- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 722 KB
- Print Length: 238 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Monkeyjoy Press (15 July 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005D1LH9E
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,279,231 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Amadeus Net Kindle Edition
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
One thing that I thought would get in the way of reading this book was the famed movie, "Amadeus", because of Tom Hulce's performance. But Rayner gave him a new voice. It was a smooth transition and a very enjoyable character. He's confused and hurting from the years of living, and not living, and it made for probably one of the most interesting historical characters in fiction.
This book, in my mind, is different from the author's first novel ("Marvellous Hairy"). Though still satire, I found it had a more serious tone about it. The characters didn't make me laugh out loud, but were not less interesting. They made me cringe at times, which is good. They were driven by different issues. There was a nature of the book that had a very mature, experienced writing about it. Sometimes it's tough for me to read a book by an author, and then go back and read a book written earlier in their career. You can see the difference in the writing and at times seems like a step back. Other then one item, I didn't get that feeling with this book. You can see an experienced writer behind it, even if a debut.
That item was how the reader was let into the minds of it's characters. Every few chapters we would get one that was in first person, changing between the different characters. It was a great idea to expand the depth of the characters, but it was done almost like they were asked to talk about themselves without an explanation why. The story, and writing, though carried it so that it didn't seem awkward. It made me scratch my head at first, but the delivery added much to the story.
Now having read Mr. Rayner's first two novels, and enjoying both, he has become a must read for me. I look forward to his next.
The story itself concerns Mozart (yes, that Mozart) who, in this fictional world, has a peculiar habit of not dying. As a result, he's alive and well in the near future, living on an isolated (though thriving) South Pacific island named Ipolis. His identity is, as you would expect, a long kept secret, and he would prefer it remained so. However, some are aware of his gift and view it as a grand opportunity for their own enrichment, and from there the trouble commences.
The story is simultaneously light, deep, silly and poignant. In the hands of a lesser author, an attempt like this could very well become a dispassionate dog's breakfast. But in Rayner's deft hands and mind, it leads the reader deep into the city which serves as the setting (and the city itself is actually a character in its own right!), and into the minds, hearts and souls of the characters. It seems a great many novels I read aren't able to focus on creating more than a couple of full, rich characters surrounded by cardboard plot devices. Not so with Amadeus, and there within, I believe, lies the book's greatest strength.
These well-constructed characters each become integral to the story's grand climax, all the while faced with the somber specter of global destruction. Personally, I found myself concerned with the fates of his characters more than the actual planet, and for that I blame Rayner for making me care about them so deeply.
As mentioned, the city itself is in the mix as one of the main characters, observing and occasionally manipulating events, using subtle and not-so-subtle methods to help create a harmonious outcome. Ipolis provides a big-picture perspective that the human characters cannot. It comes across like a Shakespearian muse or benevolent god, though not a fully omnipotent one that could assure its own wishes will come to fruition. It's very nearly mortal in this regard, thus allowing the reader to sympathize with its plight and feel concern for its frustrations and even its "being."
If a parallel can be drawn with another Rayner book I have read (and reviewed), Marvellous Hairy, I think it would be that beneath the hectic, comedic surface is a solemn message about man's inhumanity to man and the horrific results that can occur when callous (or zealously misguided) beings are left to run rampant and hold the rest of mankind at their twisted mercy.
But Amadeus is a thoroughly different book than Hairy (though no less compelling) and this illustrates Rayner's ability to create completely different yet believable worlds from one novel to the next. Some may take comfort in continuity of tone in an author's collective works; I tend to admire an author more when he can show me radically different places, persons, and depths. That's not to say Rayner's style doesn't remain consistent; it certainly does.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone seeking a fresh and talented author who unabashedly departs from traditional storytelling for more experimental prose, much to the delight and satisfaction of his audience. Congratulations, Mr. Rayner; besides creating another very enjoyable novel, you've created a genuine fan in me.