The Piano
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The Piano

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  2,328 ratings  ·  96 reviews
In the award-winning film The Piano, writer/director Jane Campion created a story so original and powerful it fascinated millions of moviegoers. This novel stands independent of the film, exploring the mysteries of Ada's muteness, the secret of her daughter's conception, the reason for her strange marriage and the past lives of Baines and Stewart.
Paperback, 215 pages
Published July 7th 1995 by Miramax Books (first published January 1st 1992)
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Behind the Hood by Marita A. HansenPhenomena by Susan TarrThe Bone People by Keri HulmeThe Whale Rider by Witi IhimaeraMister Pip by Lloyd Jones
Books By New Zealand Authors
9th out of 467 books — 231 voters
The Piano by Jane CampionThe Tin Drum by Günter GrassThe Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) in Full Score by Wolfgang Amadeus MozartCaptain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de BernièresThe Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning
Musical Instruments
1st out of 127 books — 46 voters

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This is a novelization of a remarkable movie about a mute woman handed over in marriage to a man she's never met. She expresses herself through her piano, and when she travels to New Zealand to meet her new spouse, he doesn't get her from the get go, and leaves her piano on the beach. A white, local businessman named George Baines begins to fall for Ada, and buys the piano from Ada's new husband in exchange for some land. But George has ulterior motives, and makes a deal with Ada that she can ea...more
mai ahmd
هذه الرواية اللطيفة هي قصة تحمل في طياتها موسيقى عذبة نعم هي أغنية كما كتب على غلافها الخارجي .. بدأت بها ليلا وأنهيتها في نفس الليلة .. تدور حول فتاة خرساء أنجبت إبنة وهي لم تتجاوز سن المراهقة .. خوف الأب من الألسنة دفعه لإرسال إبنته إلى زواج بالمراسلة إلى رجل مغترب يعيش في غابة يحاول شق طريقه بشراء الأراضي كأي مستوطن من سكانها الأصليين
تلعب الموسيقى دور البطولة في هذا النص الجميل كخلفية لقصة الحب التي دارت بين إدا وجورج خارج إطار الزواج .. جورج الرجل الذي استطاع أن يتواصل مع فتاة بكماء تعشق ال...more
Considering the fact that I had never even heard of this book until I was looking for stories that had taken place in New Zealand, I was pretty impressed with it.

The Piano tells the story of Ada McGrath and her piano. Ada is mute. Mute by choice - after the 'incident' when she was a young girl (her father berated her for speaking insolently towards him one evening), Ada hasn't spoken a word. She communicates through sign language and through her music. The piano is her world, it means everything...more
I was sure this book would be one of my all-time favorites because I absolutely love the movie. However, the writing style (I believe it's called the 'passive voice'?) kept me at an emotional distance from the story unlike the movie, which was intensely passionate. It was my visual memories of Holly Hunter, Anna Paquin, Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill that kept me engrossed in the written story. I did appreciate that the book delved into Ada's past, telling the story of why she does not speak. I als...more
Having watched and loved the film, I was excited to read this novel for my Non-Western literature class. I was pleased to find it both encompassed and expanded on the movie. The novel (since it is written by the film's screenwriter) closely follows the movie, though it gives more backstory for the main character. I felt torn about this. I liked the mystery of the main character in the movie, but it was also interesting to get more details on her life. Of course, what I loved so much about the mo...more
I have had this book sitting on my shelf for a lot of years, waiting to be read, being overlooked. When I opened it, I was in for a surprise - there was a post-it note inside the front cover :

Dec'95 - My Dearest Lynne, I know this film moved you, the way it moved me. Remember I love you and that's forever girl !!! All my love, Christopher xxx

Makes you wonder about books and their travels, and what happens in the lives of their owners. Hmm, anyway ...

