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Το θηρίο στο πιάνο

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,137 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Ο Βέρνον Ντέιρ είναι ένας ευαίσθητος, κορυφαίος μουσικός, μια μεγαλοφυΐα. Αλλά είναι μεγάλο το τίμημα που πρέπει να πληρώσει για το ταλέντο του, και ιδίως αυτό που πρέπει να πληρώσουν οι συγγενείς του και οι δύο γυναίκες της ζωής του. Η προφυλαγμένη, περίκλειστη παιδική ηλικία του στο σπίτι που τόσο λατρεύει δεν προετοίμασε τον Βέρνον για τη σκληρή πραγματικότητα της ενήλι ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 2018 by Διόπτρα (first published 1930)
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Community Reviews

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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,137 ratings  ·  108 reviews


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Dana Bolink
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In all honesty, the back of the book is a little misleading:
"Vernon Deyre is a sensitive and brilliant musician, even a genius. But there is a high price to be paid for his talent, especially by his family and the two women in his life. His sheltered childhood in the home he loves has not prepared Vernon for the harsh reality of his adult years, and in order to write the great masterpiece of his life, he has to make a crucial decision with no time left to count the cost..."

Misleading in the way
...more
Vikas Singh
This is the first non-mystery novel written by Agatha Christie in 1930. She of course wrote under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. It is incorrect to classify the novel as a romantic novel. It is rather just a novel, in a fashion similar to Jeffrey Archer’s Cliffton Chronicles. What makes this an interesting read is the amazing versatility of Christie’s writings. On one hand she could write murder mysteries and yet at the same time she could write a completely different genre. The novel is an inte ...more
Kasey
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
What did I think?
I thought it was elegant. Terrifying. Morbid. Haunting. Beautiful. Artistic. Human.

Something about this book always bothered me, even when I put the book down. I thought that the book was horrifying and the characters were so abstract and cruel. Then I realized that it was reality. Christie, Westmacott, had really captured the feelings and indecisions in a human life. That book was so accurate that it made me embarrassed to read. The characters were very...human. I think I've sa
...more
Jackie
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the titles written by Agatha Christie under the pen name Mary Westmacott. Being a big Christie fan, I was really looking forward to reading my first Westmacott novel.

I was aware that it wasn't in her usual genre of crime novel, however, I read lots of different genres so the difference just made me llook forward to reading it even more. However, I have to say I really didn't like it.

Under her own guise of Christie and her crime novels, it is accepted that she doesn't develop her c
...more
Nora
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Agatha Christie + high melodrama involving a world war and the art world = totally enjoyable if ridiculous. The writing is just fantastic, though; I loved loved loved the first part, which is from the perspective of a small child.
Disha Acharya
Mary Westmacott’s books are like a cup of good old strong English tea in the afternoon. And this is my sixth ‘cup’, I mean book! Several reviewers and many other readers believe that her books are mere love stories which are bittersweet; however I think that it is not an accurate description of these books. Westmacott’s books are a wonderful exploration of human relationships and offer us an insightful analysis of the way the human mind works. Reading this particular one, made me think that perh ...more
Stina
Book #13 for 2017/#6 for the Mt TBR Challenge
The Legendary Book Club of Habitica's Ultimate Reading Challenge Task: A book published before you were born
PopSugar's Ultimate Reading Challenge Prompts (max 3):
- A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long
- A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
- A book that's been mentioned in another book
Personal Reading Challenge Task: A book with a woman on the cover
Better World Books Challenge Prompt: A book by a female writer
Book Riot's Read Harder
...more
Willow
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book just broke my heart a bit.
Joe Kessler
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This 1930 novel is the first of six that Agatha Christie published under a pseudonym due to their divergence from her typical whodunnit fare and her desire to have this other work 'judged on its own merits and not in the light of previous success,' per the original author biography in the first edition.

It's a curious book -- the storyline is heavy on coincidence and resolves into a general shape only at the end, and the characters are arresting yet seldom behave quite like actual human beings wo
...more
Abbey
GIANTS' BREAD, Mary Westmacott aka Agatha Christie
1930, Christie's first romantic novel, a semi-historical tale of a young English gent, his growing up, The War, and life after it; sentimental but enjoyable; three-and-one-half stars.

The first of Christie's six romantic "straight" novels, this is a nicely wrought, well-plotted - if extremely sentimental and typical of the period - story of a Victorian genteel boyhood, The World War and its effects on one man and some of his friends, and their gr
...more
Jackie
I had previously heard the Mary Westmacott novels described as bittersweet romances. The cover of this edition of Giants' Bread calls it a "novel of romance and suspense". I find both of these misleading. This is not a romance novel. It's also not terribly suspenseful, or bittersweet. While there is a lot of emphasis on various romantic relationships, they're really not the point of the book. They're also fairly uninteresting.

This is a hard read because you are following a cast of characters wh
...more
Julie
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This is my first novel of both Mary Westmacott and Agatha Christie (Westmacott is Christie's pen name). I'd have to say Giant's Bread was long and at times tiresome to read but it made you feel full and satisfied in the end, and I think that's the mark of a good classic. It's mentioned in the introduction that Christie wrote this book and several others under the pen name Westmacott to prove herself as a versatile and talented writer, and I think she did pretty good job!

Technically Sp
...more
Sarah TheAromaofBooks
In my quest to read all of Agatha Christie’s books (may or may not be achievable), I included on my list the six novels she wrote as Mary Westmacott. I expected these books to be different from Christie’s other fare (why else would she use a different name, other than to escape expectations?), but I was still surprised to find how heavy Giant’s Bread was.

