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The Soloist: A Novel
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The Soloist: A Novel

3.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  44 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
At thirty-four, piano soloist Max Randal has hit a wall. It's been four years since his last live performance, and his manager is intent on revitalizing his career with a big concert at Carnegie Hall. As if that wouldn't be enough for Max to worry about, as he struggles to prepare, the ghosts of his failed relationships have come to haunt him — his first ex-wife is dying, ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 27th 2006 by Counterpoint (first published 1986)
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Jim Leckband
Nov 01, 2012 Jim Leckband rated it really liked it
A piano virtuoso looks back at his life to figure out why he is alone (get it, soloist=>alone). I think that is the only reason why this is told as a flashback because there is no added frame story,insight or present day motivations. We are left to wonder why he is looking back.

The reason I got the book was because it was about piano playing - and it delivers wonderfully. Christopher either is a pianist or is a great researcher because he really brings across what a musician is going through
Oct 21, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
I have read most of Nicholas Christopher's books and have loved them. I liked this one, too, however, by the time I was done, I was tired of listening to the self-absorbed main character examine every minute aspect of himself. I loved going through the preparation for his big comeback concert, especially the night of the concert. The author perfectly described the exhilaration and fear that comes with performing. And I enjoyed all of his relationships, especially with his daughter, Daphne. I jus ...more
Aug 27, 2007 Aubrey rated it liked it
A story about a pianist who is trying to orchestrate a comeback and figure out the adult he is becoming. It is a tale of past relationships, discipline, and the passion outside of romantic love.

Max, a pianist of the caliber of Rubeinstein, is now 32 and preparing a comeback tour. His first wife is dying, his second wife wants to get back together, and the mother of his child is leaving their young daughter with him for the summer.

Though Christopher has a hard time refraining from including the f
Brandy Moriah
May 18, 2007 Brandy Moriah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: literati
I loved this book. It's been out of print since its first printing in 1986. It's Nicholas Christopher's first novel, and I've been looking for it ever since I read his second novel, Veronica, in 1997. His prose is smooth, elegant, precise, and funny, quite a difficult blend. Although it's a quiet novel, definitely fitting the literary fiction type of being more concerned about the character than the plot, Christopher describes everyday activities magically (sometimes literally). For me, it was a ...more
Dawn Michelle
Aug 29, 2008 Dawn Michelle rated it liked it
This book was alright. It was not one of my favorites and I don't know that I would recommend it to anyone unless they were serious musicians or pianists. It tends to drag in parts and the lead character can be very maudlin at times, which I found irritating (which is surprising seeing as I am maudlin a lot of the time...).

The book,(which is about a prodigy concert pianist/soloist who after a 4 year slump is going to have his triumphant return and then tour) has moments of brilliance, but much
Apr 02, 2013 Craig rated it liked it
A piano master plans a return to public performance after a 4 year hiatus, but his attempts to prepare are muddied by the various relationships he has with the women in his life. I always enjoyed this author's writing but I didn't enjoy this particular effort as much because it wasn't based on the mystical as were his other novels, and that was disappointing, because he conveys the supernatural so very well. He does, however, provide a good reading experience, giving me at least a sense of what ...more
Apr 27, 2009 Elaine rated it liked it
Completely pales to his epic, "A Trip to the Stars" (which is my all-time favorite book), but it's still very well written and a good story. However, I found the main character a bit too arrogant for my taste so I couldn't really relate to him-- he had to be arrogant, though, or the story wouldn't have worked. Christopher's descriptions, and those of the music in particular, were beautiful.
Nancy Snow
Aug 25, 2009 Nancy Snow rated it liked it
Pretty good read.
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Nicholas Christopher was born and raised in New York City. He was educated at Harvard College, where he studied with Robert Lowell and Anthony Hecht. Afterward, he traveled and lived in Europe. He became a regular contributor to the New Yorker in his early twenties, and began publishing his work in other leading magazines, both in the United States and abroad, including Esquire, the New Republic, ...more
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