Friday, 2 July 2010

Vikram Seth's An Equal Music - A Review

An Equal Music is the only Vikram Seth book I have read (so far). It is always a daunting task to start reading a book of an author of Seth’s stature. As one starts to read – the book comes to life like the music it portrays. Can a book which is solely about classical music (of which I have absolutely zero knowledge) sustain for the length of a novel? It can and does as it flows through chapters describing the perfect music, the love the protagonist Michael is in search of and the fusion of love, music and the life of a struggling violinist and a quartet named Maggiore.

Michael is a narcissist. For him it is perfect or nothing. A butcher’s son from Yorkshire (no, Lancashire), he has started on his journey with the violin with encouragement from an elderly neighbour and inputs from the public library of unlikely Manchester - to make a small place for himself in classical music. As he struggles on in London, he finds his lost love Julia – while his quartet makes some of the perfect music ever. However, Michael loses Julia – and his World comes crashing down – again - as it had once before against the demands of an unforgiving tutor. Woven through Michael’s story – is also the story of the quest for the perfect music and concerts by a quartet, the story of a violin (Tonini), a deaf pianist and concerts in London, Venice and Vienna.

An Equal Music comforts, warms, and in places makes one’s toes curl with the depths of emotions described. As you finish the book – you will definitely want to hear Bach, the Art of Fugue, The Trout, Schubert or Schumann (the wring Schu?) and read the book all over again!

To know more about Vikram Seth - go to Wikipedia

To read An Equal Music by Vikram Seth - buy it online at
 An Equal Music - The Book By Vikram Seth

Music from An Equal Music is also available for MP3 download or to buy at amazon. Check it out here.