The Piano Tuner- Daniel Mason

Cover of "The Piano Tuner: A Novel"

Cover of The Piano Tuner: A Novel

Synopsis (from Amazon)

On a misty London afternoon in 1886, piano tuner Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the War Office: he must leave his wife, and his quiet life in London, to travel to the jungles of Burma to tune a rare Erhard grand piano. The piano belongs to Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll, an enigmatic British officer, whose success at making peace in the war-torn Shan States is legendary, but whose unorthodox methods have begun to attract suspicion.


So begins the journey of the soft-spoken Edgar across Europe, the Red Sea, India, Burma, and at last into the remote highlands of the Shan States. En route he is entranced by the Doctor’s letters and by the shifting cast of tale-spinners, soldiers and thieves who cross his path.


As his captivation grows, however, so do his questions: about the Doctor’s true motives, about an enchanting and elusive woman who travels with him into the jungle, about why he came. And, ultimately, whether he will ever be able to return home unchanged to the woman who awaits him there . . .


Sensuous and lyrical, rich with passion and adventure, THE PIANO TUNER is an unforgettable and haunting novel.


I wrote about the trouble I was having with this book in my very waffley post earlier this week. It’s not that it was a bad book by any means, it was well written, and enough happened for me not to give up but the going was very slow, I was almost halfway through the book before Edgar even reached Burma and really for a book that supposedly is about him visiting Burma that really is something which takes a long time to arrive. I must admit that I found that the pace did quicken as I got further into the novel, and that meant I found the last few chapters actually went comparatively quickly, but two weeks for a book is a long time for me (especially as I had already read six others the same month) and that spoiled my enjoyment a little.

There were lots of sections which got me intrigued and wanting to know more, but often nothing more was said about them which made me a little annoyed as they were part of what kept me reading. In fact the most interesting portion for me was the man with one story, and I think I would have actually prefered a book about him to the book that was actually written! (I checked, it doesn’t seem Amazon has a book by Mason about the man with one story, although his second novel, A Distant Country sounds interesting) By the end I did want to know what was going to happen next but the end was a bit of a let down for me, there were lots of unanswered questions which I don’t even really have any theories about. I actually got the impression Mason didn’t know the answers either.

I had high hopes for this book as it was recommended by the same person who introduced me to Marukami but I didn’t get on with it half as well as Norwegian Wood



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Historical

4 responses to “The Piano Tuner- Daniel Mason

  1. Oh, I have real problems with books that are hard to get into! I love a book that grabs me from Page 1 and doesn’t let go. I guess I don’t have a lot of patience.

    I enjoyed your excellent review. Hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

    Cindy @ Cindy’s Book Club


  2. Lucybird

    I don’t mind if it takes a while to get going it can be quite rewarding that way but if it takes ages it’s annoying that’s why I have a 100 page rule


  3. Many have praise Salman Rusdie’s Midnight’s Children. I have tried twice to read that book. Still having the same problem. Can’t get more that chapter 2.


  4. Lucybird

    I loved Midnight’s Children but it wasn’t the easiest to start off with at least, I can see why you struggle.


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