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An Equal Music

An Equal Music The author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy returns with a powerful and deeply romantic tale of two gifted musicians Michael Holme is a violinist a member of the successful Maggiore Qua

  • Title: An Equal Music
  • Author: Vikram Seth
  • ISBN: 9780375709241
  • Page: 156
  • Format: Paperback
  • The author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy returns with a powerful and deeply romantic tale of two gifted musicians Michael Holme is a violinist, a member of the successful Maggiore Quartet He has long been haunted, though, by memories of the pianist he loved and left ten years earlier, Julia McNicholl Now Julia, married and the mother of a small child, uThe author of the international bestseller A Suitable Boy returns with a powerful and deeply romantic tale of two gifted musicians Michael Holme is a violinist, a member of the successful Maggiore Quartet He has long been haunted, though, by memories of the pianist he loved and left ten years earlier, Julia McNicholl Now Julia, married and the mother of a small child, unexpectedly reenters his life and the romance flares up once Against the magical backdrop of Venice and Vienna, the two lovers confront the truth about themselves and their love, about the music that both unites and divides them, and about a devastating secret that Julia must finally reveal With poetic, evocative writing and a brilliant portrait of the international music scene, An Equal Music confirms Vikram Seth as one of the world s finest and most enticing writers.

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      156 Vikram Seth

    About "Vikram Seth"

    1. Vikram Seth

      Vikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children s writer, biographer and memoirist During the course of his doctorate studies at Stanford, he did his field work in China and translated Hindi and Chinese poetry into English He returned to Delhi via Xinjiang and Tibet which led to a travel narrative From Heaven Lake Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet 1983 which won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award.The Golden Gate A Novel in Verse 1986 was his first novel describing the experiences of a group of friends who live in California A Suitable Boy 1993 , an epic of Indian life set in the 1950s, got him the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize His poetry includes The Humble Administrator s Garden 1985 and All You Who Sleep Tonight 1990 His Beastly Tales from Here and There 1992 is children s book consisting of ten stories in verse about animals.In 2005, he published Two Lives, a family memoir written at the suggestion of his mother, which focuses on the lives of his great uncle Shanti Behari Seth and German Jewish great aunt Henny Caro who met in Berlin in the early 1930s while Shanti was a student there and with whom Seth stayed extensively on going to England at age 17 for school As with From Heaven Lake, Two Lives contains much autobiography.An unusually forthcoming writer whose published material is replete with un or thinly disguised details as to the personal lives of himself and his intimates related in a highly engaging narrative voice, Seth has said that he is somewhat perplexed that his readers often in consequence presume to an unwelcome degree of personal familiarity with him.

    467 Comments

    1. It s the weirdest thing, a quartet I don t know what to compare it to A marriage a firm a platoon under fire a self regarding, self destructive priesthood It has so many different tensions mixed in with its pleasures.I was absolutely enthralled with Seth s two novels The Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy and so I couldn t wait to start reading this book But it turned out to have an odd effect on me as I alternatively loved and hated it I couldn t understand this at all I put the book down for a day [...]


    2. Your words have given me life and taken sleep away The park gates open at first light Slate grey and coral, dawn is reflected in the pool The flowers have been turfed under in the sunken garden The chack of a squirrel, the splash of a small duck, a blackbird hopping about beneath the thinned out linden hedge this is all I am alone with this troubled joy.That beautiful, gray day when I found you, Equal Music, a parallel to those drops of hard rain on windowpanes Go to the used bookstore where it [...]


    3. Seeing this much lauded novel on one of my bookshelves yesterday reminded me to post a review.I read this several years ago, when it was being f ted by culturati luvvies the world over A masterpiece as clear, lovely and civilised as a Schubert quartet Daily Mail Seth follows the heart s changes as rigorously as if they were the interweaving lines of a Bach score, and, at its frequent best, his prose, as he intends, is as clear, lovely, inexorable, as a fugue Evening StandardI, on the other hand, [...]


    4. I have never gone as low and as fast in my opinion of a book as with An Equal Music After the first 25 pages, I felt that I d stumbled on to something incredible no doubt helped by the very simple writing, which was a refreshing change from Salman Rushdie s tediousness but after a 100 pages it became clear that it was incredible, just the wrong type incredibly bad.The story is about a violinist who is reunited with his lost love after 10 years She has re married and has a child, yet sees nothing [...]


