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Canone Inverso: A Novel

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Paolo Maurensig

In present day London, a rare, 17th-century violin is offered at auction. Two bidders in particular covet it, one of whom claims to know its "terrible story." So beginsCanone Inverso, Paolo Maurensig's elliptical tale of two young men whose passion for … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Paolo Maurensig
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
1 review about Canone Inverso: A Novel

Fascinating story with a twisted ending!

  • Feb 8, 2002
This is a very different and engrossing book. It has all the ingredients of a life and friendships gone badly wrong, but it has many other interesting features that make it very worthy of the reader's attention.

The story begins in the first person, being told by the purchaser of a rare violin at auction. He pays considerable money for it, but is thrilled to have it. He in turn is visited by someone who was also interested in purchasing the violin, but missed the auction. This man relates to the buyer a story of a fascinating man that he had met - the owner of the violin, and how he was unsure at the end of their meeting that he had ever even existed! In telling that story to the buyer, this man then relates the life tale of the violin owner as told to him, of his musical obsession and a great friendship gone badly wrong. A life story, told to a story teller, who tells the narrator, who is in turn telling us, the reader. It is a fascinating and very clever plot device.

The story itself is one of music obsession, of discipline and friendship, and woven through it is the underlying menace of the rise of the Third Reich and the horrors of Europe in the 1930s. But it is the surprise ending, and the revelation of the identity of the purchser of the violin that had me most surprised. I never saw it coming, and I do love to be surprised in a book! It is certainly an abrupt ending, and of course it leaves many loose ends, but I think this adds to the impact of the final chapter. It is a finely woven and written story, and it will stay with you for some time.

I recommend it highly.

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