The Piano Tuner: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 16, 2003 - Fiction - 235 pages
4 Reviews
In 1886 a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake receives an unusual commission from the British War Office: to travel to the remote jungles of northeast Burma and there repair a rare piano belonging to an eccentric army surgeon who has proven mysteriously indispensable to the imperial design. From this irresistible beginning, The Piano Tuner launches its protagonist into a world of seductive loveliness and nightmarish intrigue. And as he follows Drake’s journey, Mason dazzles readers with his erudition, moves them with his vibrantly rendered characters, and enmeshes them in the unbreakable spell of his storytelling.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
  

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The piano tuner

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In October 1886, piano tuner Edgar Drake receives an astonishing request from the War Office. He is asked to go to Burma to tune the Erard piano of Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll, to whom the office ... Read full review

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Set in the late 1880s, an English piano tuner is practically ordered by the British War Office to visit Burma in order to tune a fancy piano for an army doctor that is doing the Good Imperial Work in the hinterlands near the Siamese border. The first couple hundred pages are slowly rolled out with his leave-taking of his wife of 18 years and his travel all the way to southeast Asia. In Burma, the piano tuner – and the reader – mainly kills time, waiting for something terrible to happen. The descriptions of the geography have great interest. I like novels in which expatriates are besotted by the beauty of a new place, so the nature writing is the best part of the novel, Too true that the characters are thin, the incidents few, the pace slow, But given the writer's intention was to evoke a particular place and time, I think he succeeded. 

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
10
Section 3
11
Section 4
22
Section 5
45
Section 6
49
Section 7
68
Section 8
81
Section 16
183
Section 17
193
Section 18
217
Section 19
230
Section 20
242
Section 21
250
Section 22
254
Section 23
269

Section 9
93
Section 10
103
Section 11
116
Section 12
132
Section 13
141
Section 14
163
Section 15
164
Section 24
276
Section 25
282
Section 26
299
Section 27
305
Section 28
313
Section 29
317
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Daniel Mason received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard in 1998 and spent a year studying malaria on the Thai-Myanmar border, where much of The Piano Tuner was written. He is currently a medical student at the University of California, San Francisco.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information