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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

ICYMI: Daniel Mason's atmospheric, mysterious, languorous story is of a shy piano tuner's trip to Burma to get the piano of an eccentric army surgeon up and working.

A good piano tuner must have knowledge not only of his instrument but of “Physics, Philosophy, and Poetics,” so that Edgar, although he never attended university, reached his twentieth birthday with more education than many who had.

In 1886 England, middle-aged, shy piano tuner Edgar Drake is asked to do something unusual for the British War Office: travel to the jungles of Burma.

There, Edgar is asked to repair a temperamental piano owned by an eccentric surgeon who has become essential to the war effort.

The Piano Tuner is a strange, slowly paced adventure story but also an anti-imperialist, pro-music take on the world.

The story's jungle setting and music focus mean that the languorous and sultry tone feels just right. Motivations aren't always clear, and characters seem enigmatic to Edgar and therefore to the reader.

It would be lovely to read the book while listening to a playlist of the works mentioned throughout.

This isn't my absolute favorite Mason book, and I didn't connect to the characters as I did in The Winter Solider, but the author's writing is gorgeous as always.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Daniel Mason is also the author of The Winter Soldier and North Woods.


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