Tag Archives: The Piano Tuner

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

Because I want to!


Image by dr. muerte se come el mundo via Flickr

Oh I really shouldn’t have made that my title! I have The Billie Piper song in my head now (I dare you to click the link go on!). Was that really 1998? Yeah shut-up Lucy.

So if you can’t guess from that beginning I really wanted to write a blog post today, but I have no reviews to post because I’ve finished no books this week, and no inspiration for a musings post. Which leaves me sitting here with a blank page and a Billie Piper song stuck in my head.

suddenly this is turning into a post about Billie Piper, strange for a book blog right. Err but it can connect I suppose err Billie Piper plays Hannah in The Secret Diary of a London Call Girl which was a book first (or was it a blog first, whatever I read the book before there was a TV show). Out of interest has anyone read The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl, is it any good? It’s been on my wishlist for literally years.

Ok so I thought maybe talk about why there has been no review this week. It’s pretty unusual for me not to read a book in a week, my general rate is pretty much a book a week, a review a week which is a comfortable level for me, I don’t feel the need to blog everyday and so long as I get a none meme post off about once a week I’m happy, if it’s more that’s even better. Yes this week I have posted none meme posts (both about Pottermore I think, but so what it’s exciting!), so why do I feel the need to blog today?

I suppose it’s unusual for me not to post a review and that makes me feel somewhat out of sorts. Especially when I have already read 6 books this month, somewhat of a record for me. Not that this fixes that but whatever. Blogging for the sake of blogging right?

Why haven’t I finished a book this week? While I can honestly say I’m not getting on too well with The Piano Tuner. I’m about 150 pages in currently which is past my I can give up if I get to this point, point. So that means it’s not a total loss, but I think it still says something when it takes me a week to get to a point that would usually take me a couple of days. I don’t know what it is with the book really. I can tell the style of writing is good and everything feels very authentic it just doesn’t really feel like much is happening. Sure things have happened, and those are the parts that have kept me reading really, for more parts like that. It still feel like a scene is being set too which makes me think there’s still some potential for this to be a good book, it’s just taking it’s time getting there.

It think it says something that I didn’t really feel like reading it one evening and picked up a book which has been on my To Be Read Pile for about 6 years, Pooh and the Psychologists. It’s a book that feels right to read slowly. It’s a bit silly, and a bit far-fetched but the psychology behind it is genuine enough and the way it’s presented it pretty fun. It’s not going to replace The Piano Tuner, because I can see it driving me crazy if it was all I was reading but it’s good as something light and easy enough to put down before bed.

So yes there is no review instead there’s a random post which can only very loosely be called a post of musings!

Actually speaking of random musings I found a bookmark in The Book Tuner (it was sent to me from bookmooch), it’s one of those arty type book marks which doesn’t really look that arty but like he sort of picture postcard art which is really a bit tacky. All the same it’s quite nice to find things in books. You could say I found something in Pooh and the Psychologists too (bought from a charity bookshop) but that was a message because the book was originally a present. I actually thought the message sounded quite personal at the time and that it was quite sad that someone had given away the book, but apparently I have an unnatural attachment to my books. The boyfriend has the attitude that it doesn’t matter if they get battered because you can always buy another (which makes me tell him off when he throws book across the room…yes I did say throws).

Oh and on the 100 page policy. I started it after reading the first Harry Potter, because I may actually have never finished it if it hadn’t been the school holidays and I wanted to read something because it took quite a lot for me to get through the first few chapters, but it’s ended up being a favourite of mine (even if I do still started at The Shack in the Sea). So to stop the same happening again I told myself that I couldn’t give up on a book until I had read at least 100 pages. It seemed a sensible number of pages, readable in a day if I really raced through them (although that barely ever happens when I am contemplating giving up, and if it did I would probably decide to carry on because I don’t really like giving up on books, and it would only take a little longer to do), long enough that a scene could be set and the story really started, but not so long that it would feel like a chore to get that far. In reality I rarely do give up at 100 pages, I have to really hate a book to do that. If there is any sign of promise I will plough on. It’s seems a pretty good system, I have ended up loving books that I considered giving up before 100 pages. Maybe the struggle makes it more rewarding?

Right am going to shut-up now. Well done if you got this far through all the waffle, especially all the rubbish about Billie Piper at the beginning! Maybe you should reward yourself by entering my giveaway?


Filed under Musings