much better than this one, who sounds at times cynical and nasty. But, overall, wonderful.

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  • Dan Climpson
  • 01-27-19

experience breaks us but shapes us

a tragic but hopeful story that shows tomorrow can get better. James Rhodes is brutally honest about his flaws but inspiring and often funny and definitely heart felt.

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  • PV
  • 06-17-18

Raw, heart-breaking and honest insight

This harrowing book is a rare insight into a struggling and brilliant mind. Thank you James Rhodes for still being here for us despite everything. Keep on playing and inspiring

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  • Sneakers32
  • 10-30-18

Contemporary and moving

What a life. So much packed into what amounts to a very short book.

An offering in extremes - brutal, soothing, adventurous, stupid, triumphant but most of all, moving.

Beautifully and expressively read.

I am cheering on the breakdown of elitism that is set like plaque around classical music. James is an every-man rebel behind a piano keyboard. Marvellous.