Paolo Maurensig Canone Inverso: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780805063028

Canone Inverso: A Novel

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9780805063028: Canone Inverso: A Novel

Paolo Maurensig's first novel, The Lneberg Variation, was hailed worldwide as an immediate classic. Now Canone Inverso-the classic tale of the doppelgänger reimagined-has confirmed Maurensig's reputation as a modern master.

In an isolated Austrian music school in the 1930s, two boys, each struggling with the burden of talent and the curse of obsession, become locked in a complex friendship. The key to their bond lies in the secret of a beautiful, strangely carved violin. As their lives unfold through the most violent decades of this century, the two become companions, rivals, and, inevitably, lethal enemies. With Canone Inverso, Paolo Maurensig delivers a powerful metaphysical thriller, culminating in a devastating finale.

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Review:

In present day London, a rare, 17th-century violin is offered at auction. Two bidders in particular covet it, one of whom claims to know its "terrible story." So begins Canone Inverso, Paolo Maurensig's elliptical tale of two young men whose passion for music, and this fiddle in particular, converges in a crescendo of obsession, envy, and betrayal. Friends who meet at music school in prewar Austria, Jeno and Kuno come from very different worlds: one the illegitimate son of a sausage maker, and the other the heir to a baronetcy. But together they share an obsessive devotion to music. Alas, what begins as a dance of soul mates--"We were like brothers, not in flesh or blood, but in that part of the spirit where order, rhythm, and harmony are found"--ends badly, the brutal disintegration of their relationship eerily paralleling Germany's decent into Nazi madness. Maurensig offers up a mesmerizing allegory (good against evil, brother against brother), peeling away layer after layer, only to reveal yet another bizarre reality: "Behind the refined music we hear, performed with levity and perfection by and orchestra or a string quartet, there is the straining of nerves, the gushing of blood, the breaking of hearts." --Marianne Painter

About the Author:

Paolo Maurensig is the author of The Lneberg Variation (Owl Books, 0-8050-6028-6, $11.00). He has been a journalist, photographer, and, most recently, a restorer of antique musical instruments. He lives in Udine, Italy. Jenny McPhee is a translator, writer, and editor living in New York City.

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Paolo Maurensig
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