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Dead People's Music

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  47 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Wellingtonian Rebecca in New York City on her big Overseas Experience investigates her Jewish-refugee heritage. Great descriptions of neurotic Americans seen through the eyes of a NZer. Bit shocking to hear one character description NZ as located at the "arse end of the world."
Paperback, 384 pages
Published 2009 by Random House
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Alumine Andrew
Aug 25, 2014 Alumine Andrew rated it really liked it
This book took me by surprise. I'm not sure what I was expecting but it certainly delivered a great read. The story is well structured and is told in three voices: young Rebecca in Wellington, New Zealand, Rebecca a bit older in New York and Rebecca's grandmother Karla in New York and New Zealand from the 1930's onwards.

Rebecca is a gifted cellist who wants to become a concert performer. She struggles with diabetes and the usual teenage angst as she trains and sits exams to study in London. Lond
Kathleen Dixon
Oct 24, 2013 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: Pt Chev Bookshop stock
Shelves: nz, n-z-author
The author was coming to do an evening at the bookshop I work part-time in. I'd seen her books on our shelves but, you know what it's like, despite saying that no I hadn't read her yet but yes I wanted to, that's as far as I'd got. Obviously, the "but" needed to be remedied. So I went on a Sarah Laing blitz and read all but her latest (The Fall of Light) in the week leading up to the 'do'.

This book moves along in three concurrent timeframes:

There's Rebecca of now, going with her partner, Toby, t
Mar 20, 2012 Bianca rated it it was amazing
In Sarah Laing's lovely, subtle and compelling first novel (after a well-received book of short stories) two women in different eras take mirroring journeys. Cellist Rebecca takes her boyfriend and punk musician dreams to modern day New York, where she hopes to track down her great aunt, Esther. In the past, Esther's sister Klara, also a cellist, swaps a budding career in New York for marriage and motherhood in culturally barren 1950s New Zealand.

Laing is a wonderful and assured prose stylist a
Emma Makes
Dec 12, 2010 Emma Makes rated it really liked it
I loved Sarah Laing's first novel - it trotted a long at a good pace, was written in an illustrative style that was descriptive and colourful and held my attention throughout.

I'm a similar age to the main character so the references to things we used to do/say/think in primary school especially, but in other times throughout the book, made a strong connection and had me laughing out loud at times.

My problem was that while I thoroughly enjoyed the story, I had an issue not picturing Sarah herself
Jan 25, 2014 Vicky rated it liked it
Okay story but didn't grab me as much as I thought it would. I'm into music and history and thought this would be a winning formula but it was more about the everyday life of female protagonist whose personality didn't engage me than either music or history.
Oct 25, 2009 Mripma rated it really liked it
Honest and sometimes startling flashbacks to Wellington high school days and New York City life during the grandmother's flight from the Holocaust and the OE experiences of a likeable young NZer.
Jan 05, 2010 Bettynz rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-york, 2010
Excellent book! I really enjoyed the flick between now and 9 or so years before with the main character, and also between her and her grandmother. Set in Wellington and New York :-)
Robin Covington
I liked the characters and the intertwining of the stories in this book. Good read.
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