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Pizzicato: The Abduction of the Magic Violin by [Rusalka Reh ]
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Pizzicato: The Abduction of the Magic Violin Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 134 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Age Level: 9 - 12 Grade Level: 5th and up

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Product Description

About the Author

Rusalka Reh was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1970 and grew up in Germany. She studied special education, rehabilitation, and art therapy in Cologne. She began her career as a scientific assistant at the university’s fine arts program and later worked as an art therapist in municipal children’s homes. Since 2000, she has been working as a freelance author, writing lyrics and prose. In addition to books for children and adults, she has published several texts in anthologies and magazines.

David Henry Wilson (1937-) was born in London, and educated at Dulwich College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He taught in France and Ghana before becoming a university lecturer in Germany, first in Cologne, then in Constance - where he founded the university theatre - and later in Bristol (England). His theatre plays have been widely produced in Britain and other countries, and his children's books (especially the Jeremy James series) have been translated into many languages. His translation work from French and German ranges from children's fiction through art and culture to literary theory and other academic fields. He is married and lives in Taunton, England, where to his wife's dismay he still plays cricket. They have three grown-up children but only one grandchild. They would like more grandchildren.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 265 KB
  • Print Length: 134 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611090040
  • Publisher: Two Lions (8 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00400MR1G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #249,485 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A slow start, in which the characters are introduced and described, is followed by a well paced adventure. It is easy to read and would suit 9-12 year olds. The denouement is a little rushed and slightly clumsy. It is a short book but enjoyable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f3bb1ec) out of 5 stars 43 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961fb294) out of 5 stars Cute story, inept translation 16 Dec. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Pizzicato is a sweet little entry in a tried-and-true genre. A worthy, put-upon orphan is swept up in a magic-tinged adventure which leads him to a happy new home. (That hardly counts as a spoiler, since the outcome is so inevitable.) The particular charm of this version is in the role of music, and particularly the making, playing, and magical properties of violins. The plot has holes big enough to swim around in, but in a way, that's part of the charm too.


This book was translated from the German, in a literal-minded way that's just a step up from Babelfish. You can never, ever forget you're reading a translation.

Every paragraph has an odd rhythm to it. Dialogue is hard to follow, because a single character will veer from arch formality to casual slang in the course of a few lines. And the slang is always a little off, as when a dignified gentleman says, in irritation, "Fiddle-dee-dee, I have to go to the post office." Or in another scene, where a roomful of shocked faces prompts a cheerful exclamation of "You look as if you have all seen Beelzebub!" The book would be a nightmare to read aloud, because sentences and clauses never lead where you expect.

If you're up for a slightly more advanced reading level, there happens to be another recent kids' novel featuring worthy orphans and a magic violin: The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby. It's an excellent read, in real, live literary English.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f520e88) out of 5 stars Nice Idea for a Story, but a Little Awkward 4 Dec. 2010
By Sherry Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Darius Dorian is an orphan boy who lives at the Stork's Nest Children's Home. Through an interesting (and slightly improbable) twist of events, Darius finds himself a victim in a scandalous plot involving a magic violin bearing the name, Pizzicato.

Pizzicato: The Abduction of the Magic Violin, is a tale with a little bit of everything - good guys, bad guys, adventure, and even a little romance.

Music afficianados will probably enjoy the musical elements of the book, which include many of the characters' names.

This edition of the book is a translation from the original German version which was published in 2009. It is told from the third-person point of view in the present tense. This style of narration makes the reader feel that he or she is an outside observer casually watching the events unfold. At times it feels awkward. It may also cause the reader to feel emotionally detached from the characters.

While I enjoyed the story, I felt it didn't quite merit a five-star review. Perhaps with a little more character development and a tweaking of the plot, it would make a fine movie.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f160834) out of 5 stars A Simple and Predictable Story 23 Dec. 2010
By Jeannie Mancini - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rusalka Reh's upcoming new children's novel Pizzicato, supposedly is written for ages 9-12. At least that is what it states on the back cover of the Advanced Reading Copy paperback I read. I felt that with the minimal amount of pages, the simplistic plot and low depth of character development, added with a very predictable path to the end, that maybe this should have been geared for younger kids 8-10.

