Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sleeping with Schubert” as Want to Read:
Sleeping with Schubert
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sleeping with Schubert

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  580 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
It seems that the legendary composer Franz Schubert is alive—well, sort of—in the twenty-first century: His soul has taken up residence in the body of Brooklyn lawyer Liza Durbin. Even more astonishing, so has his prodigious gift. A mediocre pianist at best as a child, Liza can suddenly pound out concertos and compose masterly music out of the blue. But how can a brilliant ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published March 5th 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sleeping with Schubert, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sleeping with Schubert

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 861)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lauren Grossman
Jul 30, 2015 Lauren Grossman rated it it was amazing
Whenever I am enjoying a novel, I tend to slow down towards the ending. It's because I don't want the book to end. That's what happened with "Sleeping with Schubert."
Bonnie Marson has such a wonderfully comedic wit that I found myself smiling and even laughing out loud throughout the story.
Even the theme, which is total fantasy, makes me laugh. Possessed by a 19th century composer, a young lawyer has to adapt to a creative genius living inside of her. Conversely, the composer must adapt to bei
Debra Kaitschuck
Mar 12, 2010 Debra Kaitschuck rated it really liked it
Despite the unfortunate mental images the title of this book conjured up for me, I read it. It was recommended by a friend, who is a fellow piano player. I have played piano for the majority of my life, but I have never really felt passionate about it. However, before I was 100 pages into this book, I had to stop reading it because I sincerely wanted to play piano. I pulled out some sheet music that had intimidated me before and actually enjoyed playing it.

The passion for music shared so articu
Nov 01, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor and a love for music
Shelves: favorites
SLEEPING WITH SCHUBERT currently holds the place as my favorite recent read. I have read it twice, first in April 2006 and again this past April. It was a major inspiration and guide for me in writing my own book, LIFE AS PLANNED, currently represented by Writer's Literary Agency.

Liza Durbin, a regular, ordinary, un-spectacular lawyer from Brooklyn wakes up one morning to discover that the soul of the dead composer Franz Schubert has taken up residence in her body. She suddenly becomes a brillia
Jan 19, 2010 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, magic
A unique twist on chick lit. Conflicted woman (check). Best friend (check). Zany family (check). Possessed by the spirit of Franz Schubert (huh?). Quite readable, actually. Like the "Jane Austen Addict" books, this author handles a fanciful storyline in a manner that holds together well. The narrative voice is likeable, and I love the idea of FS completing the "Unfinished Symphony"!
Feb 16, 2009 Shirley rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining book about a young woman who finds herself inhabited by Franz Schubert. As her surprise talent is discovered, she is thrust into live concerts while her hands are taken over at the keyboard. Eventually he speaks through her and finishes his "unfinished symphony". I loved this book. Bonnie Marson took an idea and spun it into current times with great humor.
Feb 12, 2014 Patty rated it it was ok
To be fair,the author turns many a nice phrase and generally tells an interesting story, but I am not the best audience for this book. Despite notable exceptions such as Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume and some Jane Austen fan fiction, I prefer not to have reality manipulated for the purpose of creating an "imagine if" tale.

The premise here is that our heroine, Liza, rather suddenly finds her body (or inner self?) inhabited by the famous romantic composer, Franz Schubert. Her first evidence of t
Ben Campbell
Sep 06, 2011 Ben Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiction, fantasy...whatever you wish to call Sleeping with Schubert it's a fun read. The characters were diligent and rounded, the story fascinating, the music pleasurable, and the theory of identity merge fascinating. Especially when the merge is two gifted players. This is a story worth remembering and passing around.
May 07, 2009 Ruth rated it it was amazing
I read this book a couple years ago but loved it enough to put it on my list. I am usually not attracted to fantasies but this was so believable. The lady is a talented piano player, but needs to move forward. She finds herself inhabited by Franz Schubert. If you love music I think you can love this book.
Jun 03, 2010 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Non-musical attorney Liza Durbin sits down at a piano in Nordstrom's one day and begins playing with the technique of a master. She soon discovers she's inhabited by Franz Schubert's spirit, an occurrence that slowly spins her life out of control. The descriptions of music in this book are wondrous things - I could feel the music drifting off the pages at times. And its those descriptions that kept me reading - the first half of the book is filled with bad chick lit cliches and the unflagging de ...more
Nov 07, 2009 Chuck rated it it was amazing
This isn't the kind of book I usually read, but I was interested in the title and the copy on the dust jacket, and, when I opened the book and read "I became a genius the day I locked my keys in the car," I found I wanted to know more. I'm thoroughly glad that I did.

