MICHAELS SEAN Us Conductors

ISBN 13: 9781408868690

Us Conductors

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9781408868690: Us Conductors

Us Conductors is the imagined story of Lev Sergeyvich Termen, inventor of the theremin—one of the first electric musical instruments—and his unrequited love for Clara Rockmore, its greatest player. A tale of espionage and electricity, it takes listeners from the gardens of St. Petersburg to the Jazz Age nightclubs of New York, through concert halls, speakeasies, and the Siberian wastes.

Sean Michaels' debut novel is based on the true events of Termen's life: his invention of the theremin in Russia shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution; his decade as a Manhattan celebrity and secret spy, jostling with Gershwin and building weapon detectors for Alcatraz; and his eventual return to Stalin's USSR.

As the novel reaches its devastating climax, Termen is sent out into the gulag—first to a forced labor camp and then to a prison for scientists—and bears witness to some of the Cold War's deepest atrocities. But like the theremin, Us Conductors is also an eerie and magical invention. Subtle, thrilling, and melancholy, it is a story of secrets, of human ingenuity, of the lengths one goes to survive, and ultimately of the undiminishing hope for love that keeps us alive.

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About the Author:

Sean Michaels was born in Stirling, Scotland, in 1982. His writing has appeared in publications including the Guardian, McSweeney’s, the Walrus, Brick, and Pitchfork. He founded the music-blog Said the Gramophone in 2003. He lives in Montreal.

Review:

WINNER 2014 - The Scotiabank Giller Prize
FINALIST 2014 – Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction

FINALIST 2014 – Concordia University First Book Prize
LONGLISTED 2015 – International DUBLIN Literary Award 


“Following the life of Leon Termen, the inventor of the theremin, Us Conductors takes the reader from Leningrad to New York City, from gulags to speakeasies, dance floors and concert stages to laboratories and cattle cars. Us Conductors stretches its arms to encompass nearly everything—it is an immigrant tale, an epic, a spy intrigue, a prison confession, an inventor’s manual, a creation myth, and an obituary—but the electric current humming through its heart is an achingly resonant love story. Sean Michaels orchestrates his first novel like a virtuoso.”
—Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

“A fascinating novel! Told with grace and confidence, and in a finely wrought voice, Us Conductors kept surprising me to the end. I was swept from the speakeasies and artistic fervor of 1930s Manhattan to bleak, secretive Soviet Union prisons, and never once was the illusion shattered. Throughout the story, the themes of love and music sing like the pure, ethereal notes of the theremin.” 
—Eowyn Ivey, author of the New York Times bestseller The Snow Child
 
“Sean Michaels revisits the story of Lev Termen with just the right amount of distortion and invention, drawing a fascinating parabola through the Roaring Twenties and down into the Cold War. An amazing, addictive novel, written with a sharp sense of rhythm.”
—Nicolas Dickner, author of Nikolski and Apocalypse for Beginners
 
“DZEEEEOOOoo! Just as hard as it is to make a theremin sing so it is hard to pull off a novel like this. But Sean Michaels does it. Us Conductors bridges body and soul, science and art, and like theremin music, it’s of this world and magical at the same time.”
—Ismet Prcic, author of Shards

“Michaels does an excellent job delving into Termen’s one true obsession, Clara, reflecting his never-ending inner dialogue with her that continues for days, months, years. . . . Whatever picture Michaels is trying to paint, he does so with great accuracy and potency. . . . Us Conductors is a novel of epic proportions and as we jump back and forth through time, Michaels engrosses the reader with well-thought-out imagery that paints pictures of vastly different scenes. . . . To come totally clean here, I forgot I wasn’t reading an autobiography and took in the story as if it were historical fact. . . . Michaels has a natural gift for bringing us to a time and place which allows the suspension of belief and lets you walk every step of the way with him.”
—Brendan Canning, The Globe and Mail

“I’ve been awaiting a book by Sean Michaels for a decade, ever since he helped create not only the online MP3 blog but his own form of criticism—imaginative, bird-like devices of prose that soar in and out of the paths of songs. In his novel, Us Conductors, Michaels finds his ideal subject in another inventor, the enigmatic Leon Termen, who with softly lit-up wisdom calls himself ‘a sound being sounded, music being made,’ amid the noise of history. Michaels’ voice will pass through you like live current and conduct you to parts unknown.”
—Carl Wilson, music critic for Slate.com and author of the acclaimed Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Locked in a cabin, on a ship bound for Leningrad, Lev Termen types a letter to Clara, his one true love . He recalls his early years as a scientist, inventing the musical theremin and other electric marvels, and the Kremlin s dream that these creations could help infiltrate capitalism itself. Instead, Manhattan infiltrated Termen - he fell in love with the city s jazz clubs and speakeasies, and with Clara, a beautiful young violinist. When Termen s spy games fall apart, he returns to find the Motherland not quite as he left it. Exiled to a Siberian gulag, with nothing but his wits to keep him alive, Termen is drawn ever deeper into the labyrinth of Stalin s Russia. Only his feelings for Clara, passing through the ether like the theremin s song, seem to show a way out. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781408868690

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Locked in a cabin, on a ship bound for Leningrad, Lev Termen types a letter to Clara, his one true love . He recalls his early years as a scientist, inventing the musical theremin and other electric marvels, and the Kremlin s dream that these creations could help infiltrate capitalism itself. Instead, Manhattan infiltrated Termen - he fell in love with the city s jazz clubs and speakeasies, and with Clara, a beautiful young violinist. When Termen s spy games fall apart, he returns to find the Motherland not quite as he left it. Exiled to a Siberian gulag, with nothing but his wits to keep him alive, Termen is drawn ever deeper into the labyrinth of Stalin s Russia. Only his feelings for Clara, passing through the ether like the theremin s song, seem to show a way out. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781408868690

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Book Description BLOOMSBURY PAPERBACKS. Book Condition: New. Winner of Canada's Booker, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, 'Us Conductors' is a hauntingly beautiful novel of longing and electricity that tells the true story of Russian inventor and spy Lev Termen. Locked in a cabin, on a ship bound for Leningrad, Termen types a letter to Clara, his 'one true love' and remembers his early years as a brilliant young scientist. Inventor of the ethereal, musicial theremin, Termen performed in the gilded concert halls of Russia and Europe to rapturous applause. The toast of the Soviet Union, he was sent to New York with a plan to infiltrate capitalism itself, to win its heart and capture its secrets. Num Pages: 368 pages. BIC Classification: FA. . . 2016. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781408868690

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Book Description BLOOMSBURY PAPERBACKS, 2016. Book Condition: New. Winner of Canada's Booker, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, 'Us Conductors' is a hauntingly beautiful novel of longing and electricity that tells the true story of Russian inventor and spy Lev Termen. Locked in a cabin, on a ship bound for Leningrad, Termen types a letter to Clara, his 'one true love' and remembers his early years as a brilliant young scientist. Inventor of the ethereal, musicial theremin, Termen performed in the gilded concert halls of Russia and Europe to rapturous applause. The toast of the Soviet Union, he was sent to New York with a plan to infiltrate capitalism itself, to win its heart and capture its secrets. Num Pages: 368 pages. BIC Classification: FA. . . 2016. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781408868690

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