Barbara's Reviews > The Metropolis Case

The Metropolis Case by Matthew Gallaway
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's review
Dec 15, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads-favorites, published-in-2010, new-york, paris, read-in-2011, vienna, munich, magical-realism, fiction, novels, reviewed
Read from January 11 to 17, 2011

This is just an extraordinary novel. Possibly one of the best novels I've read in a very, very long time. Once in a blue moon, if you're really lucky, you'll encounter a work of art (a painting, a piece of music, a book, a film) that changes your life in some way or, at the very least, changes the way you think about life. The Metropolis Case did that for me. Matthew Gallaway's magnificent prose on life, death, love, loss, pain, loneliness, and passion is so elegant and beautiful and helped me to realize that beauty, light, and color can be seen even in our darkest moments.

I found the story to be absolutely stunning. The stories of the four main characters - Martin, Anna, Maria, and Lucien are told so vividly and when we start seeing how each of these characters' lives are intertwined, the magic really starts to happen. Wagner's opera, Tristan and Isolde, is the thread that connects each of these characters, and their connections to each other are as powerful as the opera itself.

It's not necessary for me write what the story is about in this review, because that is included here on Goodreads in the description of the book and in many reviews of the book, so I will just say that the story is brilliant, interesting, magical, funny, intelligent, and a lot of fun.

In addition to telling a great story, Mr. Gallaway really knows how to develop incredibly believable characters. I was able to relate to all of the characters because they are so human with their vulnerabilities, their desires, their passions, and even their empty feelings when their needs and wants are not fulfilled. I really liked all of these people so much -- I was able to see their inner beauty which created such a sense of compassion within me.

Another wonderful treat is that we are taken to some fantastic cities during various time periods -- Paris, Munich, and Vienna in the mid-19th century, New York in the 60s and 70s and contemporary New York, Pittsburgh in the 70s, and we even get a "behind the scenes" glance at a Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. And while opera plays a crucial role in this book, we also get some pretty great rock music as well.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone who loves a great story about a very interesting and eclectic group of people. You absolutely do not have to be an opera fan to enjoy this novel, you simply have to be a fan of great books.

Although I received this book through a Goodreads' First Reads contest, I was not required to write a review, and certainly not required to write a "positive" review. I truly loved The Metropolis Case.

Thank you to Crown/Random Publishing and Goodreads for choosing me as a First Reads winner of this awesome book, and thank you to Matthew Gallaway for writing such a wonderful novel.

Posted 1/11/11 -- I just started reading this book last night and I did not want to put it down. I'm only one-third of the way through The Metropolis Case but I already love all of the characters, and Matthew Gallaway is an absolutely beautiful writer. I feel as though I'm reading poetry while reading this book -- Mr. Gallaway's descriptions of human emotions are just brilliant. It's hard to believe this is his first novel, but I certainly hope it is not his last because at this point I am absolutely loving his work.

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01/11/2011 page 124
12/07/2016 marked as: read
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