Play It Again: An Amateur Against The Impossible and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£8.24
  • RRP: £10.99
  • You Save: £2.75 (25%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Play It Again: An Amateur... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £1.05
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Play It Again: An Amateur Against The Impossible Paperback – 2 Jan 2014


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.24
£5.28 £6.16
£8.24 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Play It Again: An Amateur Against The Impossible + Playing the Piano for Pleasure + Piano Notes: The Hidden World of the Pianist
Price For All Three: £28.21

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £1.05
Trade in Play It Again: An Amateur Against The Impossible for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £1.05, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099554747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099554745
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been editor of the Guardian since 1995.

My journalistic career began on a local newspaper, where I trained as a reporter before first joining the Guardian in 1979. I worked as a general reporter, feature writer and diary columnist before leaving to succeed Clive James and Julian Barnes as the Observer's TV critic.

In 1987 I had six months in the US working as the Washington correspondent of the London Daily News before returning to the Guardian as a feature writer.

I moved from writing to editing the following year, launching Guardian Weekend magazine and the paper's G2 section. I was made deputy editor in 1994, when I first started working on the paper's initial forays into digital publishing.

As editor, I helped launch Guardian Unlimited - now guardian.co.uk - and, in 2004, was responsible for the paper's complete redesign and transformation into the European Berliner format. The Guardian's website today attracts more than 70 million unique visitors a month. One of the top five global newspaper sites, it has regularly been voted the best newspaper website in the world.

I was born in Zambia - my Dad spent nearly 30 years working in education in Africa - and graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in English in 1976.

In my spare time keen amateur pianist and clarinetist and for eight years to 2012 was chair of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

I've written three children's books, published by Penguin. I co-wrote, with Ronan Bennett, the two-part BBC One drama, Fields of Gold. I've also written a full-length animation film script and a play about Beethoven.

@arusbridger
alanrusbridger.com

Product Description

Review

"Extraordinary... Prepare to be inspired" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Bernard Levin once told me that journalism was "half gossip, half obsession, half slog and half madness". If that's true Play it Again is a minor classic from a major hack...it's about a stressed, insanely busy middle-aged person finding time to cultivate a hobby and discovering that his inner fire has been rekindled. That's a lesson we all need." (Richard Morrison The Times)

"As soon as you enter the pages you are hooked, not just by the efforts to overcome this elusive piece through curiousity and courage, but by the clear way in which the diary takes the reader into the murky world of WikiLeaks and the still more polluted waters of phone hacking by News International... Riveting stuff... Play It Again is a hugely enjoyable, touching and informative volume" (Literary Review)

"An absorbing and technically detailed book… Rusbridger is a vivid writer who is able to make the physical experience of playing the piano…very gripping." (Nicholas Kenyon Times Literary Supplement)

"In his page-turning diary, Chopin has to make room for Julian Assange, Leveson and the hacking scandal… This charming, nimble, book argues that a life cannot be too rounded nor a day too full." (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

The Guardian editor's account of a remarkable musical challenge during an extraordinary year for news.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Townheadbluesboy on 26 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought based on a newspaper review hoping it would help with my mid life guitar blues struggle. I'm not trying to play Chopin but I would like to noodle a convincing blues on the guitar. As well as being enjoyably written it was interesting to see the frustrations of the wannabe classical pianist mirroring those of the UK bluesman. It's all music. The inner workings of the Guardian and intricacies of the major stories of the day provided relief from the technicalities piano fingering.

It's good to know that someone else really should know their scales and that practice and family life involve a bit of sneaking out - more family drama and talent contests on TV please.

