The Black Violin: A Novel

Sold by Simon and Schuster
5
Free sample

There were many musical souls adrift on that raft of silence that is Venice. There was the music of Johannes Karelsky.There was the music of Erasmus, the violin maker. And there was the music of war. But of that, the two men never spoke.

From the internationally acclaimed author of Snow comes a timeless tale of love and music set against the romantic backdrop of eighteenth-century Venice.

In 1797, the violin prodigy Johannes Karelsky arrives in Venice after fighting with Napoleon's army in the Italian campaign. After the war, he boards with an aged violin maker named Erasmus who created the legendary "Black Violin," which he forbids Johannes to touch because, as he says, "Once you have tasted it, you will never be the same again." Johannes becomes obsessed with the idea of playing this violin as well as finding the woman who saved his life when he was injured in battle.

Beautifully written and highly evocative, The Black Violin interweaves Johannes's quest for love and the history of this mysterious instrument in a narrative that is sure to resonate long after the last page is turned.
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About the author

Maxence Fermine was born in 1968 in Savoy, France, where he resides today. He has also lived in Paris and North Africa. In addition to Snow and The Black Violin, he is the author of the novels L'Apiculteur ("The Beekeeper") and Opium, both published by Albin Michel in France.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 11, 2010
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Pages
144
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ISBN
9781439104538
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A magnetic debut novel from world-renowned violinist Eugene Drucker

Set during the final weeks of World War II, The Savior is the story of Gottfried Keller, a young German violinist. Exempted from military service, Keller is burdened with the demoralizing task of playing for wounded soldiers in hospitals and makeshift infirmaries.

As he leaves his apartment one morning to pick up a new assignment at headquarters, Keller finds an SS driver waiting for him and is escorted without explanation to a labor camp outside his town. There he is introduced to the camp's Kommandant, who tells Keller that he will spend the next four days performing for the inmates as part of an experiment in reviving hope in those who have lost it completely.

Overwhelmed by fear and compelled by the temptation of using his talent to affect others so powerfully, Keller finds himself playing a series of concerts for the prisoners -- and seeing with his own eyes the horrifying truths within the barbed-wire fence. As he plays the music of Ysaÿe, Hindemith and Bach, most notably the searing Chaconne, Keller's own questionable past unfolds, revealing the loss of his closest friend and the Jewish fiancée from whom he fled in fear of being caught as a Jew-lover. As he bears witness to the camp's atrocities, Keller's horror toward the perpetrators and their crime begins to fade, revealing his own culpability.

Beautifully conceived and gracefully written, The Savior is a complex and illuminating character study of a man severed from his past expectations and an artist struggling with his identity in the face of human catastrophe.
A beautifully written, strikingly accomplished debut novel about love, music, and the complex relationship between mothers and daughters —at once a captivating glimpse into lives lived passionately and a subtle exploration of the nature of genius, it is the perfect book for fans of Bel Canto and Amy and Isabelle.

Natasha Darsky is "the most famous violinist since Paganini." Bow in hand, she lights an erotic fire under every piece of music she plays, telling each composer’s story in a singularly sensuous way. The daughter of a world-renowned art dealer in New York City, Natasha grows up in a world where artistic achievement is accorded the highest value, and her father’s opinion determines the rise and the fall of many an artist. Her prodigious musical talent, discovered when she is a little girl, blossoms at Harvard, where she begins to pursue composition as well as performing. She is soon involved in a passionate love affair with Jean Paul, a young composer whose innovative music is hailed as revolutionary. Under Jean Paul's shadow, Natasha abandons her dream of writing music of her own and turns toward performance. Channeling the frustration and muted fury of this choice into her playing, she creates a sexually charged sound that packs concert halls around the world year after year. Her young daughter, Alex, follows in her celebrated footsteps, but it is Alex’s talent as a composer that brings mother and daughter together—and tears them apart in ways Natasha could hardly have anticipated.

Overture draws readers into the glamorous and competitive world of classical music, capturing its harsh demands and its magical power to move performers and audiences alike. With a mastery rare in a first-time novelist, Yael Goldstein offers a fascinating meditation on the nature of creative brilliance and on the love that binds a mother and daughter even when their personal desires clash.
Yuko Akita had two passions.
Haiku
and snow.

It is April 1884 and Yuko Akita has reached his seventeenth birthday on the Island of Hokkaid in the North of Japan. The time has come to choose his vocation, warrior or monk, but against the wishes of his father, Yuko settles on a third option: he will be a poet. Yuko begins to write the seventeen-syllable poems we know as haiku--all celebrating the beauty of snow, his one great subject.
One day, the Imperial Poet arrives from the Emperor's court. He has heard about the beauty of Yuko's poems and has come to meet the young poet himself. While agreeing the poems have a music all their own, the Imperial Poet notes that lacking color, Yuko's poems are destined to remain invisible to the world. If the young poet is to learn color, he must study with the great artist Soseki in the south of Japan.
Yuko sets off on a treacherous journey across the whole of Japan. Cold, hungry, and exhausted, he encounters a vision that will forever change his life. It is a woman, frozen in the ice. With pale gold hair, ice blue eyes and a face as white as snow, the dead beauty will obsess Yuko. Who was she? How did she come to meet her death in the depths of his beloved snow?
Arriving at Soseki's door, Yuko is shocked to discover that the great master of color is blind. He will gradullay come to learn that color is not something outside of us, but within us. He will also learn about his master's Samurai past...and Soseki's link to the woman in the snow. It is a beautiful love story which will have its echo in Yuko's own as he finds his own, living, daughter of snow....
With stunning visual images created out of minimalist prose, Snow is as delicate and inspiring as the haiku poetry it celebrates and emulates. A swift and refreshing read, the novel treats readers to a gorgeous love story while gently floating ideas such as what is the nature of art and perception? What is the place of passion in art and in life? Highly romantic and gracefully written, Snow is destined to become a cult classic.
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