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Liszt's Kiss

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3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  252 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews

The romantic story of a young female pianist in cholera-ravaged Paris of 1832, whose own tragedy leaves her susceptible to the passions and scandals of the composer Franz Liszt

At the height of the Romantic era in Paris, there was no bigger celebrity than the composer and pianist Franz Liszt. A fiery and gorgeous Hungarian, he made women swoon at soirees and left a trail

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Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Touchstone
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Community Reviews

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La Tonya  Jordan
Sep 13, 2015 La Tonya Jordan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to La Tonya by: Palladium Bookies
Shelves: good-read
Romance, poetry, music, love, opera, innocence, and hidden secrets makes this novel set in Paris, France in 1832 a pleasant read. Anna, a countess, and accomplished inspiring pianist grows into a young lady and meets society with misunderstandings, mishaps, and yearings of feelings that are completely foreign. With the aid of Marie d'Agoult, a lady of society, she is guided through pitfalls of societal expectations in a social class conscious period of time and prevails as the winner.

Marie d'Ag
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Roberto
Apr 07, 2014 Roberto rated it really liked it
If I could give an advice to a younger self, would be : never mind other people opinion... especially when it comes to books. After reading some not so ardent reviews about "Liszts Kiss" I was afraid of it not being very engaging but I really enjoyed it. It may not be the most groundbreaking historical novel ever but it was very readable given its fluid prose. So do as I did: dismiss othersopinions, play " Liebestraum" as background music, sit back , relax and enjoy this novel. As for me, I will ...more
Belinda Kroll
Nov 05, 2010 Belinda Kroll rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, romance
This book is a good example of a story that chose third person omniscient, but might have been better with first-person multiple point-of-view. Dunlap wrote her third-person narrative from the views of her characters anyway, so I’m confused why she didn’t write it in first-person. I felt completely detached from the entire story. I read it because I liked the young doctor Pierre…he was the only character I liked. (Which means Vonnegut was right: always write at least one character for the reader ...more
Andrea
Nov 18, 2007 Andrea rated it liked it
This book probably would have been a 3.5. Overall, it was decent, but I've read a lot of historical fiction lately and it definitely wasn't my favorite as compared with those. A good read though...perhaps it was just the ending that I just wasn't too satisfied with--wrapped up too quickly in my mind. I did like the musical aspect of it, since I could relate since I used to play the piano.
Bridget
Nov 16, 2013 Bridget rated it it was ok
Meh...not my favorite. I should love it, given the setting, the music, all that. But I find the actual history more interesting than this invented dramatic plot. Characters were difficult to keep track of, and I didn't really like any of them. I kept hoping it would improve as time passed, but alas, nope.
Angela
Aug 31, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it
Once I got about half way in, I couldn't put it down. The lack of communication among the characters was a bit frustrating but it got me thinking about the restraints society has placed upon us, particularly upon women.
Nicole Gerrand
Oct 01, 2012 Nicole Gerrand rated it did not like it


Tis is one of the silliest stories I have read for a long time. But now I realize who the author was I am not surprised. I haven't enjoyed any of her books. Must remember that
Liz
Jan 02, 2011 Liz rated it did not like it
Not worth the time. Stupid plot. Tries to make use of real historical figures but not well written or interesting.
Lela
Jan 26, 2016 Lela rated it it was ok
Shelves: 19th-century
You know how the formula of Three's Company was composed solely on misunderstandings that could easily had been resolved by simply talking to one another?
Set that in cholera-stricken 19th century France and lose all the comedy, you have Liszt's Kiss.
The female characters are annoyingly desperate and whiney while the male characters are oblivious, unnecessarily ambiguous, and at times unreasonably foolish.
I just couldn't really bring myself to care what happened to any of them. The ending was con
...more
Cathy Caldwell
Jul 06, 2014 Cathy Caldwell rated it really liked it
This second novel by Susanne Dunlap is much improved over her debut novel, "Emilie's Voice". So many twists and turns, my interest was kept the whole story through. My one criticism was the French phrases that sent me searching for translations. Perhaps they are obvious phrases to Ms. Dunlap, but I felt a little lost. Luckily she stopped the phrases as the story got exciting. Overall, I enjoyed this book.
Clara
Sep 09, 2014 Clara rated it liked it
3 stars for the historical background; 1 star for the narration. the title & story has all the juice to make the juciest historical "romance" ever but the author doesn't have a unique voice so this amazingly interesting history falls flat. and what's with the title? it's so lame. a good library e-borrow.
Elizabeth
This novel starts slow (and boring) but eventually picks up. The drama/intrigue kept me entertained til the end, in a cheap "whodunit" sort of way. I do wish this novel actually had been about Liszt, or more importantly about his affair with Countess Marie d'Agoult. Instead I was subjected to the love and financial woes of the fictional Mary-Sue Countess Anne de blahblah who annoyed me greatly. Liszt came off as a womanizing pansy and I never got to know Marie's character since both historical f ...more
Breeana
Mar 15, 2011 Breeana rated it liked it
This was a semi-interesting novel, in my opinion. After reading about one quarter of the book, I skipped to the end to find out what happened only because it seemed to get a little slow, or just vaguely boring. Some parts were more interesting than others, and sometimes I had to force myself to keep reading, just to say I finished it (I often start books and don't always finish them).

