However, I continued to read, and enjoyed every bit of the book more and more. In the end I concluded that for me, the personal and speculative bits (which come first) are less seductive. When Bostridge writes on particular singers, writers and pieces, though, for me the book comes completely alive. I found myself listening again to Schubert sung by Fischer-Dieskau, thinking about song lyrics, pondering Bob Dylan, and then online late at night ordering three CDs by Henze, a composer I'd never even listened to.
There is a focus to Bostridge's expertise and interests; you will read a lot about lieder for obvious reasons. But his carefully argued judgements on much of the recent important literature in his field are just so enjoyable to read that I found myself staying up late to read even when I was tired. And he has sent me back to Charles RosenThe Romantic Generation (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures), who he regards almost as a god, with great joy.
Fantastic read for anyone with the slightest interest in thinking about serious music.