    5. I was surprised by how much i loved this book It s blow off your travelling companions and curl up in your youth hostel until you finish it good It s finish it and then wish you hadn t so you could read it again for the first time good The tension in the love story is addictive But what I loved most was the way Seth writes about music the way he integrates music into the lives of the characters all professional musicians is than convincing, it s intoxicating.


    6. The smell of rosin on a bow, the satisfaction of slow scales played with a partner, the sleepy somnolence of working a piece through in your head just before sleep I miss these things I forget them too Vikram Seth lent them back to me this week I ve read An Equal Music before, quickly This read, with bed rest time to spin through, I read it page by page, at half tempo It was delicious Seth recreates the world of a violinist in a string quartet, bringing in the human element of chamber music, and [...]


    7. There are things I loved about this book and things I did not love, but the bottom line is that after finishing it I sat for 15 minutes and just pondered it That s good I have read a few reviews stating a disdain for the narrator he s whinny, he s selfish, he s annoying Yes, those things are true enough But I like that Seth didn t make a heroic main character The fact is that a person going through a failed love affair generally tends to be those things Argue with that all you wish I feel that t [...]


    8. This book appealed to the writer, the artist, the poet in me This book reads like poetry Each sentence, phrase, group of words, a symphony, a melodic soliloquy of language speaking fervently and in depth to the heart, mind, body, soul, bone, marrow, blood I read, rather sang this book from page to page Finding myself enveloped, enraptured within the music of each verse Intoxicated, melding myself comfortably between cover and cover Eyes closed, mind open Entranced, I became one with Michael s lo [...]


    9. I was disappointed in this book I was looking forward to a novel that had lots of musical detail in it and it definitely succeeded there, and the writing about playing was excellent But the prose surrounding the main plot of the novel was extremely self conscious, overwrought and annoying I didn t find much to like in the main character beyond his talents as a musician, which came across and couldn t see any reason for this great love that existed between him and Julia.


    10. 3.25Since reading A Suitable Boy a couple of years back, I was highly impressed by the writing style and character sketch of Vikram Seth An Equal Music has been on my radar since then Got a paperback recently, and the beautiful cover added to the charm of diving into this BR with Smi motivated me further.What I loved 1 Chapters are structured exactly like A Suitable Boy Small chapters with indices like 1.1 to 1.13 etc.2 Gripping right from the start.3 Excessive use of musical jargons, which were [...]


    11. This is the story of the Maggiore Quartet composed by Michael, Piers, Helen brother and sister and Billy.However the main plot involves the love story between Michael a music student in Vienna and Julia McNicol, a pianist.After a nervous breakdown, Michael unexpectedly leaves Vienna as well as Julia A few months later, we didn t manage to contact Julia.By a faith of destiny, ten years later, Michael saw her in a bus in London, tries to pursuit her but she got lost in the traffic.While in a conce [...]


    12. There is one thing the book really excels in describing music.Musical aspects are really recognizable if u are a musician and well worked out.You can almost feel it flow out of the pages during rehearsals and concerts that take place.The plot was interesting, although there wasn t much happening in the middle of the book.Writing is almost poetical in some parts, somehow matching the love and music themes.


    13. The book is about music, love and struggle It s not a typically happy book because it shows you a lot of happiness and then takes it away I ve come to believe that it s a soulful book.Michael Holmes is a violinist He plays for the Maggiore Quartet He s in love with Julia McNicholl Julia is a very gifted pianist Julia and Michael go their separate ways and before they meet again, Julia would have married and have had a child They meet Love and music is in the air And then it isn t Not love, not m [...]


    14. This is a beautiful love story and it is a musical tale The importance of music cannot be emphasized too strongly for, from the title page to the last paragraph music permeates each character The protagonist, Michael Holme has a spiritual connection with music and with the instrument, a Tononi violin, that he uses to express his music This goes beyond playing a piece of music, whether Schubert or Bach or Beethoven, and enters his soul and through the prose of Vikram Seth enters the soul of the r [...]


    15. Am not equal to dissecting or reviewing An Equal Music.Suffice to say that it was a wonderful experience, especially to a person who is not passionate about classical music and who doesn t know the ABCD thereof Though I couldn t comprehend differences between D minor, F etc i enjoyed reading about the musical dilemmas.Loved the interaction between the music fraternity The poignant bitter love story was an added bonus.Mike, Julia, other members of the quarter and the whole premise of this beautif [...]


    16. I read almost half of this book yesterday, and was left somewhat perplexed There was some nice writing about music, but apart from that nothing I mean, there was a plot and characters and so on, but so banal So mundane Well, ok, so maybe it wasn t completely banal and mundane love and so on, of course Deafness Children and marriage in the wrong places for our brave protagonist But it was slightly dramatic in such a conventional way Why A good author should be able to make the slightly dramatic f [...]


