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Love is Blind

Love is Blind

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He wasn't of course, but I became so immersed in the lives of Logan Mountstuart and John James Todd that I really found it hard to accept I was reading a piece if fiction.

I liked little snippets such as that although Brodie became fluent in French, it was owing to sheer hard work – he never mastered Russian or German, so clearly wasn’t a natural linguist – somehow this minor detail interspersed in the story made him more real. We are told of Brodie’s encounters with prostitutes and he is evidently attractive to women, and generally quite personable and popular. Yet there is also a sense of mischief and playfulness imbued into its narrative that takes the form of several elaborate homages to other books and stories. WILLIAM BOYD has received world-wide acclaim for his novels which have been translated into over thirty languages. He works for the Channon Piano Company at their Edinburgh showroom and we follow him through the ups and down of his working life, track his physical health, meet his large family and travel as far and wide as France, Switzerland, Russia and the little known Andaman Islands (in the Bay of Bengal if you're wondering).Alone, with an incurable disease, uncertain about the compass of his life so far, he goes a little crazy, just like one of those crazy Russians in a Dostoyevsky novel. After 14 novels and many literary prizes, Boyd’s storytelling abilities are beyond dispute and are clearly on display in this latest tale that follows its hero, Brodie Moncur, on a restless journey from Scotland to Europe and beyond as the 19th century shades into the 20th . He has written several novels which I have loved, all of which share a similar characteristic which is that he takes you through decades of a character's life and gets you to care so deeply for that character and to become so enthralled by his/her story that you almost believe this character to be real. As with all of his novels, Boyd peppers this book with a wealth of characters which are almost Dickensian, not least his ogre of a father and the Kilbarron brothers. Now, whereof Nerias knew that his son Sedacius was caught in the snares of harlots and indeed had lusted after his brother’s wife, Ruth, and his brother’s daughter, Esther, and showed no remorse, yet Nerias suffered his son to live in his own house, yea, and fed him and his servants also.

I assumed that the flaw in the system would ultimately form a key plot point - but when it didn't it caused me to wonder if the author saw the flaw.

My point here isn’t to chart the extent of Love is Blind’s Chekhovian overlay but just to reflect on what the internet adds – and takes away from – reading fiction.

I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes. this book offers a fascinating insight into how the instrument works and it also plays with the trope of tortured artistic souls albeit the elements that may seem half-familiar from the lives of genuine classical composers and performers are amplified in the case of the monstrous Kilbarron - if you like, he is John Field gone bad! The main character, a piano tuner from Scotland, is one of the most sympathetic hero’s in literature. Like the inner workings of a finely-tuned piano, the harmony of William Boyd’s Love is Blind is the work of true craftsmanship that is sensed more than outwardly observed.

Probably not, but when you consider reported incidences of stalking, obsessive jealousy and refusal to accept a former lover has moved on, perhaps it is less unusual than one thinks. Or perhaps he was just on a tight schedule, as the whole thing seemed hurried and badly in need of further attention.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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