A good book, I was surprised, I hadn't fancie...more
من الروايات التي تقرأها بأُذنيك ، قصتها جديدة ومرهفة تسير على
وتيرة واحدة فلا فرق بين نقطة البدء وجذوة العمل
علاقة الراوية بشخوصها سطحية وباردة جدا في جميع الأدوار عدا دور البطلة فكأنها تحكي قصتها، لذا أخفقت في عرض الشخصيات الٱخرى
I was not impressed by this book. The there wasn't enough depth to the characters for them to be interesting, and the plot was rather boring. I also felt that the conclusion was a cop-out: Stewart chops off Ada's finger and then...lets her go. What? Where's the struggle? And I was creeped out by Baines pretty much molesting Ada while she was playing the piano.
This is a very intense book about the silence of a female world and sexual awakening in the midst of New Zealand. I liked it very much and felt thrown into the rainy, wet, rural New Zealand world. The book is very moving and also the film adaption with Helen Hunt does the book justice. Both worth getting to know.
Laura Flanagan (Oscuro y Seductor Romance)
Debo decir que por lo general suelo leer un libro y después, si me entero de su adaptación, la película. E incluso si voy a ver una película y descubro que tiene libro, entonces no la veo hasta que no haya leído el libro como me ha pasado con La última canción ó Querido John, y que espero remendar pronto. En este caso, la película de El Piano la vi hace muchos años, en la televisión, y simplemente debo decir que me encantó por muchas cosas:

-La férrea voluntad de su protagonista
-Su enorme pasión...more
I try to read books before watching the movie. I happen to watch the movie before reading the book in this case. While the movie still remains one of my favorite, like always the book was better. There is more detail in the book about Ada's previous life. Her life before she was sold as a mail order bride to a man in New Zealand. The story of Ada and her Daughter Flora going to a new land, a new life filled with new troubles. Ada does not speak, not because she can't but because she chooses not...more
You can tell this book was not written by a novelist, even though she did have help from one. Interesting idea, think it could have been executed far better though. I think I should probably make an effort to watch the flm sometime, I'll probably appreciate it more than the book (how rare). However I really do feel it is more likely because film is the format that this story was made for. The author had this imagining come to life in the form of a film in her mind and some thinhgs just don't tra...more
nemu buku ini di perpus kantor yg sudah usang
wuah..period gitu settingnya jadi langsung diambil deh
ceritanya tentang Ada yang bisu beserta putrinya Flora yang pindah ke New Zealand untuk bertemu dengan calon suami Ada yg dijanjikan.

Ada ini dari umur 6 tahun mogok bicara. ada insiden penyebabnya. di NZ, dia tinggal dengan suami barunya Alisdar yang dingin dan kaku. Ada pula tokoh George Baines yang terkesan kasar namun diam2 menyimpan bara asmara pada Ada. P

Cerita intinya dirajut oleh kecintaan A...more
Thomas Ullman
Love The Piano in all its, book and soundtrack. It is dark and light and has such a beautiful location. Book is definitely worth a read even if you've seen the film.

I won't accept Holly Hunter or Harvey Keitel in any other role.
Sep 19, 2008 Pearl rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good read, romantics
I bought this book because I've never seen the movie and would love too, so reading the book is a good start ;)

I read it in only 2 days and its one of my favorites already! beautifully told, creepy in bits and it reminded me a lot of 'The Lover' which is also about a sexual awakening, I have no idea what what that is but I guess after reading those two books that must be it!

I love how its set in New Zealand (don't ask me why I just do) and how Ada is so dedicated to her piano, she is mute and ha...more
As I understand it, this book expands on the stories of the characters from the film. From that I expect it was written after the film, and I got that feeling from the book itself - there was a feeling of something being rushed over or left out. By that I mean that the story and the tensions within it would have benefited from being teased out a little slower, given more time to unfurl. I didn't fully believe in the connections between characters as there wasn't enough fleshing them out.

