AN EQUAL MUSIC

Seth, Vikram

Published by Broadway Books, 1999
ISBN 10: 0767902912 / ISBN 13: 9780767902915
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Signed by author on title page in black fountain ink. Against the magical backdrop of concert halls and canals, two lovers must confront the truth about their love for one another, their love for the music that brought them together, and the true consequences for their tangled hearts. AN EQUAL MUSIC is a tour-de-force of poetic, impassioned writing, conjuring brilliantly the worlds of Beethoven and Bach, of Vienna, Venice, and London, of individual heartache, and the familial bonds that tie a quartet. By the author of THE GOLDEN GATE, BOMBAY TALES, A SUITABLE BOY, and TWO LIVES. Mint, unread copy, in new, mylar-protected dust jacket. L134. Bookseller Inventory # 021896

About this title:

Synopsis: The author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy returns with a passionate and deeply romantic tale of two gifted musicians.

When an English quartet, the Maggiore, undertakes a challenging work of Beethoven's, violinist Michael Holme is overwhelmed by memories of mastering the piece as a student in Vienna. That's where he also met Julia McNicholl, a pianist whose beauty was as mesmerizing as her musical genius, and whom Michael loved with an intensity he never found again.  Years later, Michael is living a life devoted to music, until one day he is riding a London bus, and there, on another bus, separated only by glass, sits Julia McNicholl.

Though the mutual passion flares anew, the love they shared in their younger days is now complicated by the secrets and silences that have been generated by the passing of years. Unable to resist the power of their shared history, however, Julia agrees to tour Vienna and Venice with Michael and the Maggiore Quartet. Against the magical backdrop of concert halls and canals, Michael and Julia must confront the truth about their love for one another, their love for the music that brought them together, and the true consequences for their tangled hearts.

An Equal Music shows Seth to be at the top of his form: It is a tour de force of poetic, impassioned writing, conjuring brilliantly the worlds of Beethoven and Bach, of Vienna, Venice, and London, of individual heartache and the familial bonds that tie a quartet. Interweaving themes of loss, longing, and the power of music, An Equal Music is a deeply affecting story about the strands of passion that run through all our lives, masterfully confirming Vikram Seth as one of the world's finest and most daring novelists.

Review: The violinist hero of Vikram Seth's third novel would very much like to be hearing secret harmonies. Instead, living in London 10 years after a key disaster, Michael Holme is easily irritated by his beautiful young (and even French!) girlfriend and by his colleagues in the Maggiore Quartet. In short, he's fed up with playing second fiddle in life and art. Yet a chance encounter with Julia, the pianist he had loved and lost in Vienna, brings Michael sudden bliss. Her situation, however--and the secret that may end her career--threatens to undo the lovers.

An Equal Music is a fraction of the size of Seth's A Suitable Boy, but is still deliciously expansive. In under 400 pages, the author offers up exquisite complexities, personal and lyrical, while deftly fielding any fears that he's composed a Harlequin for highbrows. During one emotional crescendo, Michael tells Julia, "I don't know how I've lived without you all these years," only to realize, "how feeble and trite my words sound to me, as if they have been plucked out of some housewife fantasy." In addition to the pitch of its love story, one of the book's joys lies in Seth's creation of musical extremes. As the Maggiore rehearses, moving from sniping and impatience to perfection, the author expertly notates the joys of collaboration, trust, and creation. "It's the weirdest thing, a quartet," one member remarks. "I don't know what to compare it to. A marriage? a firm? a platoon under fire? a self-regarding, self-destructive priesthood? It has so many different tensions mixed in with its pleasures."

