- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; (Reissue) edition (14 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007307675
- ISBN-13: 978-0007307678
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Rough Music Paperback – 14 May 2009
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'Like the sea he describes so well, Patrick Gale's clear, unforced prose sucks one in effortlessly … he is excellent at the telling detail and description' Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
'There are no false notes in this book' Marie Claire
'An astute, sensitive and at times tragically uncomfortable meditation on sex, lies and family…. a fabulously unnerving book… a hugely compelling writer' Independent on Sunday
'It would be churlish to divulge more of the plot, suffice to say that it is as ingenious in design as it is generous in spirit' Sunday Express
From the Inside Flap
Beautifully written and deeply compassionate, Rough Music is a novel of one family at two defining points in time. Seamlessly alternating between the present day and a summer thirty years past, its twin stories unfold at a cottage along the eastern coast of England.
Will Pagett receives an unexpected gift on his fortieth birthday, two weeks at a perfect beach house in Cornwall. Seeking some distance from the married man with whom he's having an affair, he invites his aging mother and father to share his holiday, knowing the sun and sea will be a welcome change for. But the cottage and the stretch of sand before it seem somehow familiar and memories of a summer long ago begin to surface.
Thirty-two years earlier. A young married couple and their eight year-old son begin two idyllic weeks at a beach house in Cornwall. But the sudden arrival of unknown American relatives has devastating consequences, turning what was to be a moment of reconciliation into an act of betrayal that will cast a lengthy shadow.
As Patrick Gale masterfully unspools these parallel stories, we see their subtle and surprising reflections in each other and discover how the forgotten dramas of childhood are reenacted throughout our lives.
Deftly navigating the terrain between humor and tragedy, Patrick Gale has written an unforgettable novel about the lies that adults tell and the small acts of treason that children can commit. Rough Music gracefully illuminates the merciful tricks of memory and the courage with which we continue to assert our belief in love and happiness.
"From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
As others have said, Frances' present day tale of her slip into early-onset Alzheimers is almost unbearably moving - those first and last chapters are a masterful stroke! On this, a third read, I was struck afresh at how wholly sympathetic a character John is and I liked him immensely. The early beach holiday is wonderfully nostalgic and brought back some memories of family camping holidays when I was a child (though thankfully not nearly so eventful). The book is not entirely without flaws - a couple of characters remain rather two dimensional (eg Roly and Bill) and indeed, I'm not sure that Roly was needed at all other than to provide a happy ending for Will; as in other Gale novels it seems remarkably easy to pick up handsome gay men in remote parts of the country!Read more ›
It is mainly set around a holiday cottage in Cornwall over two family visits separated by 30 years, and the events of the past slowly unravel and merge with the characters' present day lives, as twists and details are revealed.
If you like strong characters and insights into human relationships this is a great book ... not a lot of action but very thoughtful and it left me with questions about things that were not quite resolved or clear.
It is rather difficult to describe this book without giving away any spoilers. The two parallel stories do wander along quite slowly with very few major happenings until towards the end. I quite enjoyed this and was happy with the pace of the book. We got to know the characters and the context of their family life. I have to say that although the writing was good, the descriptions of the places and characters wasn't quite as three dimensional as it could have been. There is much to discover on the way as there are many family secrets to be explored and ultimately to rise to the surface.
I shouldn't like the character of Will as he does do something totally unforgivable. However, I did quite like him. He was happy wandering along in his own, quite comfortable world until it all gets shaken up and he has to discover what he really wants. The character of Will's mother, Frances, is brilliantly written. She is sliding very slowly into a confused world of dementia and things are becoming confused in her mind. She is a very sad character as is her husband, John, who loves her so much yet has to watch this decline.
There is a really heartbreaking scene in this book which has practically nothing to do with the main story. It describes John's friend, Sylvia, whose husband has slipped further into dementia until he attacks her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gripping from start to end. I really enjoyed the structure of the book and the life like characters. I have already ordered my next Gale.
Disappointed after A Place Called Winter (which is a wonderful book).Published 5 months ago by DMcV
I started off by enjoying this book but ended by feeling let down. Hard to escape the belief that without the tricksy timeline - now we're here, now we're there, now we don't know... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Music Maker
Absorbing read full of intrigue , human vunerability , temptation , deception, love creating a really brilliant novel. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Colin Hutchinson
Thoroughly enjoyed this read; two stories which come together perfectly.Published 7 months ago by Laura
This was my choice for our Book Group and everyone loved it.
Rough Music has a bit of everything written in Patrick Gayle's tongue in cheek style.