    17. Dive into the heart and mind of a obsessive, melancoly, melodramatic violinist who can t let go of the love of his life, a person who he had ditched out on But seriously, this is a beautifully written book about love and music and loving music I am not a professional musician, I played piano when I was young, but not that well, and to the reviews I ve seen that found classical music oriented parts of the book to difficult or too obscure or too distracting, so as to be suitable only for those wit [...]


    18. I thought the bones of the story were solid, and the images of music provoking However, all my positive feelings for this book were swallowed up by how much I disliked the character of Michael He spent the whole book whinging and complaining about how much he missed Julia and wallowing in a pool of self pity I found him selfish, arrogant and pathetic, so much so he ruined the book for me I did not find his pursuit of Julia romantic, but felt for the poor woman and begged Michael to leave her alo [...]


    19. I even question giving this book as much as 2 stars This is an adequate but Unimpressive character study about professional musicians and the lives they lead, but is cancerous plagued by a main character so supremely and wholly unlikable that I cannot fathom why Vikram Seth wrote him that way He doesn t gain anything or change, not really He is only barely infantile at the end of the book than at the beginning The entire main plot of this book is technically serviceable, but serves no real purp [...]


    20. This was a very different Vikram Seth than I got from the other two of his books I ve read Very pretty and sophisticated I m not that musically educated, but I thought I managed well enough Maybe not though, given that I felt as if there was no resolution or even really a concern for one It seemed musically structured than focusing on the idea of a resolution, for good or ill The various bits progressed and moved, and that was all fine and good, but it felt concerned with the tone of it and le [...]



    21. This book promised SO much and delivered so little.The ending was perfect It made me gasp and then simultaneously smile and almost sob a little It was simple, heartrending and beautiful everything that the rest of the book tried to but couldn t be The love story, if it could even be called that, was so shallow We never really did find out what it was that made Michael fall so deeply in love with Julia, we were never shown how they once were together, what made them fit together we were told abou [...]


    22. This is a love story of sorts depicting a m nage trois between violinist Michael, pianist and old flame, Julia, and classical music especially Romantic There s a bit to it in characterization and personification, but suffice it to say that music is a demanding and jealous lover The story and the prose progress in their own masterful and entrancing way, starting rather simply and generically as per convention , and gradually spilling forth resplendent and mysterious poetic unravellings as the ch [...]


    23. Seth s An Equal Music was fabulously executed his prose was flawless such that it leapt off the page straight into my brain The discussions of music were fascinating to me because my level of musical knowledge is And yet I had a hard time reading this it s relatively thin compared with A Suitable Boy, but the bottom line was that I found the protagonist to be irritating He ruined his first relationship by being an undependable flake and then spent 10 years moping about, unable to really connect [...]


    24. A tour de force Enthralling Unequalled by anything I have read before that has music as a central theme And such music the music I love J.S.Bach, The Art of Fugue, Schubert, String Quartets, the Trout Quintet, Haydn String Quartets all played by the renowned Maggiore Quartet of which the protagonist Michael plays second violin occasionally the first Michael, who walked out on love ten years ago in Vienna Julia, a highly accomplished pianist was devastated by his desertion A pianist with a secret [...]


    25. I must admit, I ve never been an ardent fan of classical music and never learned to play an instrument As I read the book, however, for the first time in my life, I wished I had Seth s descriptive, highly sensitive, almost poetic writing allows readers like myself to catch a glimpse of the world of classical instrumental music, from the inside One s heart goes out to Julia for her loss, and also for the fact that she still loved Michael and allowed him to take advantage of that fact I do not agr [...]


    26. It is hard to believe this is the same author of A Suitable Boy Just as Seth wrapped you up in the world of upper caste India in the mid 50s, amidst amazing social and political change, now you are led gently into the contemporary classical music scene of London, Vienna, Venice a love story, a tragedy, a loving tribute to chamber music and insights into the world of performance THe laughter and lightheartedness in A Suitable Boy are absent here the characters are treated with almost too much dig [...]


    27. A love story A very vivid portrayal of losing the love of your life Why Michael left Julia in Vienna wasn t really explained to my satisfaction Not believable considering how much he loved her Beautifully written as always but too much detailed reference about the mechanism of constructing music much of which was lost on me I did appreciate the emotional significance of music on the main characters Overall a 3




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