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The Lost Stradivarius

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  322 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Chilling in the extreme, The Lost Stradivarius is a classic tale of the supernatural. While practicing in his rooms in Oxford, gifted violinist John Maltravers notices a strange phenomenon: whenever a certain air is played, a mysterious presence seems to enter. Unable to rationalize this away, Maltravers becomes increasingly unsettled, until he makes a startling discovery— ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published August 1972 by Tom Stacey (first published 1895)
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This has the trappings of a truly classic supernatural tale - the obscure piece of music that seems to conjure an unseen presence, the mysterious musical instrument of fabulous value that seems to conjure additional voices when it is played, rumours of a Satanic hellraiser who met an untimely end in Italy and whose fate is somehow tied in with this music and this violin.

But Falkner's prolix style, flair for tedious melodrama and his Victorian morality - we are somehow meant to find the 2nd cent
...more
Els
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: valdemar-gotica
John encuentra una partitura para violín y cuando la toca oye que alguien se sienta en una silla, sin embargo decide ignorar esto hasta que un día ve un hombre que le provoca terror.

La historia se enreda mas cuando encuentra un stradivarius.
Sandro Filipe
This was a book that took me a long time to read but I actually enjoyed the story a lot.

trad.: Este foi um livro que me levou muito tempo para o ler mas na verdade até gostei muito da história.
Derek Davis
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first of the (alas) only three novels Falkner wrote, while devoting most of his life to working for and eventually running an armaments company during World War I. Odd, eh?

The thing with Falkner is watching the amazing progression he made from a fairly typical but much tighter 19th century approach (here, 1895) to his masterpiece, "The Nebuly Coat" (1903). "The Lost Stradivarius" uses the hoary mechanism of a long letter (or in other cases, a manuscript), from the aunt of the recipie
...more
Da
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
This Review Contains Heavy Spoilers, So Be Warned.








The Lost Strativarius is a very quaint story indeed. Written by some Falkner guy who thought it necessary to devote 296 pages on the curse of popular music; "That though since the day of Sir John's death I have never heard a note of it, the air is still fresh in my mind and has at times presented itself to me unexpectedly, and always with an unwholesome effect". Truly gruesome to have such a melody stuck in your head. It must thus be that "Areop
...more
Poiema
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: musical-theme
This was the first book I read on my new e-reader, and the dictionary-at-my-fingertips feature was much used and appreciated. It is written in elegant Victorian -era English. The book is billed as a ghost story or a horror story, but I would categorize it more along the lines of a mystery. Victorian horror stories bear no resemblance to the modern horror genre !

An English gentleman finds a fine Stradivarius violin, along with the diary of its former owner, hidden in a secret cupboard. He becomes
...more
Portia S
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this quite a bit. Sometimes it felt as though the pace was a bit lagging, and I wanted something to happen, but boy, when the ending came, the whole story was wrapped up so beautifully, I was quite satiated with it.

This book is written in the form of two memoirs of a particular event directed towards the young Edward Maltravers. The memoirs are from his aunt Sophia and his father's close friend Mr. G (please forgive me if I spell these unfamiliar names incorrectly) and they tell Edward
...more
LemontreeLime
Here's the odd thing about this book: It's a rather anticlimactic ghost story-ish novelette written by a _really_ interesting guy. The introduction drops all these fascinating things about Falkner, and leaves it about as vague as the ghost story does in it's description of the aftermath of cursed debauched Adrian Temple and his ghostly influence on John Maltravers. This COULD be a creepy story, and it probably was back in 1895 when it was first published. Unfortunately time and changing tastes h ...more
Quico Guerrero
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novela corta o relato largo, se lee en apenas dos tardes y deja un regusto a clásica historia de fantasmas muy agradable. Bastante recomendable a todos los amantes del género.
Giorgos Pap
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book, I couldn't take my hands from this one!
Laura
Oct 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie
Available at BBC Radio 7.

