Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

VINE VOICEon 10 June 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Henry Cage a successful wealthy businessman is nearing retirement and his ordered routine life is about to change. He is fussy and introverted and has a very 'set' routine existance.

On New Years Eve - the millenium new years eve! - a random violent act sets in motion a sequence of events that shatters his structured lifestyle and evolves into tragic consequences.
A series of events occur which give insights into Henrys family life or lack of it and the few characters within the novel are well described .
Dark family secrets are revealed and the sense of the passing of time and the shortness of life and the chances to make amends are realised.
This is a beautiful novel written with an excellent eye for detail and kept me engaged for 2 nights while I finished it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 30 August 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book opens mightily, with the aftermath of a freak accident; then rewinds five years and unfolds in (third person) flashback, much less mightily, as the eponymous piano player, the central character, moves towards recollection with his estranged son and grandchild set against violence and grief and bunch of not-hugely-interesting, not-particularly-well-developed peripheral characters... this is a well-written novel, a tragic tale full of melancholy... and yet oddly rambling all the same. The central character is not somebody I came to care about or root for particularly, even though I strongly suspect that I was meant to, and when the book was finished, however well-written, I was glad to be done with it, which cannot be a good thing. And yet...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 January 2012
The book opens with Henry's Grandson's funeral and steadily gets more miserable from then on. A well written examination of how lonely, regretful and depressed a person can get when they have been so unforgiving as to ruin their whole life. Henry had once thought he had it all, but lost everything and this book picks up near the end of his life and looks back to see where things went wrong for him.
I can't think what kind of person would enjoy this book, it's just so depressing and doesn't really have that much of a story. I was glad to finish it and that it was relatively short. There's also barely any mention of pianos or playing them.
I think this author could write a much more enjoyable book as the writing style was good.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 April 2016
I read about 30% of The Upright Piano Player before giving up because I found the plot so deeply unpleasant. Everything Henry touches turns to lead. His young grandson has died and his daughter in law blames it on him when it is clearly not his fault. A total stranger assaults him on New Year's Eve and when he comes across the said stranger in a cafe, the stranger gets him barred for looking at his girlfriend. The stranger follows that up with serious harassment. His wife treats him like dirt, his partners have no respect for him. And so on. I wanted to give up after 60 pages and kept going hoping it would lighten up but it didn't.
I have given it two stars because Abbott writes well.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 April 2012
This is a debut novel. Thoughtful and thought provoking. It tells the story of Henry, a man in reflective mood after the death of his grandson, for which his daughter in law partly blames him. This incident also comes at a poignant time for the protagonist; his former wife is dying of cancer, and he is leaving his high profile City career. There is what i found an unlikely sub-plot around a low-life who is stalking Henry, but it adds to the senses of despair that surrounds him.
Not a feel good book, but you'll be thinking about it long after you put it down.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 August 2010
David Abbott combines a civilised style with a sensitive understanding of some of the more sombre aspects of the human condition. His book does not provide easy holiday reading - the narrative technique is subtle and complex and the subject matter far from trivial. This is a book for intelligent people who like to be made to think while they read. It is also a pleasure to read - the typeface excellent.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 10 June 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Writing of such elegance is rare especially in a debut novel and Abbott writes with an ownership of a beautiful style. Henry is a dear character with the usual dark side which eventually leads him to tragedy. It's a common theme these days but this novel is different - there is an existentialist touch to it in both style and substance. This is a book to savour and then remember.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 September 2010
When I was reading page 19 I realised with relief that I wasn't Henry, but for the rest of the novel I was being and watching and feeling Henry.

This is an uncluttered, crafted and compelling story that builds and flows through an unravelling of soul, the frailties of body and the deceptions of our own minds. David Abbott offers us a moving retrospective in simple language set in a style that creates an engaging tension between the beauty of the telling with the disquiet of what we learn of Henry and possibly ourselves. Henry's story is rooted in real places that are as important as he is in the shifting of moods, the undermining of certainties and the self-questioning of a tragic hero.

There is joy and sadness in equal measure, but the playing out of circumstances convinces me that we are never who we think we are and saying what we feel is more important than saying what we think.

I feel this novel; I feel for Henry and I feel for me! Read 'The Upright Piano Player' without further delay.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 March 2013
This book is beautiful in parts, though it deals with some ugly issues and events. It's very sad almost all the way through though there are lighter moments sprinkled throughout.

It's a book I think I'll remember reading.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 March 2012
Just finished reading this book. Thoroughly enjoyed every page. Excellently written, beautiful narrative with a proper beginning, middle and end. Hope David Abbott is planning another book!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here