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The Piano Tuner

Mason, Daniel

8,977 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375414657 / ISBN 13: 9780375414657
Published by Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York, 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Nothing Like a Good Book (Mt. Sinai, NY, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since April 30, 2001

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

In a clear protective Brodart mylar cover. In this extraordinary debut novel, Edgar Drake is given the task by the Britsh War Office of travleing to the jungles of Burma in the year 1886 to repair a a rare piano belonging to an Army surgeon. Light creasing to corner of inside flap and top edge of front flap. Bookseller Inventory # 1001591

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Piano Tuner

Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition, First Printing

About this title

Synopsis:

An extraordinary first novel that tells the story of a British piano tuner sent deep into Burma in the nineteenth century.

In October 1886, Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the British War Office: he must leave his wife and his quiet life in London to travel to the jungles of Burma, where a rare Erard grand piano is in need of repair. The piano belongs to an army surgeon-major whose unorthodox peacemaking methods—poetry, medicine, and now music—have brought a tentative quiet to the southern Shan States but have elicited questions from his superiors.

On his journey through Europe, the Red Sea, India, and into Burma, Edgar meets soldiers, mystics, bandits, and tale-spinners, as well as an enchanting woman as elusive as the surgeon-major. And at the doctor’s fort on a remote Burmese river, Edgar encounters a world more mysterious and dangerous than he ever could have imagined.

Sensuous, lyrical, rich with passion and adventure, this is a hypnotic tale of myth, romance, and self-discovery: an unforgettable novel.

Review:

Daniel Mason's debut novel, The Piano Tuner, is the mesmerizing story of Edgar Drake, commissioned by the British War Office in 1886 to travel to hostile Burma to repair a rare Erard grand piano vital to the Crown's strategic interests. Eccentric Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll has brokered peace with local warlords primarily through music, a free medical clinic, and the "powers" of common scientific instruments, much to the dismay of warmongering officers suspect of such unorthodox methods. Drake is an introspective, well-mannered soul who, once there, falls in love with Burma and stays long past the piano-fixing to aid Carroll's political agenda. Drake's arduous journey to reach the outpost, however, takes far too long (nearly half the book) and the plotting is rather heavy-handed at times (one night, Drake learns of a mysterious "Man with One Story" who rarely speaks, and the very next morning the Man tells all to Drake). The story is ambitious, the language florid and sure to please, but the dialogue and melodrama are sometimes tedious. While out on the town with Carroll's love interest, Khin Myo (who enchants Drake), Mason offers the townspersons' view of Drake:

It is only natural that a guest be treated with hospitality, the quiet man who has come to mend the singing elephant is shy, and walks with the posture of one who is unsure of the world, we too would keep him company to make him feel welcome, but we do not speak English.... They say he is one of the kind of men who has dreams, but tells no one.
Drake's complexity is thin; perhaps the beauty of Burma takes over any real need for introspection. Despite these quibbles, The Piano Tuner is a memorable achievement. --Michael Ferch

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