spectating participant

October 2, 2003

Book Review: The Piano Tuner

Filed under: review, books — suzanne henderson @ 2:57 pm

fiction novel by Daniel Mason

In short: Historical fiction set in 1886 and around a British man heading off to the nether regions of Burma to tune some crazy man’s piano.

Beautiful imagery throughout this book. All of the descriptions come alive and dance before you. You can smell the spices and curries and you can almost feel the seasons pass. I was stunned by the descriptive detail within this book. I devoured every word until at last there was nothing else. My senses ran on high for two days, I was still recalling morsels of beauty from the text.

And then I started to think about the book. There was nothing in this book, no plot, no structure, nothing to really classify it as a story even. Had I written this for a class project, I would have gotten wonderful smiles from the imagery, but an F since it lacked any real content.

That being said, it has great potential for a good story. But too many corners are cut and the end gets rushed into a fray of loose ends. Seemed like Mason just ran out of time and turned in whatever manuscript he had finished at the time. Instead of ending where he did, he could have pulled through and produced an outstanding novel.