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The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow
  

The Prague Sonata

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A long book of 528 pages but very readable and a real page-turner. The writing is rich and thrilling and the story, swinging between the past and present, between Meta and Otylie, is clear and engaging. It involves the preservation of an early, presumed to be, Beethoven sonata which, to protect it from the Nazis’ confiscation in 1939, is split into three parts. One is retained by its owner, Otylie, one she gives to her friend Irena and the third she sends to her husband who has joined the resistance. All three eventually lose touch. In the present day Meta, a musicologist meets the now very old Irena and learns of the story. Irena gives her the movement and so begins the hunt for the other two parts. I don’t think there is any doubt as to the outcome of this but the point of the story is the search and that provides tension, drama and suspense with the last hundred pages changing gear and racing to its conclusion. There are a lot of music references which not all readers may understand but I don’t think that will spoil their enjoyment for it is a lovely read, highly recommended. It would make an excellent film. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

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Synopsis

The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow

Pages of a weathered original sonata manuscript - the gift of a Czech immigrant living in Queens - come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. The gift comes with the request that Meta find the manuscript's true owner - a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart - and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvorak and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn't the only one seeking the music's secrets.

Reviews

Twining music history with the political tumults of the 20th century, The Prague Sonata is a sophisticated, engrossing intellectual mystery... [Morrow's] captivating, hopeful book presents a vision of the broken past, restored. Wall Street Journal

Bradford Morrow is an astonishing writer. -- Joyce Carol Oates

A treasure of a novel, a deliciously enveloping musical mystery which I read with marvel and gusto. -- Diane Ackerman

Bradford Morrow is remarkable. The Real Thing, which is rare on this earthly plane. -- Michael Cunningham

This rich, masterful novel brilliantly explores the complex tumble of history, the human capacity for good and for evil, the fragile but redeeming glory of art. Morrow has long been one of America's finest novelists. And this humanely epic tale is his finest book. -- Robert Olen Butler

Bradford Morrow has written his masterpiece. The Prague Sonata is a rich, joyous, complex journey into the city of Prague, the claims made upon us by music, and several dark, dark corners of human experience. -- Peter Straub

An elegant foray into music and memory. Kirkus

About the Author

Bradford Morrow

Bradford Morrow is the author of eight novels, including Trinity Fields, The Diviner's Tale, and most recently, The Forgers, as well as a short-story collection, The Uninnocent. He is the founding editor of Conjunctions and has contributed to many anthologies and journals. A Bard Center Fellow and professor of literature at Bard College, he lives in New York City.

Author pic credit to the author's website.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st February 2018

Author

Bradford Morrow

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Author's Website

www.bradfordmorrow.com/

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Publisher

Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press

Format

Paperback
528 pages

Categories

Crime / Mystery
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery
Second World War fiction

ISBN

9781611855043

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