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The Piano Paperback – 29 Apr 1994

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; Film tie-in edition edition (29 April 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747518297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747518297
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this novel in 1994 through a Daily Telegraph offer, and watched the film on TV in 1998 (I know, because I videotaped it). But I have only just come around to reading the book !

I had misgivings when I realised the novel was written after the film, but have not found it to be in any way contrived. It is written in relatively short passages and frequently goes back into Ada's past (not done in the film). I found this not at all disconcerting - in fact it was like reading two short connected stories at the same time.

I play the piano myself, mostly untrained, and I was able to identify very much with the story because of this. The ending is not particularly predictable and I found myself wanting to race ahead with the story. I am not a voracious reader and much prefer a shorter novel, which this is. I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to re-watch the film now, after a 15-year break (see above).
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Format: Paperback
A new start in New Zealand awaits Ada McGrath and daughter Flora, Ada's father having arranged her marriage to colonial settler Alisdair Stewart. Early discord over Ada's piano provides an opportunity for a third person to become involved in the marriage. As the story unfolds so do the reasons for Ada's muteness and the circumstances of Flora's birth. The outcome is satisfying if a little neat given the social constraints within which the expat community lived.
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Format: Paperback
It is easy to misunderstand The Piano if you read it literally. But The Piano is an allegory rich in symbolism. Read that way, this story resonates in hearts of women who read it and understand. For example, when she leaves the piano on the beach within the reach of the incoming tide and looks back as she leaves towards her husband's home, we can see the choices we sometimes have to make in life. There are times when we must leave an important creative part of our life behind, perhaps to marry or for another reason. To view this book (or the movie) literally is to miss the point of the novel.
1 Comment 10 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
"The piano" is one of my favourite films, full of ambiguity, beautifully made, with some of the most stunning visual images I have ever seen in film. The reasons for why 'the piano' works so well as a film, however, are the main reasons for why it works so badly as a book. The writing just does not deliver being of a very pragmatic nature, bland and unimaginitive. As a novel by itself, I doubt it would have been published without the backing of the film (although worse has been). The book does, however, give more insight into the Ada's life before arriving in New Zealand,how she became pregnant and her thoughts and feelings in general which some readers might be interested in. All in all; good if you're studying the film for a course, bad if you reading the book because you liked the film.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very pleased with product
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