Fire on All Sides: Insanity, insomnia and the incredible inconvenience of life Hardcover – 11 Jan 2018
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brave and unflinching (The Sunday Times 2018-01-21)
Life is messy and imperfect for us all, and when your mind is on fire and you feel like you're trapped in a terrifying blaze with no way out, sometimes the only way is to embrace the fragility of the human condition.See all Product description
From the Publisher
James Rhodes was born in London in 1975. A keen piano player, at eighteen he was offered a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but went to Edinburgh University instead. James stopped playing the piano entirely and dropped out after a year. He ended up working in the City for five years. After a devastating mental breakdown that led him to be institutionalised, he took the piano up again. He is now a professional and applauded concert pianist, writer and TV presenter. His memoir, Instrumental, was published to great critical acclaim.
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As if that wasn't enough, Rhodes' insights into his music are revelatory. I can only speak for myself, but after playing Beethoven Op 110 for some 50 years, I now at last feel that I begin to understand it, thanks entirely to Mr Rhodes. His playing is likewise illuminating. Listen, and ignore the idiots who moan about minor rhythmic irregularities etc. Cloth ears! Music has never been about being a metronome, and even less about being conformist. James Rhodes is clearly neither. All one can do in the end is say 'thankyou'.
These two books have revived my childhood love of classical music, which was lost after years of forced exposure and lackluster education. James has a great ability to describe both the composers' backgrounds and the dynamics within a piece of music, making them feel captivating and relevant to modern life.
Like with Instrumental, reading this book made me hope that James will complete many more concerts or albums, and that he will keep writing or speaking about the things that fascinate him and help him to survive.