Our story opens in London, with the opening night of a new opera. Strange, wild, artistic, innovative, alluring – it is a musical the likes of
...more
Debbie
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had only read this book once before. I remember thinking it was a bit odd for me to read the first time, just because there was some humour in there, especially in Vernon's childhood, that surprised me for La Christie. Vernon's childhood and the way he saw the world back then was very amusing.
In fact, if I hadn't known this book was written by Agatha Christie, I don't know if I even would have recognized her style...except, of course, for the rampant racism throughout the book, which was very
...more
Gypsi
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Giant's Bread was the first novel (1930) Agatha Christie wrote under her nom de plume "Mary Westmacott". It tells the life story of Vernon Deyer as he follows his destiny to become a composer, and the choices he makes along the way.

As is often with Christie's mysteries, Giant's Bread is a story of psychology, of what makes a person "tick", and it is a powerful story. The phrase "giant's bread" is taken from the fairy tale quote: "fee, fie, fo, fum, I smell the blood of mortal Man. Be he alive or
...more
Ana
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
When I started reading this book my expectations were low, I'll admit. I had already read another book by Mary Westmacott - Unfinished Portrait - that had disappointed me, so when I started this one I thought it was going to be more of the same.

The first part wasn't spectacular and - I have to say - a bit boring but fortunately it got better and I was able to enjoy it. As for the characters I don't think they were particularly fascinating and I didn't connect with them - I was just reading about
...more
Anne
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A non-mystery (a romance, in fact) from the great mystery writer. Not finished with it yet, but am far enough along to see that the writing is very good. Strikingly human characters, making strikingly human mistakes with their lives. Not your typical, contrived romance novel, and I'm not sure how it's going to end.

Ok, I've now finished it and can confirm that I could not have predicted the ending, despite the fact that the entire thing is a flashback. So points to Dame Agatha for keeping us conf
...more
Kathy
Oct 13, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another Mary Westmacott story that I read, and another story that left me feeling awful. I really, really need a happy ending ~ or at least one that is satisfactory and I never felt that with any of Dame Agatha Christie's Westmacott books.

Sad but true.

* * * * * *

Yeah, and the star? That's my feelings about the book and nothing about how well-written it was. I know a lot of people who would absolutely LOVE any of Mary Westmacott stories... I'm just not one of them.
Desertorum
Good, but different from her (Agatha Christies) crime novels. This is said to be a romance but I prefer relationship drama. ...more
Alex
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very intense, profound book! Some of the characters were annoying but overall very intriguing relationships between all of them.
Deepti
Sep 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It started well, but ended in a melodramatic mash-up of Ayn Rand and Charles Dickens. Disappointing.
Alexis Hall
Read this as part of my "get obsessed with everything Agatha Christie wrote under her non-crime pen-name" which, as obsessions go, is nicely containable because she only wrote six books.

I didn't like this as much as I liked The Rose & the Yew Rose - but I still found it super fascinating. Something I'm starting to really appreciate about AC-as-MW, and perhaps this is a facile thing to say, is the fact she seems to write character as ... well .. mystery. Each of the two books of hers I've rea
...more
Manpreetmuskan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Urbi Chatterjee
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, fiction, romance
Agatha Christie's books always deserve very high ratings, and the only reason I did not give this one five stars is because there are even better books by the author.

When Agatha Christie took up the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott she temporarily shed her passion for all things criminal and channeled her profound understanding of the various nuances of human nature into the lives and stories of men and women who do not have the additional burden of a dead body in the offing. These non-crime novels
...more
Sandy Jones
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one much better than Absent in the Spring. While this like everything else Agatha Christie wrote is not difficult to read - she has a great voice and I love the way she delves into the characters and their feelings. However, the two books penned under Mary Westmacott that I have read thus far are much more depressing than the typical Christie. It's not that bad things happen to these characters, because bad things always happen. It's not even that these characters have tragic flaws, ...more
Miranda
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What I haven't seen in other reviews here, which surprises me, is that this book is very, very anti-Semitic. It is not its main cut-and-thrust, which perhaps is even more chilling, but its description of all Jewish characters and their motivations is frankly disgusting. It's an old book, written between the world wars, and as such the author's prejudice has, I suppose, its historical context (by the way there are also some incredibly racist words sprinkled into it for good measure). But I strugg ...more
Ferne
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what I expected when I learned that Agatha Christie had written 6 romance novels earlier in her writing career using the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. All I knew for sure is that I had to purchase them and read them in the order in which they were written.

I have finished reading "Giant's Bread" and it was a truly incredible reading experience. Why? The author is very insightful and through the characters she creates not merely a love story but shares the complexities of human nature fo
...more
Kevin
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Christie's undertakings under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott. I find it rather refreshing from all of her mystery novels with Poirot, Marple, et.al. This really takes you into the mindset of the main characters and all their flawed thoughts. Its almost a psychological view of what some people will go through to either get what they want or to deny themselves what they want. I think she did quite well to begin this story with the childhood of several of the main characters, ...more
Ria
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tangled tale of love, loss and heartache.
Vernon, his cousin Joe and his friend Sebastian have always seen themselves as a close triumvirate and their love and friendship no one can break but as they grow older they realise that other people come along to complicate things.
Vernon In particular is finding life difficult as he is deeply in love with a girl called Nell but there is also the enigmatic Jane in the background.
Sebastian loves Joe but Joe is the Queen of lost causes and has a string of
...more
Shirley Hallam
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in my teens after I had exhausted the Agatha Christie canon. I was delighted to discover the Mary Westmacott books and this was my favourite.

This time around I found it a great read. She is a very good storyteller and, while there are a few elements and attitudes which date it, it has stood the test of time. She knows how to show not tell, and has a light touch.

Some of the characterisation is simplistic; she relies quite heavily on social and racial stereotypes. But the p
...more
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