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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not a minor masterpiece, but still very, very good, 12 Oct 2009
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I had heard about the reputation of this novel, apparently a minor masterpiece waiting to be re-discovered, and having read it, I think much of the praise heaped on it by critics and readers is, by and large, justified.

It is not a novel, strictly a long short story as it only runs to one hundred and thirty pages of text; it deals with the discovery of a Stradivarius violin and how this affects the central character, John Maltravers.

The story is written in elegant, matter of fact prose which serves to heighten the supernatural happenings and the fact that the narrators are recalling events which occurred fifty years previously, also adds to the sense of a mysterious tale unfolding from the depths of the past.

However, 'The Lost Stradivarius' is not scary; it won't keep you awake at night. It is, however, unsettling and is really about a man's obsession and the power of music, for good as well as evil.

The story starts off excellently with lots of atmosphere, but does tail off slightly halfway through before recovering to reach its conclusion. Some readers may find the use of coincidences unconvincing, but for me they added to the story's texture rather than detracting from it.

There are aspects of 'The Lost Stradivarius' which reminded me of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and indeed of its author Oscar Wilde, which Tom Paulin, in his introduction to the Hesperus edition, makes apparent.

'The Lost Stradivarius' would make an excellent Radio 4 'Book at Bedtime' and the producers of that series have my permission to take me up on the idea.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Lost Stradivarius', 26 Nov 2011
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I first came across this story on Radio 4 afternoon stories in the mid 1970's & enjoyed the atmosphere so much that it left a permanent longing to try & get hold of the book or an audio recording of the original broadcast. That was some 30 years ago & alas I had failed to procure such an item.

You can imagine how surprised & gratified I was when by chance I came across this book at Amazon.

This is a truly fantastic read & I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to be entertained but not terrified out of their minds. It is fascinating how everything comes together at the end & we are left with the true horror of the crime which befell both owners of the Stradivarius, & a warning not to indulge ourselves with things we do not understand & should not understand.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable, 13 Feb 2012
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I saw an exhibition about the author John Meade Falkner at the Dortchester museum whilst on holiday down in Dorset a couple of years ago. During the holiday I also visited the atmospheric and somewhat bleakly beautiful village of Worth Maltravers which is mentioned throughout this novel.

Whilst doing a bit of research (alright then just internet browsing) this book came up here in the Kindle store and gave me cause to remember the visits. The author seems a well regarded man so I saw no reason not to give "The Lost Stratavarious" a read.

The story commences in the form of a letter from the sister of John Maltravers (our main subject) as she writes to her nephew Edward on his coming of age at 21. The book moves along at a page turning Kindle clicking nicely descriptive dark atmospheric pace and I was very quickly enthralled.

I would put this book in the category of an historical ghost story. For me anyway it was a genuine classic which I was very glad to discover. I found the story easy to follow and to picture the described scenes page by page as the tale unfolded. It was without confusion or sideline plots which in my opinion is so often the unecessary case in many novels. This is a perfect treat for those that would like a moderately short "stay with you" spooky story.

Even though I finished reading "The Lost Stratavarious" a few days ago I am still thinking about how good it was and trying to shake it off. A sign of a good book to me is one that after you have read it you tell yourself you will read again one day. This is definitely the case here, even when you know the conclusion to this ghostly tale it is such a well constructed book it will be a pleasure to one day read again.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dark and twisted tale of merit, 4 Feb 2009
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I. Buckley "mopple" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lost Stradivarius (Paperback)
hmm Moonfleet is my favourite book on this planet. The writing is outstanding. This book is very different in content but I was determined to read everything he has written..
I LOVED this book... It's very dark, be warned, of madness, hysteria and very troubled times.. compared to the jovial beginning...
But you'll find yourself wondering the meanings of htis book for a long time..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ghost Story, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Lost Stradivarius (Kindle Edition)
I really love gothic horror or ghost stories and this one did not fail to please. It was dark and Falkner built the atmosphere and tension slow and kept me enthralled.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scarey, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: The Lost Stradivarius (Kindle Edition)
Do not normally read these kind of books. Couldn't put it down. Scarey. Do not read or play violin at bedtime
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense from beginning to end., 17 April 2013
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This review is from: The Lost Stradivarius (Kindle Edition)
One could not see where this plot was going. For some it may have seemed a difficult read, however, you have to concentrate and focus. The author was quite obviously a very intelligent man this is very much reflected in this work. Whenever I had a spare moment I would pick the story up again and read it to see where it would take me. The end though was perhaps a little weak.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 4 Jan 2013
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Janet (Milton Keynes) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book - an engaging story - it kept my attention throughout and I looked forward to reading it each evening in bed
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