A Stradivarius violin conjures up ghostly apparitions when played by an Oxford student.
Tasha
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, gothic
Oh those Italians and their pagan ways.
Naticia
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, gothic, british, 1800s
Somewhere between a Gothic novel and a mystery, this story is told through two letters directed toward the son of the main character. I especially loved how the mystery and horror developed slowly throughout - unlike some Gothic novels which give everything away immediately with foreshadowing.
sabisteb
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Oxford 1841. John Maltravers, da elternlos bereits reicher Erbe des immensen Maltravers Vermögens, ist sorgenloser Student in Magdalen Hall in Oxford. In seiner Freizeit spielt er am liebsten mit seinem Studienkollegen Mr. William Gaskell Duette, wobei Maltravers die Geige und Gaskell das Pianoforte spielt.
Aus einem Italienurlaub bringt Gaskell seinem Freund ein paar alte Noten mit. Den beiden jungen Männern hat es vor allem eines der Stücke angetan, die Gagliarda der "Areopagita" eines unbekan
...more
Dominick
Decent enough ghost story, though overly reliant on coincidence. Oxford student John Maltravers (many of the names have symbolic resonances) happens upon the sheet music for a work from a hundred years ago or so and becomes increasingly absorbed in playing it on his violin. Then he begins to have odd apparently hallucinatory experiences, as does his fellow student and pianoforte accompanist Gaskell. Coincidence number one is when Maltravers finds, secreted in a concealed cabinet in his Oxford ro ...more
Antonietta Mirra
Lo Stradivari perduto è un romanzo pubblicato nel 1895 ed è una storia gotica molto affascinante che ha come protagonista assoluta la musica.

Lo stile dell’autore è improntato ad un tipo di scrittura del passato, con descrizioni minuziose dei luoghi e del tempo che lo rendono un perfetto romanzo storico. Ci troviamo in Inghilterra in una delle università di Oxford ed il protagonista è John Maltravers, un ragazzo aristocratico che condivide alloggio e passione per la musica con William Gaskell.

Lui
...more
Trouble
Nov 01, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: instrumentalists, ghost-story lovers
Available through Project Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14107

It`s fantastic because it`s free and extremely portable, being on Project Gutenberg, but also fairly worth reading.

The story takes place in 18--, and is about a young man who finds a violin that he then fails to acknowledge the very clear signs of it being haunted. Told largely from the perspective of the man`s sister to the man`s son about 20 years after the events occured, we begin the story already knowing that with the s
...more
Leonie
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ghost-story
Novella-length ghost story. One young man at Oxford picks up some old-fashioned music on his travels and plays it with his friend. One particular piece summons a ghostly listening presence. They are both aware of it, but only one of the young men becomes drawn into dishonesty, forbidden knowledge, sacrifice of all he held previously dear, and ruined health. This is an elegant rendition of the late Victorian/Edwardian ghost story. The sinisterly intriguing portrait, the wicked dead, the diary, th ...more
Jonathon Dabell
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been a huge fan of J. Meade Falkner's Moonfleet, and I wanted to read more of his books but they're not too easy to get hold of. Having finally tracked down this Hesperus edition of The Lost Stradivarius, I must say I'm very impressed with it. A subtle, slow-burning ghost story with thoughtful detail and a brilliantly sustained atmosphere, this is a neglected gem!
The story follows a brilliant Oxford student who discovers a valuable violin hidden in a recess in his room. When he pla
...more
Luis Villafane
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
An entertaining supernatural mystery beginning to end. The story had me guessing until I gave up guessing and waited for the story to let it all unfold. What struck me about this novel was the purposeful and even obvious avoidance of excess fluff; unnecessesary details that could possibly detract from the intrigue.

This novel also has many references to composers and other musical aspects of the time period. It was a very pleasing and fairly faithful depiction. This added musical flavor will prov
...more
Perry Whitford
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Every time a young Oxford student passionately plays the 'gagliarda' passage from a suite called the "Areopagita" on his violin, he becomes eerily aware of a ghostly presence in the room, seemingly attracted by the music.

