Customer Review

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vikram Seth strikes a chord with this reader, 2 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: An Equal Music (Paperback)
I found this book to be utterly engrossing, the central Love story which winds from Rochdale to Vienna and Venice via London, is beautifully accompanied by the music of the Maggiorre Quartet of which the protagonist is a member. This might not sound like it is to everyone's taste, (my girlfriend questionned my sanity after I recommended it to her), yet I am totally ignorant of classical music, have never visited the geographic settings and I found the story deeply involving. Without wanting to give too much away the story revolves around a passionate relationship which ended 10 years previously in Vienna, and recommences again fitfully in London with dramatic repercussions to both people's lives. My enjoyment of this book, and my girlfriend's dislike of it centres around the central character, and whether you will allow a grown man such a lapse into love and obsession after an affair he left behind so long ago. I was convinced, and thus found it spellbinding, more so than Seth's more celebrated work; 'A Suitable Boy'
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Jun 2011 15:35:18 BDT
Sue Ball says:
I also loved the novel. Possibly because my son is a violinist and I found the protagonist's frustration with his role as a second violinist rather than a first really credible. Eventually Michael comes to accept that his secondary role still creates an equal music. The novel was so much more than a love story; it was also about the unique relationship of separate individuals united in their effort to create extraordinary music. I bought the CD and the fusion of music and literature is a novel experience.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Dec 2011 11:27:27 GMT
Actually, the first time I read this book, I missed the importance of the whole second violinist thing, which is a actually a central theme. Yes, there is a kind of violin hierarchy, but it's not as pronounced as non-musicians may think, and is sometimes propagated by those who believe they are better than others: Piers. Second violin has a different job, not a lesser one. A string quartet is nothing without its inner voices (violin 2 and viola), and the protagonist of this novel would know this, even if he did yearn to play the melody line from time to time - although the fact that he does yearn to do this is entirely credible. I speak as a violinist myself; and not only that, but one who has 'downgraded' himself in the eyes of non-musicians by making my main instrument the viola.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2013 18:53:12 GMT
M PHILLIPS says:
I loved reading the book a few years ago and have just discovered this fascinating CD set . As a viola player and pianist who has never played the violin please do not describe moving from violin to viola as downgrading !
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