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The Music Room Paperback – 5 Mar 2010
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Audio Download, Unabridged
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`William Fiennes's beautifully written memoir of his childhood is like a double painting. On one side of the diptych is a picture of the 700-year-old moated castle near Banbury where he lived. On the other is a portrait of his older brother Richard, who suffered from epilepsy and became increasingly violent, and died aged 41. ... An outstanding book for rich, quiet contemplation.' --Derwent May, The Times
`A superb piece of writing from the author of The Snow Geese... Fiennes lends a lovely, lyrical touch to his own childhood journey towards understanding and this is a wholly captivating account of a family's loving forebearance with an adored but difficult brother.' --Metro
`I bought 12 copies of this for friends I thought would appreciate the near-perfect prose. A glorious evocation of an unusual childhood - far from miserable but tinged with certain sadness, also very funny. Especially high-grade verisimilitude in the snatches of dialogue.' --Angela Huth, The List
`William Fiennes describes his childhood alongside a brother suffering from epilepsy and brain damage. Their family home was a beautiful, medieval castle in Oxfordshire. Both the brother and the property receive a tender, respectful care from the author's parents, and it is as a portrait of such care that this memoir, displaying its integrity and delicacy throughout, really succeeds.'
`[A] tender, affecting portrayal of his upbringing...Suffering and terror coexist with beauty and serenity in a book whose gifts of tact and timing turn its discords into harmony.' --Boyd Tonkin, Independent
`Bewitching...In a touching act of bearing witness, Fiennes has created a family history beyond oil paintings and suits of armour.'
`Beautifully written, subtle, and tremendously acute.' --Daily Mail
`Fiennes's forte is for minutely detailing the exterior world. This memoir begins by assiduously chronicling material wealth in cavernous country rooms. But it grows movingly towards an understated understanding of inner wealth, in the form of abundant love and patience.'
--Independent on Sunday
`A very poignant book.'
`The moving descriptions of Rich's behaviour lay bare the struggle his parents faced raising a beloved son who knew neither his strength nor his own mind.' --Daily Telegraph
'That gentle soul William Fiennes... has now written The Music Room, a poignant memoir about the loss of a sibling.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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I disagree with the reviewer who seems to think Fiennes is pointing an amused finger at the working classes. The characters in the book are described with objectivity and affection - of course there is humour in the behaviour of others otherwise comedians would never make a living!
This is a book that deals with love and loss, with sadness and beauty and leaves the reader with much to ponder.
Perhaps, for me, too much poetic descriptive prose of the pike in the moat, Rich's (the brother) fascination with Herons but, nevertheless, an enlightening insight into the family living in these draughty mausoleums known as stately homes.
A certain amount of guilt emanates from the writing remembering that he might have been less combative at times with the agressive elder brother but nevertheless a very honest and almost painful description of a very unique childhood.
For me, too much poetic prose, and nothing happening. But a very worthy book.
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William Fiennes’ account of his childhood in a moated castle is more than a memoir but rather a tribute to the enduring quality of a...Read more