Liza Durbin is a moderately successful Manhattan lawyer who neither loves or hates her life. She's just getting by, doing OK in a job she's fine with but isn't sure she likes, in a relationship she fell into with a man she's not sure
Aug 17, 2008 Yvonne rated it did not like it
The protagonist in this story is not a very likable character who is in a sort of relationship with a man she met at basketball game and became involved with and then left her husband for. She comes to believe she is inhabited (possessed) by the spirit of Franz Schubert. The descriptions of her life as it becomes once Schubert allegedly takes up residence in her brain are perfect descriptions of major mental illness. In the book however, she is not delusional and psychotic. No there is real evid ...more
Richard Jespers
Procured a signed copy that I’ve finally read (heard Marson read at Taos conference 2004). Light but serious, too. Couldn’t make up my mind as to which. Some depth to it, but also many things seemed too facile. But perhaps that’s what “fantasy” is all about. Liked musical references, yet this woman (by her own admission) has never played an instrument herself. Something is missing although there are certainly many great passages.
İrem Sazak
Nov 06, 2014 İrem Sazak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My friends
Öncelikle kitabı beğendim. Kitapta Klasik Müzik bestecisi Franz Schubert, 21. yüzyıla geri dönüp, Brooklynli Avukat Liza Durbin'in bedeninde yaşamaya devam ediyor. Liza Durbin gençliğinde kötü bir piyano öprencisiyken bu sayede mükemmel konçertolar besteleyebiliyor. Kitap Liza'nın ağzından anlatılırken aynı zamanda Schubert'in de düşüncelerine yer veriliyor. Onun ağzından anlatılan kısımların olması benim çok hoşuma gitti çünkü iki farklı insanın aynı bedende yaşarkenki düşüncelerini hislerini a ...more
Raving Redcoat
Jan 23, 2016 Raving Redcoat rated it it was amazing
A spirited romp through spiritual possession, music, and relationships. I heartily recommend this book for anyone interested in urban fantasy who is tired of all the good stories in the genre being about teenagers.
Tara Laukat
Sep 04, 2013 Tara Laukat rated it liked it
Recommends it for: women of all ages
My first impression of this book was that it was a better than average 'chick lit' novel. Even though the plot was unlikely, it captured my imagination. So, it was a story about a youngish woman finding herself and love. It was also a story about music and creativity. When Liza describes life through the lense of a more creative spirit, you start longing for the possibilities. It was a story about accomplishment. Could she create beautiful music? And it was a story of redemption. Everyone grew, ...more
Mar 07, 2009 Sylvia rated it liked it
If you suspend disbelief, the first 150-200 pages are a really fun, witty read. A 31 year old attorney, minding her own business wakes up one morning to find that her body is now co-inhabited by the spirit of Franz Schubert. The first half of the book follows the main character as she tries to adjust to life and how friends and family adjust to her and Franz. Midway through, the concept loses steam, drags on and turns into some fluffy mystery story. Oh well.

As I read the book, it seemed odd tha
(Actual rating = 3.75 stars)

Sleeping with Schubert is the tale of 20th/21st century Brooklyn lawyer Liza Durbin, who is suddenly and maddeningly inhabited by the spirit of Franz Schubert.