I've tried the practising early in the morning and it works! All mid-life aspiring rockers and maestros should read it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Nor on 25 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book as much as anything I have read in the last 5 years. It is a testament to his skill as a writer that he is able to make the process of learning a piano piece by an amateur a "gripping" read. (True, he is a newspaper editor, so he should be able to write) There is plenty of other narrative about his work as Guardian editor to fill in the gaps, but his stories about his amateur musical gatherings are equally interesting. For anyone like me who found out about this book through a newspaper review, I would urge you to buy the book as well, the reviews by no means tell the whole story. His notated Ballade score at the back on it's own makes it worthwhile (NOTE: I bought the print version and I'm glad I did that, as referring to it is easier unless you are very adept with your e-reader) . PS: I am not sure I believe his frequent assertion that he doesn't know scales, as it seems inconceivable that one can sightread (which he says he can do well) without scale/chord/harmonic knowledge.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By a on 25 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Absolutely loved this book. I'm a diabolical piano player, (I started lessons ten years ago, and still haven't managed to memorise a single piece of music, or play anything worth listening to) so this story of managing to squeeze in just a small amount of piano practice amongst a maelstrom of working life, really grabbed me. Told in diary entries, and covering the build-up to a nerve wracking performance, it was surprisingly engrossing. Plus the backdrop of life as the Editor of the Guardian was a real insight. If you play the piano badly, (or quite well) I could not recommend this book any higher. Really, really good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Robertson on 21 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Started learning the piano very young? tick. Never had the patience to learn scales and harmony properly? tick. Took it up again later in life, with the desire to improve? tick.
Anyone who shares these starting points with Alan Rusbridger will relish this book, which demonstrates how important regular practice is to making progress with learning a piece. I was so hooked on his progress that I stopped reading the Guardian for a week, in order to finish the book. Then I bought his recommendations for amateur pianists, to give a structure to my practising sessions. This has changed my life, as the challenge which he set himself changed his. There are some fascinating choices which lead to surreal situations: practising the Chopin Ballade in an empty Libyan hotel the day before the airport was closed and he was able to leave the country with a hitherto imprisoned Guardian journalist. One could argue that it was BECAUSE he spent twenty minutes a day learning to play such a difficult piece that he was able to assume all the other responsibilities of editor, journalist and family man. I was left just wondering who did the washing up.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By theoriginalsaint on 14 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover
As I began to practice a new piece to re-take grade 7, looked at the recommended speed, I wondered would my fingers have the dexterity to play it and did I have, as a middle manager of a core department have time to learn it by the due date? Alan Rusbridger's inspirational book sounds out an impressive 'yes' for us all. This record of Alan Rusbridger's own personal and very honest journey to juggle pursuit of an ambition to master a Chopin epic while managing a hectic and unpredictable 24:7 job as Editor of The Guardian not only provides inspiration but is a compelling account of an unforgettable year in the media, an insight into purchasing my favourite instrument, the piano, against what became a major rebuilding project. Not only that but this book affords an incite into the impact on musicianship of this digital age. You can judge the true impact of a book when you start purchasing its bibliography! And are those fingers dexterous enough? Do I have time? Yes I do.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Roper on 14 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great book. Couldn't put it down. Some of the technical detail will only be of interest to serious pianists however.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alfred J. Castino on 26 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was very interesting and fun to read. I enjoyed both the piano story and the stories about journalism during this period. I also am an adult getting into piano lessons so I found the diary most useful and interesting, particularly the interviews with famous musicians.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alan Rusbridger is the editor of the Guardian, so has little time for hobbies, but has a passion for music and for playing the piano. At an annual 'piano camp' he is inspired when a fellow attendee plays Chopin's Ballade No 1 A piece, which inspires dread in even professional pianists. Rushbridger is now in his fifies and restarted piano lessons in his late forties. He has a demanding job in news, which is now updated constantly 24 hours a day, and has little time for anything outside work. Yet, despite all that, he decides to set himself a challange to pay the piece of music which both daunts and calls to him.

It is difficult to describe this book. It is partly full of fascinating musical digressions, from the author's attempts to find the perfect piano for the music room he is building at his country cottage, to watching other amateur pianists performing the piece on YouTube, taking lessons and discussing the piece with musicians and partly it is a news diary. During the year that Rusbridger was desperately attempting to find time for practice, he was also dealing with some major news stories, such as WikiLeaks, phone hacking and the Arab Spring. The book jumps delightfully between topics, leaving you at times impatient to leave the news and get back to the music - as I am sure Rusbridger felt himself. At one part of the book he mentions a 'sneery' article about his love of music, but you can only applaud his passion for the music (and instrument) he obviously loves and the whole book is a pleasure to read, whether you are a musician or not.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback