- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (7 Oct. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0753807734
- ISBN-13: 978-0753807736
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
An Equal Music Paperback – 7 Oct 2004
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Michael plays second violin in an up-and-coming Maggiore Quartet, lives on the north side of Hyde Park, takes early morning dips in the Serpentine, has a French girlfriend named Virginie. But his mind is constantly drawn to his first and only love, Julia, whom he knew in Vienna many years earlier. When he catches sight of Julia on a London bus, he cannot help but pursue her. Vikram Seth's new novel is a gently-paced, multi-layered work, proceeding in short sections which flit from Michael's ongoing search for Julia back to his childhood as a Rochdale butcher's son, his early training and breakdown in Vienna under the tyrannical Carl Kall, and the emotional history of his quartet; while Michael's discovery of a Beethoven trio rewritten as a string quintet acts as a motif for Michael's pursuit of the lost Julia: can Michael recapture the magic of the past, like Beethoven, who deafly transfigured what he so many years earlier had hearingly composed? Seth is quite brilliant at conveying the intense and complex interplay of chamber musicians, in rehearsal and performance (an odd, obsessed, introspective, separatist breed), and manages the near-impossible--to write in 1999 about Art and Love without embarrassment. --Alan Stewart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Vikram Seth's accomplishment in bringing not only these characters so fully to life, but the rich ambience of the music as well--so difficult to render in words--is something of a miracle."--Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha Praise for A Suitable Boy: "Surrender to this strange, beguiling world and be swept away on the wings of story. . . . It is difficult to imagine that many contemporary writers could give us a novel that provides so much deep satisfaction."--Washington Post Book WorldSee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
As in his work, A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth is at his best when describing scenes and here again his vivid and colourful images of Vienna, London, and Venice are superbly crafted masterpieces of descriptive writing. Of course music plays a major role in this book both in its plot and its aestethic appeal and the book is full choc-a-bloc of descriptions of various pieces of classical music especially the Trout Quintent of Bach and also The Art of Fugue and of the perils and joys of playing the violin and the viola.Read more ›
Seth is able to evoke the feelings that music can inspire, and has a good understanding of his subject. I like the fact that the main composers he writes about are Beethoven, Schubert and Bach, and he celebrates their gifts to the world. It would have been all to easy to go for more contemporary music in an effort to impress, but to my mind these are still the greats. In an age when classical music is often seen to be pretentious, and the visual image is everything, this is a breath of fresh air.
The settings in London, Venice, Vienna and Manchester were perfect for me, as an adopted Mancunian from London!
On a slightly different note, one of the really appealing aspects of the book is the way it is set out in very short chapters of only two or three pages. Perfect for busy mums trying to grab a few minutes here or there. In fact I read far more quickly, thinking 'I'll just read one more chapter', and still being totally absorbed an hour later - dinner was a bit late, though!
The story, told through Michael's eyes, is mostly set in north London, where he has found refuge after fleeing Vienna, the town of his professional training. Ten years have passed but his musings keep returning to events in Vienna: self-doubts in his talent as a soloist, amplified by the demands of an exacting, overbearing teacher, had resulted in a complete breakdown. His abrupt departure left Julia, his love, music partner and muse, without a word of explanation or good bye. As he slowly recovered, he tried to reconnect with her, wrote, contacted her father, only to meet a wall of silence. Seth's depiction of Michael's continuing emotional immaturity, his increasing despair at having lost what he now recognizes as his great love reveals the fragility of a character where musical brilliance and human weaknesses are interdependent. His solo career seemingly over, Michael joins the Maggiore Quartet as second violin. While in many ways a close knit group - the "family" gives his life the needed structure and support - it also is the source of inter-personal rivalries.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Michael Holme is the second violinist in a string quartet. He has not recovered from a relationship that he brought to an end 10 years ago when he left Vienna after feeling he... Read morePublished 12 months ago by William Jordan
Vikram Seth is a brilliant author. I never thought I would get through "A suitable boy" and I found it fascinating. Read morePublished 13 months ago by David I
‘An Equal Music’ is told in the first person, in the present tense, by a musician called Michael. He plays second violin in a prestigious string quartet. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sue
I have no interest or understanding of classical music and generally prefer my reading to be a little edgier. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mr. Roy T. Nolan