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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply exquisite!, 12 April 2002
By 
Goncalo Dumas Diniz (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Distant Music (Paperback)
Distant Music is a romance in four different historic and geographic contexts where the two main caraters fall in love but fail to bring their romance to a happy conclusion. It starts on the island of Madeira in 1429 and ends in London in the year 2000 mingling fact with fiction to give the reader an insight into sephardic jews and their plight during the Inquisition. This is quite simply one of (if not the) most enjoyable read I can remember. The style is remarkable yet unpretentious; the facts and historical background impecable and well researched. Langley shines through as an intelligent, brilliant writer: the syzygy with this book is evidently not left to chance. If you enjoy this book you might also enjoy The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon by Richard Zimler.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learned yet enjoyable, 28 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Distant Music (Hardcover)
Although I read this book some time ago and had to trawl half the hotel bars in Tokyo to find it after leaving it under my chair with only 50 or so pages to go (my thanks to the Park Hyatt for keeping it), it has left a strong impression on me.
It spans 4 periods of history, other than the present day, these periods are relatively understudied. The principal theme of the persecution of the Jews throughout the ages is fascinating and deeply depressing. Although this is summed up in the final part in a sort of verbal essay, it has much greater impact when told from the perspective of someone involved. I felt that the 1492 chapter was particularly poignant and it showed not only the terrible cruelty of the policies of christrianisation but also its stupidity. Has Portugal yet recovered from the decision to expel some of its best educated people? It should certainly be given more prominence as it ranks along side the 1578 battle of Alcacer Quibir as a turning point.
The other chapters are also good. The priest in the opening chapter is a grotesque caricature but very much in the style of an Eca de Queiroz priest such as Padre Amaro.
The Lisbon earthquake chapter is also excellent and reminds one of the other tragedies to befall the country (at least that time not self-inflicted) while persecution continued and the gentry looked away.
The final chapter is in a way more complex as a work of fiction, love triangles, confused loyalties and growing up in a cross cultural marriage. It is also at times too direct and at others overly confusing in its eagerness to show a confused mind.
Notwitshanding all of the historical analysis and anguished chest beating, this is also 4 love stories with very real characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Distance Music, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Distant Music (Kindle Edition)
An unusual novel but it kept me intrigued. I liked the fact I recognised many of the places in the book and was interested in the history interwoven in the story.
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Distant Music
Distant Music by Lee Langley (Paperback - 7 Mar 2002)
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