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The Song of Namesby Norman Lebrecht
Winner of the 2002 Whitbread Award for First Novel
Synopses & Reviews
Martin Simmonds father tells him, “Never trust a musician when he speaks about love.” The advice comes too late. Martin already loves Dovidl Rapoport, an eerily gifted Polish violin prodigy whose parents left him in the Simmondss care before they perished in the Holocaust. For a time the two boys are closer than brothers. But on the day he is to make his official debut, Dovidl disappears. Only 40 years later does Martin get his first clue about what happened to him.
In this ravishing novel of music and suspense, Norman Lebrecht unravels the strands of love, envy and exploitation that knot geniuses to their admirers. In doing so he also evokes the fragile bubble of Jewish life in prewar London; the fearful carnival of the Blitz, and the gray new world that emerged from its ashes. Bristling with ideas, lambent with feeling, The Song of Names is a masterful work of the imagination.
"An unusually impressive first novel." The Spectator
"[A] confidently written and engaging first novel by a talented writer." Publishers Weekly
"[T]here's plenty to enjoy here: lively intelligence, fine social history, and enough of a novelist's sensibility to make you hungry for more." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] vivid and outstanding story that sings about artistry, genius, music, love, envy, friendship, and revenge." Booklist (Starred Review)
A man searches for his friend who has been missing for 40 years.
About the Author
Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read modern commentators on music, culture, and politics. His Wednesday column in the (London) Evening Standard and on the internet has been described as “required reading”. His BBC Radio 3 show, “Lebrecht Live”, attracts web-listeners from Buenos Aires to Budapest. His many books include The Maestro Myth, When the Music Stops, Mahler Remembered, and Covent Garden: The Untold Story. The Song of Names is his first novel.
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