|The Piano Tuner @ Amazon.com|
'Have you read The Piano Tuner? I just could not put this book down!'
'Oh yes! I read this one in only a couple of days.'
'Okay, good. I won't take this one then.'
This is exactly the conversation I overheard while browsing through the books at the Newberry Library book fair this summer (well, if you call browsing pushing through people to grab a book that YOU saw first). Of course, as soon as I heard the lady was putting the book back down I just had to grab it. This did require me to squat down in a crowd full of people, proceed to look underneath a table, and find the box of books that had not been put on display yet. I'm not really sure why the woman couldn't just put it back on a shelf. Either way, I was not letting this book go!
The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason is an enchanting story of Edgar Drake, commissioned by the British War Office in 1886 to travel to hostile Burma to repair a rare grand piano vital to the country's strategic interests. Eccentric Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll has brokered peace with local warlords primarily through music, a free medical clinic, and the "powers" of common scientific instruments, much to the dismay of warmongering officers suspect of such unorthodox methods. Drake is an introspective, well-mannered person who, once there, falls in love with Burma and stays long past the piano-fixing to aid Carroll's political agenda.I have to admit, the conversation I overheard might have gotten me a little too hyped up for the book. I did enjoy it but it was not one of my all-time favorites. The Piano Tuner did a great job of grabbing my attention from the first page, however I felt like Edgar Drake's journey to Burma was a little too long for my taste. I would have enjoyed more action when Mr. Drake arrived at Burma and was introduced to the eccentric Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll. Dr. Carroll was such a well-developed character and it would have been nice to hear more about him and his adventures.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. If you ever come across The Piano Tuner, hopefully not in the compromising position I found myself in, be sure to pick it up.