The title is silly, but it's an enjoyable book. In fact, it was better than I expected. It's compelling, and I thought it brought up important themes of identity and talent. I think the only thing I found lacking was a description of how Liza came to be inhabited by Schubert.
Jun 23, 2009 Emma rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bonnie
Recommended to Emma by: Ruthie
This was a fun fun read. Thanks Ruthie!
Fairly ordinary woman is shopping in Nordstrom's and listening to the mediocre piano player when she is suddenly possessed (or invaded, or visited by?) the spirit of Franz Shubert. What I like about this book is that it is written not as a fantasy, but as a real world experience. What would life be like if suddenly you had new talent that was not your own, you don't know what is going on and suddenly being a lawyer is not what you want to do? Thankfully th
MaryKai Boulton
Very fun story. I love the writing style, felt like the end meandered on, but it all came together in a wonderful, concise, not-to-long-or-short ending! Wonderful!
Sarah Ellison
Jan 23, 2016 Sarah Ellison rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun, musical-fiction
Wild assumption that a great composer would inhabit the body of an average character two centuries after his death. Great fun.
Feb 07, 2008 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone in the mood for a feel-good read
This book was so good. I really loved it, and it's one of my new favorites. It's about a modern-day 30-something New York City woman who suddenly becomes inhabited by the spirit of the great composer Franz Schubert. As a result, she becomes a hit musical sensation, and the ups and downs of her dealing with the sudden fame and talent are in part what the story is about. It's really funny and also very touching in its own whimsical way. I didn't want the book to end because I liked it so much, and ...more
Julie Krick
Jun 30, 2015 Julie Krick rated it really liked it
Entertaining idea of being inhabited by previous genius. This book kept my interest because I have children who play classical music and I love all kinds of music. Upon finishing I have to say it was the kind of book I enjoy when I need a romp after reading heavier stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed the fun.
Old Old
Jan 25, 2016 Old Old rated it liked it
Imaginative, learned a little about Schubert, don't think Ave Marie is Lieder.
Sep 04, 2014 Debbie rated it it was ok
This book has a great premise, but I found that it did not live up to my expectations. It became rather repetitive and less interesting as it went on.
Jun 07, 2014 Shelly rated it it was ok
Meh....ok. Not Great.
May 16, 2007 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: chick-lit lovers and music-lovers UNITE
This book made me proud to read chick lit. Not only is it for females, but for music-lovers as well. A female lawyer from Brooklyn wakes up one morning to find her body is inhabited by the great composer Schubert, trying to finish his unfinished symphony. Not only does it send her on a quest to find herself, but it's an ode to how the most purest melodies can change your life forever. The brief glimpses we're given of what Schubert is thinking are poetic and pitch-perfect.
Jun 03, 2008 Jan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sandra
Although clearly billed as "chick lit" I found this book very good. I can't help but wonder if it's because I played piano in my younger years and therefore had some identification with the protagonist...clearly pianists do not make the "big time" often enough to even mention. What if you really could have a fantastic inspiration by one of the best pianists the world has ever known?

Entertaining -- not great literature, but the characters are well developed and hold attention.
Lolo Engelman
Nov 12, 2015 Lolo Engelman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much fun to read.
Feb 12, 2009 Katey rated it it was ok
I mostly read this...skipped a bit because I was interested in seeing how it turned out but was not really enjoying all the time I was spending on it. I've never done this before, but I don't feel bad about it. I read a lot of fantasy, but this wasn't like that. It was like real life with this one outrageous thing in it. It was okay, though...if you actually have time to read, instead of just stealing time from other, more pressing matters, then it might be fun.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 28 29 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Old Dogs and Children
  • The Saints and Sinners of Okay County: A Novel
  • Nordie's at Noon: The Personal Stories of Four Women "Too Young" for Breast Cancer
  • Blue Nude
  • Antonietta
  • The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change
  • The Breaking of Eggs
  • The Flamingo Rising
  • Liszt's Kiss
  • Chasing Shakespeares
  • Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading
  • Sing to Me of Dreams
  • The Liar's Diary
  • Marrying Mozart
  • The Last Odd Day
  • For Rouenna: A Novel
  • Greek Doctor, Cinderella Bride
  • La maladie de Sachs

Share This Book