The timeframe and place of this story takes place during an awful epidemic of cholera. How thankful I am for mode
...more
Erica
Feb 03, 2009 Erica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of the Romantic era & classical music
I absolutely loved reading this book. It was the perfect mix of everything - 19th century Paris, classical music, romance, and intrigue. It was very well written -- in fact, this is the 2nd book I have read by this author. My husband jokes that she's writing these books just for me, since the subject matter is so perfect. As always, I loved reading about the interactions between the artists and composers living in Paris during that time. If you have any interest in the arts scene in Paris during ...more
Kate Lawrence
Mar 01, 2011 Kate Lawrence rated it really liked it
February is a good time to read something deliciously romantic, and this was my choice this year. It has more depth than just a romance, though; I learned quite a bit about Franz Liszt, his love Marie D'Agoult (also a historical character), and a little of what it might have been like to live in the Paris of their young adulthood. The author's knowledge of classical piano music was a bonus. I liked the fictional main character, and thoroughly enjoyed finding out how the various secrets and intri ...more
Candace Fowler krestel
May 25, 2016 Candace Fowler krestel rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-books
I could not get into this book. It should have been an easy read but the storyline felt a little slow.
Sacha Urban
Feb 10, 2015 Sacha Urban rated it liked it
Quick, fun read!
Pandabooks
May 08, 2016 Pandabooks rated it it was ok
The main character was annoying and the whole book was too much of a soap opera for me.
Elizabeth
I think it's ironic that everyone hates THIS book by this author, when there are other books she's written that are far more deserving of that hate. I liked this book! Not only does it take place during a pandemic, which is a topic that's barely explored in fiction, but it's a cholera epidemic! My favorite disease! My only qualm was that it takes place in France, which isn't a very fascinating place after you've read about a billion books about it.
Bambi
Aug 12, 2010 Bambi rated it it was ok
This book had the potential to be really interesting, but given the fact that the author couldn't decide which "voice" to tell the story from and had a very unsatisfying ending, I couldn't really enjoy the book as much as I might have. It did make me want to read more about Liszt, but I think I'll look for a well-written non-fiction piece on him next time ...
Alisha
Apr 11, 2009 Alisha rated it liked it
This book was better than I thought. I had a hard time putting it down. It was historically interesting, with characters like Liszt, Chopin and Delacroix from history tied into an interesting fictional story line. It wasn't as good as "Girl with a Pearl Earring", but just as good as "The Other Boleyn Girl" (and not nearly as graphic!)
Briley
Dec 17, 2008 Briley rated it liked it
I don't really know how much of this book is actually true in regards with Listz's life, but even if it was not true I still liked the book very much. I can't say that it changed my life, but i enjoyed it very much. I would suggest this book to music/fine art lovers or those who love history.
Emily
May 14, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: awww
Okay, so my sister recommended this book for our AWWW trip, and from the sound and the cover, I was like....o....kay....

And then started reading it. It grabbed me from page one! Enthralling! Did NOT go the direction I expected, so I was a little sad about that, but it was a good story!
Casey
Sep 26, 2010 Casey rated it liked it
It was hard for me to get through this one, probably because of the writing. It was written to have a lyrical sound to it, so I ended up confused sometimes.
Good book. It did take a while for it to move along, but I enjoyed it.
Maggie Reuter
Feb 13, 2010 Maggie Reuter rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. There were many plot twists, and just as I thought I had things figured out, I'd find out I was wrong. I would agree that the ending was rather abrupt
Meda
Nov 24, 2008 Meda rated it liked it
Recommends it for: light readers
Historic novel about the people and times of Liszt. I guess that it not too accurate about Liszt as a person but more the flavor of the era. Light reading.
Jen
Mar 09, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
I wish I could have read this book more consistently...it was really good I just needed to read it quicker I think.
Heather
read this 2 summers ago and i loved it
historical romance is 1 of my favorite things to read about =)
Melissa
Dec 24, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
A good historical romance and mystery that brought out the latent pianist in me.
Danesa
Sep 02, 2008 Danesa rated it it was amazing
This book all about intrigue and little scandal during 17th century France.
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Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for the adult market (Emilie's Voice and Liszt's Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Three are for the young adult market (The Musician's Daughter, Anastasia's Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and the forthcoming The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in ...more
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