The Melody

The Melody

Book - 2018
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From the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Harvest , Quarantine , and Being Dead , a tender new novel about music, lost love, and the way barely whispered fears and desires push their way into the light.

Alfred Busi lives alone in his villa overlooking the waves, with only his trusted piano for company. Famed in his town for his music and songs, he is mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days--occasionally performing the classics in small venues, though never in the stadiums he could fill when in his prime. On the night before receiving his town's highest honour, Busi is wrested from his bed by noises in his courtyard, and then stunned by an attacking intruder. His hands and neck are scratched, and his face is bitten. Busi can't say what it was that he encountered, exactly, but he feels his assailant was neither man nor animal.
The attack sets off a chain of events that will cast a shadow on Busi's career, imperil his home, and alter the fabric of his town. Busi's own account of what happened is embellished to fan the flames of old rumour--of an ancient race of people living in the surrounding forest--and to spark new controversy: something must finally be done about the town's poor, the feral vegabonds whose numbers have been growing. Meanwhile Busi, weathering a media storm, must come to terms with his wife's death and decide whether to sing one last time.
The Melody is a story about grief and aging, about reputation and its loss, and the peculiar way myth seeps into real life. In trademark crystalline prose, Jim Crace portrays a man taking stock of his life and looking into an uncertain future, all while bearing witness to a community in the throes of great change--with echoes of today's most pressing social questions.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Hamish Hamilton, 2018.
ISBN: 9780735235212
Branch Call Number: FIC Crace
Characteristics: 224 pages ; 22 cm


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Oct 21, 2018

Returned with out reading very much.

Aug 16, 2018

When I started reading "The Melody" I thought that it had a lot of potential, but after a few chapters there were some things that were not working for me. Its prose is filled up with long sentences lined up on interminable paragraphs. There are hardly any dialogues, and it is easy to get the attention lost when narrative pauses are almost inexistent. Many times I found myself totally departed from the story and making an effort to come back to it. Jim Crace uses beautiful language and descriptions, however these are not the only elements needed for a novel to be good. Having the appropriate pace is important too, and unfortunately, to me, "The Melody" lacks this.

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