An Equal Music is a novel in which the length of Schubert's Trout Quintet matters deeply, the discovery of a little-known Beethoven opus is a miracle, and each instrument has its own being. Just as Michael can't hope to possess Julia, he cannot even dream of owning his beloved Tononi, the violin he has long had only on loan. And it goes without saying that Vikram Seth knows how to tell a tale, keeping us guessing about everything from what the Quartet's four-minute encore will be to what really occasioned Julia's departure from Michael's life. (Or was it in fact Michael who abandoned Julia?) As this love story ranges from London to Michael's birthplace in the north of England to Vienna to Venice, few readers will remain deaf to its appeals. --Kerry Fried

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Bibliographic Details

Title: AN EQUAL MUSIC
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Dust Jacket Condition: New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First U.S. Edition

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Seth, Vikram
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ISBN 10: 0767902912 ISBN 13: 9780767902915
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Book Description Broadway, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. First Edition (first U.S. printing). The third novel by the author of A SUITABLE BOY and GOLDEN GATE, the passionate tale of two gifted musicians. Fine/Fine. Signed by Seth on the title page. Signed by Author. Seller Inventory # 10404

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Book Description Broadway Books, New York, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. SIGNED by author on full title page. "In An Equal Music, his first novel since A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth returns with a story both intricate and intimate, rich with music, art, humour and emotion." Ships same or next business day. Text block is pulled away from spine head, minor edge wear, bump and lightly faded on spine head; overall, pages are clean and tight. Dust jacket protected in archival cover. DJ has minor edge and shelf wear, small creases on spine head. ; Large 8vo 9" - 10" tall; 381 pages; Signed by Author. Seller Inventory # 61602

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Book Description New York, NY: Broadway, 1999. Soft cover. Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. F/na. Very light edge wear, and very light soiling. First US Edition. ARC/Proof. "Advance Reading Copy - Uncorrected Proof". Pictorial Wraps. Canadian publisher's white printed label on rear. This book is from the extensive Gatenby Collection amassed over 30 years . Gatenby was the founding artistic director of the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, a hugely successful annual event that helped "Time Magazine" declare that Gatenby had made Toronto one of the literary capitals of the world. He also directed the readings at Harbourfront in Toronto, and is the author of "Literary Guide to Toronto," among other books. Gatenby signature and date on ffep. SIGNED by Seth & INSCRIBED to Gatenby, and dated "Toronto 4th May '99". A unique Association Copy. Inscribed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 028972

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Book Description London : Phoenix House, 1999. First Edition. Fine cloth copy in an equally fine dw. Particularly and surprisingly well-preserved; tight, bright, clean and especially sharp-cornered. Signed, dated and inscribed. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 380 pages; Physical description. : 380 p. ; 24 cm. Subject: Chamber music groups - Fiction. Violinists - Fiction. Pianists - Fiction. Indian authors - 20th century. Indian authors - 21st century. Fiction - 20th century. Deafness - Fiction. Musicians - Fiction. Summary: A chance sighting on a bus; a letter which should never have been read; a pianist with a secret that touches the heart of her music .An Equal Music is a book about love, about the love of a woman lost and found and lost again; it is a book about music and how the love of music can run like a passionate fugue through a life. It is the story of Michael, of Julia and of the love that binds them. 'A novel that can stand being reread and reread, but the first time round is an emotional cliffhanger .secure a copy for yourself, settle down, and prepare for the unforgettable. 1 Kg. Seller Inventory # 193625

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Book Description London : Phoenix House, 1999. First Edition. Fine cloth copy in an equally fine dw. Particularly and surprisingly well-preserved; tight, bright, clean and especially sharp-cornered. Signed, dated and inscribed. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 380 pages; Physical description. : 380 p. ; 24 cm. Subject: Chamber music groups - Fiction. Violinists - Fiction. Pianists - Fiction. Indian authors - 20th century. Indian authors - 21st century. Fiction - 20th century. Deafness - Fiction. Musicians - Fiction. Summary: A chance sighting on a bus; a letter which should never have been read; a pianist with a secret that touches the heart of her music .An Equal Music is a book about love, about the love of a woman lost and found and lost again; it is a book about music and how the love of music can run like a passionate fugue through a life. It is the story of Michael, of Julia and of the love that binds them. 'A novel that can stand being reread and reread, but the first time round is an emotional cliffhanger .secure a copy for yourself, settle down, and prepare for the unforgettable. 1 Kg. Seller Inventory # 193625

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