Laura's Reviews > Above Parr: Memoir of a Child Prodigy

Above Parr by Patricia Parr
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bookshelves: netgalley, music, child-prodigy, canada, canadian-history, non-fiction

Not having grown up being imersed in the world of classical music, though I did play the piano as a youth, and not having grown up in Canada, I was unfamiliar with Patricia Parr before reading this book, and interviewing her on KKUP for my weekly music show.

What happened to Patricia, in the early part of her life, would be considered child abuse, by today's standards, or at least I hope so. But, as I told her, there are still stage mothers who are out there, trying to get their child to practice enough, to perform enough, to play enough, that they use the gifts that they were born with, and by dang they will become famous. It is not the child driving this desire. As Patricia said in her book, she was playing concerts since the time she was six years old, because she enjoyed it. She thought it was fun to get out there and play the piano for crowds of people, even playing Carnegie Hall when she was, I believe, nine years old.

That part of the book was fascinating, as she looked back at a time that she said, later in the book, she could barely remember, events that she had to refer to from old clippings from newspapers and diary entries.

The second part of the book, with her adult life as a chamber player (chamber music refers to music done by several musicians that would fit in a room or chamber), was a not quite as interesting, though by that time she was, apparently quite famous, and so for people from Canada who were familiar with her work, they might have been more engaged in what she was saying about her later life, and how she felt. I have to admit, she did pick on some interesting things, such as how in one place in Mexico, the piano was put together just before the performance, so she didn't get a chance to even reherse on it before the performance began.

All in all, and interesting look at what happens to a child prodigy, and what is left over from a very difficult childhood.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

July 2, 2017 – Started Reading
July 2, 2017 – Shelved
July 2, 2017 –
page 102
67.11% "Interviewed the author today. As you can see, I hadn't finished the book first. After more than 30 years of doing interviews, I can squeak by without having finished the book. :)

I will finish it though. Interesting thoughts on being a career woman, as they used to call them, in the 1950s and '60s, after bieng a prodigy."
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: netgalley
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: music
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: child-prodigy
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: canada
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: canadian-history
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: non-fiction
July 5, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Petra X one more week until back in civilization! I think this looks really interesting.

Laura It is interesting, but it is slowing down in the last bit. I'll have to see what I think when I finish it, though I have to say, the first bit was quite good.

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