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The Piano: Screenplay [Paperback]

Jane Campion
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1993
Ada, together with her nine-year-old illegitimate daughter Flora, and her piano, leave Scotland to arrive in the remote bush of 19th-century New Zealand for a marriage arranged by her father. Although mute, she does not consider herself silent as her piano is the vehicle of her expression.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 153 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax (Nov 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562827030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562827038
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,214,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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BEYOND a desolate shore, on the edge of a far-off country, in a land of massy fern and flightless birds, a small surf-boat appeared, cutting through the swell and spray. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Piano is easily misunderstood. 25 Mar 1998
By A Customer
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable. 12 April 2013
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Discord down under 6 Oct 2011
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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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
"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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