The ghost, a blazing eyed man with a deathly pallor, appears to be reaching for something hidden behind a bookcase, which turns out to be an exquisite Stradivarius violin with a unique varnish.

As you would expect, both the specter and Stradivarius speak of a sordid history, whi
...more
Karen
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This hasn't left much of an impression on me. I wonder if it would have been more effective as a printed book; maybe the Kindle format was too alien to the manuscript setup and the centrality of the written word, in diaries and letters. I also felt there was much repetition of certain points - Maltravers' pallor and the omnipresent Gagliarda, for example - while many other aspects were skated over, or stuffed conveniently (and briefly) into Gaskell's only partially satisfying postscript. And yet ...more
Scott Rhee
John Meade Falkner's body of work was very small, but if "The Lost Stradivarius" is any indication of his talent, then he is certainly a writer worthy of being honored. A Victorian ghost story, "The Lost Stradivarius" is a frightening story of a man's passion for music that leads him into extremely dark places. This story actually gave me goosebumps and cold chills at times, and it would make an excellent little horror movie, even by today's standards. It's a short novel, almost a novella, so it ...more
Karen
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lucy
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
It's a great premise for a plot, and it's well worked out, and actually quite scary at times, but perhaps let down a bit by the format - I kept thinking how unlikely it was that Miss Maltravers would be able to write in such detail, at such length, about things she had only heard about.....I couldn't quite suspend my disbelief. But the note of Victorian piety (quotes from Keble's poetry!) aided with establishing her persona. I enjoyed this enough to read more of his work; he has a typical late V ...more
Micha
Very quick read, and I enjoyed it, but it's so very different from something like Moonfleet. Falkner only published three novels (the fourth was lost on a train and never re-written), and all were in rather different genres. This is much more Gothic in tone and of course I love intersections of music and the supernatural, but it's also clear why it wasn't as lasting as Moonfleet was, as well as why it isn't as lasting as other ghost stories of the time.
Priya
May 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old-world
Victorian time tale of a nobleman and his weird affliction after finding and playing a lost Stradivarius violin. It's a relatively short read and not very fast paced, even though the subject is one of mystery and intrigue. I found it rambling in some parts, but overall it was ok. Would definitely not be in the 'un-putdownable' category, but if you're a fan of Victorian literature you might still enjoy it.
M.J.L. Evans
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one. This author does have a pleasant voice for descriptions and I do feel transported to a different time when I'm reading his works. I did find the supernatural element a bit suspenseful in parts and I enjoyed the concept of a cursed violin. However these days I'm completely desensitized as a supernatural stories are commonplace. This one was probably a shocker back in its day. Not as much wonder as Moonfleet, but still an enjoyable read.
Randolph Carter
Not very creepy story about a haunted violin that is really a vampire (you gotta read it to see what I mean). The musician inevitably wastes away and dies instead of burning the damn thing and everyone about ends up wringing their hands instead of doing something about it. Gothic and Romantic at the same time, the plot, while perhaps novel for it's time, is limp and predictable today. At least it is short.
Randolph Carter
Nice little gothic confection about the doomed John Maltravers. The author doesn't insult us by having the principals stumble about and wonder what is going on for too long; they figure things out pretty quickly but all seem paralyzed to figure out how to help the almost totally listless Maltravers out of his downward slide.

Lots of snooty music references that only those familiar with music scoring will get.

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John Meade Falkner, the son of a country cleryman, was born in 1858. After taking his degree at Oxford, he went to Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a private tutor to the sons of Andrew Noble. When they had grown up he stayed on with the family, and entered the firm where Sir Andrew worked. He travelled a great deal for the firm, particularly to the Balkans, helping to export warships and armaments, for whi ...more
More about John Meade Falkner...
“Illusions connected with religion are generally most difficult to remove.” 6 likes
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