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The Resource Love is blind : the rapture of Brodie Moncur, William Boyd

Love is blind : the rapture of Brodie Moncur, William Boyd

Label
Love is blind : the rapture of Brodie Moncur
Title
Love is blind
Title remainder
the rapture of Brodie Moncur
Statement of responsibility
William Boyd
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Brodie Moncur is a piano tuner, as brilliant in his own way as John Kilbarron, the pianist Brodie accompanies on all of his tours. It is a luxurious life, and a level of success Brodie could hardly have dreamed of growing up in a remote Scottish village, in a household ruled by a tyrannical father. But Brodie would gladly give it all up for the love of the Russian soprano Lika Blum: beautiful, worldly, seductive-- and consort to Kilbarron. Brodie's passion for Lika only grows as their lives become increasingly more intertwined, more secretive, and, finally, more dangerous. What Brodie doesn't know about Lika, and about her connection to Kilbarron and his sinister brother, Malachi, eventually tests Brodie's ability, and will, to survive. -- adapted from publisher info
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Moving from Edinburgh in 1894 to the far-flung Andaman Islands in 1906, and smoothly landing in various European cities in between, Boyd’s (Sweet Caress, 2015) affecting novel follows a young Scotsman’s ardent pursuit of a woman and its treacherous consequences. An appealing though naive protagonist, Brodie Moncur has perfect pitch, a gift he uses as an accomplished piano tuner. He agrees to help manage a Parisian piano showroom, but he hates leaving his siblings behind with their controlling preacher father in their rural village. Brodie’s quest for a sponsorship arrangement for his employer’s business introduces him to the celebrated pianist John Kilbarron, his shifty brother, Malachi, and John’s mistress, Russian soprano Lika Blum; and they all accompany Kilbarron on his concert tours. Brodie falls hard for Lika, which leads to clandestine meetings, a high-stress lifestyle, and, eventually, much worse. Their relationship feels more like erotic passion than love, but the novel hauntingly depicts how strong emotions can skew one’s perceptions. Boyd beautifully paints the settings and the moods they evoke while sending readers on Brodie’s adventurous, troublesome, and transformative journey. -- Sarah Johnson (Reviewed 9/15/2018) (Booklist, vol 115, number 2, p33)
  • Boyd’s lively 15th novel (following Sweet Caress) careens across the world following a consumptive, dueling, romantic piano tuner named Brodie Moncur. In a wild story whose prose reads as if written in 1888 (the year in which it is set), this seasoned author’s handsome protagonist flees his oppressive Scottish family, first to Edinburgh, where he goes to work for Channon & Co. Sent to Paris by his boss, Ainsley Channon, to boost piano sales, Brodie’s career is sabotaged by Channon’s thieving son, Calder. Brodie is then approached by pianist John Kilbarron, the “Irish Liszt,” and Kilbarron’s evil brother, Malachi, who convince him to travel with them to Russia, having discovered he can tune Kilbarron’s piano to mask a painful weakness in the maestro’s right hand. As time goes on, however, Brodie falls in love with Kilbarron’s mistress, Russian singer Lika Blum. When their affair, Lika’s secretiveness, and a musical betrayal stir up trouble, Brodie flees the Kilbarrons and Russia. Complicating matters is Brodie’s tuberculosis, a constant threat that dials up the book’s tension and, along with an old-fashioned duel in St. Petersburg, allows the author a few action scenes. This man-on-the-run tale, which wraps up at one exotic end of the Earth, is strangely ageless and very entertaining. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed 08/06/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 32, p)
  • Winner of Whitbread and Costa honors, among other awards, Boyd here features gifted piano tuner Brodie Moncur, who travels through fin de siècle Europe with John Kilbarron—"The Irish Liszt." It's an exciting life, but his love of enticing Russian soprano Lika Blum, Kilbarron's consort, complicates matters. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 05/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 8, p46)
  • Romance, deceit, revenge, missed opportunities, and piano-tuning are the central themes of an immersive new novel from a much-praised British writer. After 14 novels and many literary prizes, Boyd's (Sweet Caress, 2016, etc.) 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. One of 14 children (nine living) born to a bruising Scottish preacher, Brodie is blessed with perfect pitch, a gift which frees him from his oppressive home and leads to work at the expanding Channon piano company in Edinburgh. Promoted to a post at the new Paris showroom, Brodie suggests that the company widen its name recognition by giving an instrument to a famous concert pianist, which is how he comes to meet John Kilbarron, "the Irish Liszt," and his lovely Russian girlfriend, Lika. It's Brodie's all-consuming love for Lika which now propels the story forward, as he loses his job at Channon's (falsely accused of embezzlement) and joins Kilbarron and his entourage on a luxurious sponsored trip to pre-revolutionary Russia. Layers of secrecy are both laid down and exposed as Brodie and Lika pursue a secret affair, yet Lika remains a shadowy figure, partly intentionally, partly through Boyd's failure to fully flesh her out. This and Brodie's desultory progress in life leave a sense of hollowness at the core of the story, although Boyd's tale-spinning is never less than enjoyable, dotted as it is with odd plot turns and much engaging detail. Its conclusion is perhaps the oddest turn of all, a departure that leaves the reader hungry for answers to some questions, especially those relating to Brodie's family, that are left dangling. All for Love or The Road Not Taken might have served as alternate titles for this largely good-humored, not especially deep-digging, quality entertainment. (Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10732604
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1952-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Boyd, William
Dewey number
823/.914
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Pianists
  • Piano technicians
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Pianists
  • Piano technicians
  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / Historical / General
  • FICTION / Romance / Historical / General
Label
Love is blind : the rapture of Brodie Moncur, William Boyd
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
"This is a Borzoi Book"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1032293025
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First American edition.
Extent
369 pages
Isbn
9780525655268
Lccn
2018015401
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1032293025
Label
Love is blind : the rapture of Brodie Moncur, William Boyd
Publication
Copyright
Note
"This is a Borzoi Book"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1032293025
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First American edition.
Extent
369 pages
Isbn
9780525655268
Lccn
2018015401
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1032293025

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