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Piano

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  209 ratings  ·  22 reviews
"Max Delmarc, age fifty, is a famous concert pianist with two problems: the first, severe stage fright for which the second, alcohol, is the only cure. In this unparalled comedy by Prix Goncourt-winner Jean Echenoz, we journey with Max from the trials of his everyday life to his untimely death and on into the afterlife." "After a brief stay in purgatory - part luxury hotel ...more
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Published November 4th 2004 by Harvill Press (first published January 1st 2003)
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Eileen
Sometimes Jean Echenoz's books can be a little hard to dedicate yourself to. There are times when it seems like the story isn't ever going to end up anywhere and that no hidden meaning will ever be uncovered. I felt like this all throughout 'Piano' but was greatly rewarded at the end. Ever since finishing this book I have never again doubted Echenoz's ability to communicate an idea. No matter what path he takes along the way it is always enjoyable and it is always worth it. There is a meticulous ...more
Angélique Moreau
I picked up this book after having read 14. I hope to find again the stylistic minimalism I thought was characteristic of Echenoz (I haven't read any other book he has written), but no, it is an altogether different voice, younger perhaps, yet more in tune with this fantasy-full novel dealing with incertainty. It is dark, though, and drowning in endless questions like some of the characters drown their sorrows in alcohol.

If we learn from the very first lines that Max is going to die soon (it is
...more
Hannah
With typical French humor Echenoz describes how someone can, through a number of circumstances, end up in hell - which turns out to be modern day Paris, where our main character Max Delmarc has lived all along. With an endearing hilarity, we are sent on a romantic chase through Paris, sparing no detail of Delmarc's feelings, thoughts or desperate actions.

Includes spoilers!!!!!

Max Delmarc is a very successful and somewhat famous piano player who lives near chateau rouge in the 18e arrondissement
...more
Roberto
È la storia di Max Delmarc, un pianista di successo che, però, non conosce la vita eccitante che la maggior parte di noi immaginerebbe. Il pianoforte per lui è una bestia indomabile dai denti d’avorio, le fauci spalancate pronte a sbranargli l’anima da un momento all’altro. Il pianoforte è tutto il suo mondo, anche se una paura folle lo assale ogni volta che sul palcoscenico avvicina le dita ai tasti immacolati.

“Eccolo li il terribile Steinway, con la sua lunga tastiera bianca pronta a sbranarti
...more
Kris McCracken
A contemporary French novel that is at once suave, droll and dry. It isn’t a spoiler to say that we learn that our central character is going to die a violent death in twenty-two days (it’s mentioned in the third sentence). What follows is the tale of alcoholic French classical pianist, his death and (ultimately) his afterlife, Piano is a charming (if somewhat odd) novel.

Imagine an episode of The Twilight Zone infused with a heavy dose of French existentialism and you will have some idea of this
...more
Sofiya
A well-paced novel that is easily read, with a lot to say about what makes a life worthy, or what makes a person good. The answers it provides on these points seem to point to personal satisfaction and well-used opportunities, both of which the main character is painfully deficient in. The punchline (there is one!) says everything on this count, and how we ourselves, in many ways, make our own lives a living hell.

Even though the man was condemned to the worst fate imaginable, we feel no sympath
...more
Darryl
Piano is a quirky but humorous short novel about a renowned concert pianist, beset by alcoholism and stage fright, who dies suddenly at the height of his career. He finds himself in a purgatory that resembles a luxury hotel that is staffed by celebrities. He soon learns his fate, and he is sent to the "urban zone", a Sartrean representation of his former Parisian arrondissement, where he is forbidden to resume his former life or contact anyone he previously knew. The action in Piano drags in a c ...more
Aapo
Onko Keltainen kirjasto nykyään minkäänlainen laadun tae? Tämä ei ainakaan ollut hääppöinen. Parasta tässä oli ranskalainen kepeys, mikä kuitenkin helposti kääntyi joutavanpäiväisyyden puolelle. Tarinassa oli sinänsä vahvoja aineksia, pääosassa kuolemanjälkeinen elämä, mutta lopputulos jäi haaleaksi. Mistä tässä kaikessa oli kysymys, se ei minulle oikein auennut, eikä se oikeastaan kovin paljon kiinnostakaan.

Niin, Pianossa on tämän kirjan suomenkielinen nimi.
Theut
Bello, bello, bello!
Una scoperta frutto del caso (un consiglio inaspettato in biblioteca) che mi porterà a leggere tutta la sua produzione ;)
E' originale, la scrittura scorre lieve e le tre sezioni, pur con le loro differenze tendono tutte alla conclusione che lascia un po' a bocca aperta.
Rita Halfscatch
Aug 27, 2007 Rita Halfscatch added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: enemies
Horrible. Utter nonsense.

First half sets up interesting enough character, second half leaves all that behind and we are in the AFTERLIFE in a LONG HALLWAY with DOORS ON EITHER SIDE. This is Freshman level crap, I mean high school freshman, by the way.

I hated this book.
Barbaraehanna
Et voilà pourquoi noël 2011 aura été un peu fatigué. Pas une très bonne idée d'entamer Au piano aux alentours de 22h le 23 avec le grand déjeuner de famille le 24...

Des phrases que c'est délicieux de lire à haute voix, pour le plaisir de les tenir dans la bouche.
Briynne
Another book I read because I liked the cover - also, I felt like reading something European. Quite a different book, where a French musician tours the underworld in a Dante-esque style. It's a little wierd, but I liked it in general.
Antti Virolainen
Tiukkaa, niukkaa, mutta hyvää. Echenoz on ihmeellinen kirjoittaja. Minimalistinen ja outo, mutta siksi kiinnostava kuin mikä. En yleensä pidä tästä aihepiiristä eli kuolemanjälkeisistä mielikuvitusleikeistä. Mutta tässä on poikkeus.
Paul
This book tends towards my odd penchant for quirky little French writers. Echenoz is a lot like a contemporary Raymond Queneau. Do not read the dust jacket of this one, it gives away all but the last ten pages.
Samira Majd
Well, I'm halfway through the book and I feel like time drags. honestly I can't stop thinking why I haven't chosen another book to read! maybe there's a surprise, a hidden message in the end!
Nicole
Oh, those fucking French writers and their beguiling charm. I will carve my baguette into the shape of a pistol and make them hand over some to me, because they have so much of it and I so little.
Chelsea
Hated this book. It set up an interesting premise about life and death, but the ending infuriated me. It seemed like self-important and indulgent writing. Boo!
Tim
This book was very well written, if slightly uneven. The twilight zone ending bordered on cheesy but fit the rest of the book nicely.
Edouard
"C'est comme ça, voyez-vous, la section urbaine. Ça consiste en ça."
Ryan Kenealy
Not a great book. New twist on Frenchy existentialism.
phoenix
easy to read and interesting, but not exceptional
Katru
Kummallinen tarina.
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195045
Born December 26 (some sources say 23), 1947, in Orange, France; son of Marc (a psychiatrist) and Annie (an engraver) Echenoz; children: Jerome Arthur. Education: Attended Université d'Aix en Provence and Université de Paris (Sorbonne).
More about Jean Echenoz...
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