Hmmm, well I have just finished reading this and am not sure I am all that impressed. I liked the idea - a young women and child left alone on the New Zealand beach, the lone piano, the awakening of Ada's sexuality. However, the blurb says "Delving deeply into the character's pasts...", but I have to disagree. I found it a bit one dimensional and couldn't connect with the characters at all. The imagery was good, so I can imagine that the film has a lot more impact than this, especially in the la...more
Intruiging, easy to read. Shows particularly the atmosphere between characters.
Apr 03, 2009 Diane rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who sees the movie
Shelves: fiction
This book by the wonderful Australian film director, Jane Campion, fills in the story told in the 1993 film of the same name. It is an unusual and moving story of a mute woman and her daughter who migrate to the harsh and wildly beautiful land of New Zealand in the 1850s. This short novel is a real page turner. I enjoyed reading it on a recent visit to New Zealand. You'll never forget the characters of Ada, her outspoken daughter Flora and the men in their lives.
See the movie first then read the...more
As a pianist I love this story.
It has been years since I saw the movie, but I have owned the music since then so the story has stayed with me. Since the story-teller of the movie also wrote the book, after the fact....we have, from what I remember, a perfect re-telling. I did like the addition of Ada's past. My major complaint would be the style in which the story was told. Very seperate, and for me hard to connect with the characters. If I did not have the movie in the back of my mind I don't think I would have liked the boo...more
Started out kind of slow...but I guess I can relate to loving a piano.
Gemma Manangan
I have yet to see the movie, so I found the book to be an enjoyable read, because I was still oblivious as to what would happen next, which is often taken away from the reader who watches a film first and reads the book later.

The book was written after the movie was made from the screenplay Jane Campion wrote. The book was an enjoyable and easy read and one I would recommend to anyone who has a particular interest in the lives of settlers in the colonies of Great Brittan.
Brenda  Adams
I had never seen the movie by the same title and had been wanting to read the novel for some time. It's everything I thought it would be...and more. Excellent writing with a definite poetic flavor with an intensity such that I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. If you're bothered by a certain amount of eroticism, this is not for you; personally, I can read material that I wouldn't necessarily be comfortable watching in a movie (as a voyeur)...
A new start in New Zealand awaits Ada McGrath and daughter Flora, Ada's father having arranged her marriage to colonial settler Alisdair Stewart. Early discord over Ada's piano provides an opportunity for a third person to become involved in the marriage. As the story unfolds so do the reasons for Ada's muteness and the circumstances of Flora's birth. The outcome is satisfying if a little neat given the social constraints within which the expat community lived.
Interesting to read the script of the movie; now I think I'd like to read the novelisation of the screenplay. And maybe see the movie again.
The script and the movie combined have convinced me that I would never ever want to live in New Zealand, at least not on the North Island. It did make me understand why New Zealanders love living in British Columbia's coastal rainforest.
Compare, if you wish, Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller.
Sarah Smits
So, I saw this movie years ago. I recently marked it as a favorite on Facebook and was intrigued by a quote that was posted from it. I decided to read the book. Wow---what a great compliment to the film! I can't wait to watch the movie again, now that I know the back-story. Great book with just enough description to allow you to fill in your own ideas. A fairly quick read.
هذه الروايه تدور وقائعها في القرن التاسع عشر، حين غادرت ” آدا ” اسكتلندا، برفقة ابنتها والبيانو الذي تملكه إلى الأدغال؛ حسب رغبة والدها .كان البيانو الذي حملته آدا معها إلى نهاية العالم كما تقول وسيلتها الوحيدة للتعبير عن نفسها وعن صلتها بالعالم، ولذلك فإنّ محاولتها للاحتفاظ به ستتحوّل إلى مغامرةٍ للدفاع عن كيانها .إنّها قصة حبٍّ غريبة تتداخل فيها نوازع الخوف والرغبة.
From the simple screenplay, I know the movie's going to be powerful. It relies on a lot of clean descriptions and emotions, there are little dialogue so they have to be good.

I don't learn a lot about specifics, but I do get a glimpse of how to describe, how to engage audience so powerfully with scenes, and how to direct the casts using sheets of scripts.

Great stuff.
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gift for you 1 11 Jun 10, 2008 04:03AM  
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Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, the daughter of Edith, an actress, and Richard Campion, a theater and opera director.[1] She graduated in Anthropology from Victoria University in 1975, and with a painting major at the Sydney College of the Arts in 1979. She started making films in the early eighties at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
Her first short film, Peel (1982) w...more
More about Jane Campion...
Holy Smoke Reawakening Literature: Working with Classic Literature Retellings, a Guide for Educators Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne An Angel at my Table (Autobiography, #2) The Portrait of a Lady

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