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When passion turns to obsession ... when blindness can seem like love ... Winner of the 2009 Independent Booksellers' Award for Debut Fiction. Looking back, I realise I'd always been waiting for the arrival of Noel Mewton-Wood. His entrance occurred with such ease that I began to believe he'd always been there, standing in the wings, long before I'd even laid eyes on him. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2008 by Harper/Collins
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An interesting glimpse of times gone by based loosely on the life of Australian Pianist Noel Mewton-Wood which until I had discovered this book I had not heard of his claim to fame as a renowned pianist in the 1940s that made it big in Europe and England. It is told from the perspective of a young man, a pianist himself, who develops a life long obsession and devotion to Noel. I really enjoyed the way Orchard weaved through musical history and that as a reader you discovered much more about the ...more
May 02, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it · review of another edition
It is a very good first novel indeed. It’s yet another story of obsessive love (I’ve seem to have read a few of these lately!), based very loosely on the life of the Australian concert pianist Noel Mewton-Wood (1922-1953), and an (entirely fictional) nameless young music student who adores him. They meet in London in 1945, when concerts go on in defiance of the Blitz and, war notwithstanding, there is still a bohemian scene which encompasses a sophisticated homosexual milieu (even though homosex ...more
The novel explores the life of Noel Mewton Wood, an Australian pianist who was an important figure in the post war music scene. Told through the eyes of a fictional narrator, who falls in love with Wood, the reader is given insight into the times when Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Myra Hess and Thomas Beecham were intriguing world audiences. Music lovers will find the historical background interesting, but the novel is dominated by the obsessive love of the narrator for Mewton Wood. The questio ...more
First novel by author, who is a musician herself, about well-known Australian pianist Noel Mewton-Wood, whose early talent had him studying and performing in London in the 1940s and '50s. Told from the perspective of a friend and lover, trying to understand his suicide at age 31. Though this book had some good reviews here in Australia, I found it very much a first novel that should have been much shorter.