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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Master volume 1
Biographical text of composers lives has been an interest of mine for the past 20 odd years. The main reason being my own interest in composition and music in general. Many biographies
I have read in the past tended to be detailed in content but very dry, which deterred many potential readers of this fascinating topic.
My previous view of John Suchet was of a...
Published on 13 Aug 2002 by Paul Kellaway

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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not do justice to Beethoven
John Suchet's writing is extremely disappointing; he is simply incapable of joining two sentences together and so the whole book is rather tedious to read. It's something a child could write. He also lacks on elaborating on what is actually happening, and therefore you have to imagine in your head that a servant has walked through the door and approached the characters,...
Published on 16 Dec 2009 by M. Phillips


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Master volume 1, 13 Aug 2002
By 
This review is from: The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 (Paperback)
Biographical text of composers lives has been an interest of mine for the past 20 odd years. The main reason being my own interest in composition and music in general. Many biographies
I have read in the past tended to be detailed in content but very dry, which deterred many potential readers of this fascinating topic.
My previous view of John Suchet was of a major British journalist, newscaster and coresspondent. To this I must now add the title author.
John has approached the subject matter with a sensitivity and passion which demonstrates amply his knowledge of the man, period and history. The events are accurate and credible. I felt myself becoming immersed in the book as a life story, until I had to bring myself back into the real world and realised that this was a biographical novel.
I thoroughly enjoyed both volumes of this book and look forward to reading more of John Suchet's work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At the end of each book I experienced a sense of loss., 26 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 (Paperback)
John Suchet's first book about Beethoven, Passion and Anger, was written sensitively and with understanding of Ludwig's rather difficult character. Both Ludwig's personal background and the effects of war with its losses of life and freedom and its painful deprivations seemed thoroughly and convincingly researched and were intelligently conveyed in this book. At the same time, the threat of Ludwig's loss of hearing, and his disappointments in his musical and love life, run like recurring themes through the whole book,leaving the reader speechless with admiration for Ludwig's strength of character and his passion for composing which overrode all obstacles. I could hardly wait to read its sequel, 'Passion and Pain', which follows a similar vein and is just as compulsive. At the end of each book, I experienced a sense of loss, as if I had lost two friends, both Ludwig and John Suchet. I am certain that the final volume will live up to the example of its predecessors and I intend to buy it as soon as possible.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey through a world of passion and struggle, 16 Oct 1999
By 
kathy@barley.clara.net (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 (Paperback)
If you like Beethoven's music then these wonderfully written books by John Suchet can only add to your enjoyment of the Master's music. Mr Suchet has researched these books thoroughly and they are written both sharply and empathetically. As with a lot of genius' Beethoven was a difficult man, and if I were to meet him today I probably wouldn't like him! John Suchet has not glossed over the difficulties of the character and the circumstances in which he finds himself, and it's through this that we come to understand somewhat the man and his music. I have yet to read volume 3, but I recommend that anyone interested in the life of Beethoven should read these powerfully written books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY GOOD READ, 4 Mar 2013
By 
Gordon Clay (Manchester, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 (Paperback)
ALTHOUGH THIS BOOK IS FICTION,IT IS BASED ON THE KNOWN FACTS OF LUDWIG'S LIFE,
THE FICTION IS IN THE DETAIL, CONVERSATIONS ETC. BETWEEN BEETHOVEN AND OTHER CHARACTERS IN HIS LIFE THAT ARE ARE VERY PLAUSIBLE.
THE BOOK READS LIKE A FIRST CLASS PIECE OF FICTION.
THIS BOOK IS PART ONE OF THE TWO PART BOOK
VERY ENJOYABLE READ.

GORDON CLAY
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired and inspiring, 15 Jan 2012
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 (Paperback)
I have read many books on music, mostly not in the 'classical' field I admit, but this first volume of John Suchet's fictional biography of Beethoven is up there with the very best. It is written straightforwardly, and weaves a marvellous blend of what may have of happened, with what did happen, based on the known facts available when the book was written.

The story is emotionally involving, and anyone who has any serious interest in music cannot fail to be moved and fascinated by it. Suchet is an expert on Beethoven. How much of that expertise was established as a result of the amount of research required to write this volume, and the subsequent ones I don't know, but what he has acheived is quite wonderful.

I can't recommended this book highly enough.
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not do justice to Beethoven, 16 Dec 2009
By 
M. Phillips - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 (Paperback)
John Suchet's writing is extremely disappointing; he is simply incapable of joining two sentences together and so the whole book is rather tedious to read. It's something a child could write. He also lacks on elaborating on what is actually happening, and therefore you have to imagine in your head that a servant has walked through the door and approached the characters, rather than him just appearing out of nowhere like Suchet writes it.

The sex scenes are cringeworthy and, in my opinion, are unnecessary and ruin the book. There was one incident where Beethoven is dozing in a pub and a woman performs sexual actions on him and leaves, without a word, or without any decent reason. It was bizarre and I don't really think reading about one of the greatest composers in the world having sex is something that appeals to me.

I did give it three stars though, because Suchet did his homework. He said at the beginning of the book that most of it is true and I think that I've gained a better understand of Beethoven through this book, despite everything else.

I don't regret buying this book, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you were willing to pay a penny, because that's all I think it's worth.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suchet's masterpiece Volume 1 - stunning, 9 Aug 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 (Paperback)
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

Volume One - John Suchet is a world renowned expert on Beethoven and these three volumes of biographical/novels go a long way to explaining why. He has used comprehensive, detailed and exhaustive research combined with his great skill as a writer to create the story of Beethoven's life and people his book with well-drawn characters, without whose help and sustained friendship, we would not have the musical masterpieces we have today. Central to his novels is, of course, Beethoven himself; Suchet admits that, at the outset, he did not like Beethoven but, after his initial research followed by the long task of writing the books, he grew to understand him more, respect and like him.
After hearing Beethoven's third symphony, Haydn remarked that music would "never be the same again"; after reading these volumes, the reader's view of Beethoven will never be the same again (and, because of the insights into the driven nature of his life, perhaps other geniuses and major artists too).
For the researcher and student of Beethoven, combining this reading with other scholarly studies, biographies and compendia, e.g. "Beethoven Compendium", "Beethoven - his Spiritual Development", "Classic FM" Guide to Beethoven" (also by John Suchet), one can see how detailed his research was and the clever ways in which he has used it to create this superb biographical/novel.
In his preface, he states that he cannot guarantee that all these events happened but that all of them could have happened. I recommend these three books very highly and other books by John Suchet. They are becoming harder to find, so buy them quickly.

PS There are a few films of Beethoven's life on DVD, which I recommend in this order:
"Eroica" - the story behind and a performance of his third symphony;
"Immortal Beloved" - Gary Oldman's performance is superb as the film probes (not altogether factually) into the identification of his "immortal beloved";
"Copying Beethoven" - not a believable story but watch it for the performance of Ed Harris.

Others in a more documentary style or performances inclued:
"In Search of Beethoven" - Phil Grabsky
"Ode to Freedom" - Bernstein's celebration with the 9th concert after the Berlin Wall fell
"Bernstein/Beethoven" - Bernstein's rehearsal and performance DVDs of all the symphonies.
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The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1
The Last Master: Passion And Anger: Passion and Anger v. 1 by John Suchet (Paperback - 6 Nov 1997)
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