It's a some-what delightful short story laced with a tiny bit of magic, but I didn't get wowed by it and felt it didn't really spark the imagination too much. I think a little bit more substance added to the story could have given it more sparkle.

The story is about a young orphan named Darius Dorian who is given an unusual school project. He is to shadow-job a professional for three weeks and is assigned to learn from Mr. Archinola who is a master violin maker. A few days after he is installed in the shop he notices a violin hanging on the wall that seems to have a mystical blue glow. Stealing this instrument to check out the mystery, Darius finds the violin to have magical healing powers.

Mey-Mey is a 12 year old girl who for some time has been visiting Mr. Archinola in secret to play the violin she loves, yet her parents forbid her to play. Mey-Mey has a deformed finger that prevents her from becoming a proficient musician in the eyes of professionals but continues to practice under the inspiring Mr. Archinola.

When Darien meets Mey-Mey the two become fast friends and Darien schemes to use the magic violin to heal Mey-Mey's finger, which will then offer her a promising career. But all doesn't go as planned and the story unravels a dastardly plot of kidnapping, fraud, romance and adventure.

With the plot rather low on complexity, I hesitate to say more or this will become a spoiler review. At times the story is sweet and endearing, but again, throughout the read, I was wishing for more. There just needed to be a bit more meat to it, and a not-so inevitable track from start to finish. On the whole, I can't say I enjoyed it much and don't think I could recommend it to others as being a must read. Sorry folks, my feeling is that it was a bit boring and lacked luster.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97ec190c) out of 5 stars Rough translation, story never seemed to really go anywhere... 9 Feb. 2011
By J. Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've had this complaint about other works translated from German. The translator did it very literally (ok, I admit to having this difficulty in translating French to English, but I *know* my working knowledge of French idioms isn't the greatest and so I would never try to do it professionally). Literally translated, as in using verb tenses which are probably very common to German, but read very awkwardly in English. The whole book should have gone through another editing just to change that extremely annoying tense into something more readable.

I really hate when my internal editor mode just won't click off when I'm reading just for fun. So this was not a fun book.

I almost didn't finish it due to the villan character/actions. The author made a very despicable character and then seemed to try to make the reader sympathize with him. Nah. Not in kids' literature, it really doesn't work.

I did like the description of the violin making and the instruments, so that's what bumped up my rating to two stars. Older kids only, and then still maybe skip to somthing else...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f160624) out of 5 stars An uneven translation 31 Jan. 2011
By L. Jonsson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Darius Dorian is an orphan, living in an orphanage. By chance, he is paired with ARchibald Archinola, a master violinmaker and violinist for a school project. He discovers an old violin in a glass case, and decides to take it out. He strikes the chords and magic happens-a cut on his hand disappears. Throw a greedy Doctor into the mix, who wants to discover and hoard the magic of the violin all to himself, and you have the ingredients for a modern fairy tale.

I liked the characters of Darius, Archibald, and Alice ( a jewelry shop owner) The plot of mystery and magic was a little contrived, but it seemed like something Hans Christian Anderson would have toyed with. I had a difficult time reading this book. The translation from German to English does not have a natural rhythm to it-you always feel like you are reading a translation. Also the third person narration style was hard to read. There was no past tense in reading the book, only present tense, which was difficult for me as a reader to fathom. The characters were not fully realized by the author-I do realize this is a childrens book, however, think of the immense characterization of the main characters in Harry Potter, or the Avatar the last airbender series. There were fully developed characters, not just the bare character outlines that this author presents. Illustrations of main events that occured in this book would have added to the story as well.

Also, a deciding factor in whether or not I like a childrens book is if my children like it. I read this to my sons, my oldest son said it was merely "okay," and my youngest son said "Can I go talk to Dad now?' This is not a book that will appeal to all children. So I must give it three stars-I wonder if with more time and effort what this story could have been.
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