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The Big Music (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Kirsty Gunn

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'A masterpiece ... I cannot think of a more entirely original, enchanting and enchanted book.' --Michael Bywater, INDEPENDENT

'One of the finest novels of the past decade.' --Gabriel Josipovici, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT Books of the Year

'Remarkable ... demands that readers put themselves into the same headspace as they would before embarking on a novel by, say, William Faulkner, James Joyce or Woolf. As with those modernists, there is also a story here, a moving one, involving emotionally distant fathers and self-exiled sons ... Gunn is to be applauded for her ambition.' --Susan Elderkin, FINANCIAL TIMES

'The attentive voice of Gunn's graceful prose [places] the reader inside the space of the music. It is a remarkable book.' --Kathryn Sutherland, TLS Books of the Year

'The Big Music matches the structure of its story to the virtuoso improvisations of the Highland piper's art, but the pulsing bass here remains a moving story of fathers, children and a culture in peril.' ----Boyd Tonkin, INDEPENDENT, Books of the Year

'The Big Music is both challenging and conventional, a 'novel' which will satisfy those who love poetry and narrative prose alike; it is often lyrical, sometimes flinty, soft as a bog, or as potently smouldering as a peat fire, smoking, secretive, intriguing ... It is rare to read anything so riveting ... it captivates and illuminates.' --Tom Adair, SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

'The Big Music matches the structure of its story to the virtuoso improvisations of the Highland piper's art, but the pulsing bass here remains a moving story of fathers, children and a culture in peril.' ----Boyd Tonkin, INDEPENDENT, Books of the Year

'The Big Music is both challenging and conventional, a 'novel' which will satisfy those who love poetry and narrative prose alike; it is often lyrical, sometimes flinty, soft as a bog, or as potently smouldering as a peat fire, smoking, secretive, intriguing ... It is rare to read anything so riveting ... it captivates and illuminates.' --Tom Adair, SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Big Music tells the story of John Sutherland of 'The Grey House', who is dying and creating in the last days of his life a musical composition that will define it. Yet he has little idea of how his tune will echo or play out into the world - and as the book moves inevitably through its themes of death and birth, change and stasis, the sound of his solitary story comes to merge and connect with those around him.

In this remarkable work of fiction, Kirsty Gunn has created something as real as music or as magical as a dream. One emerges at the end of it altered and changed. Not so much a novel as a place the reader comes to inhabit and know, The Big Music is a literary work of undeniable originality and power.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2026 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 490 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0571282334
  • Editeur : Faber & Faber Fiction; Édition : Main (3 juillet 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0084E0G3K
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°154.721 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  4 commentaires
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Review of 'The Big Music' by Kirsty Gunn 24 septembre 2012
Par CPHowe - Publié sur Amazon.com
The Big Music: selected papers is UK-based New Zealander Kirsty Gunn's latest novel. In her introduction she tells us that the book is a selection from some `papers that were presented to me,' and that she has `arranged' them. The papers as they appear in the novel are written as a third person narrative. So they must have been written by someone trying to tell a story. But who?

There are also copious footnotes and we are, it appears, supposed to believe that it is Gunn who has written them, as well as compiling the 100 pages of appendices. But, like Ian McEwan's early inclusion of exclamation marks to signal that the narrative in Atonement was not his, but his fictional author Briony's, the footnotes in The Big Music include many uses of `etc.' - surely something Gunn would not do in her own writing - and it is soon very clear that what we have in front of us is an elaborate fictional construction.

It takes great courage and confidence to attempt such an approach, and create not one but two fictional writers - one who has written the `papers,' and a fictional Gunn who has arranged them, written the footnotes and compiled the appendices - with such a consistent and convincing representation of their respective flaws. Kirsty Gunn clearly has both in spades.

But that's not all. The ordering of the `papers' follows the structure of piobaireachd (pronouned pee-broh, a specialised form of bagpipe music in four movements, akin to a symphony) because that's what Gunn - the fictional Gunn - believes the author of the `papers' was aiming for. And throughout, the footnotes tell you exactly what is going on. At times during my reading of the book I thought this was overdone, but I should have trusted her; it is one of the many layers that emerge and is, like everything in fiction, there for a good reason.

Convincing detail - particularity, as Damien Wilkins calls it - is a critical factor in good fiction. Present fiction as fact, with the kind of realistic detail that Gunn includes in The Big Music, or Bruce Chatwin described in Songlines, and people will believe you're telling the truth. That's why Songlines can still be found in travel sections of bookshops, and why readers will soon start searching Google Earth for The Grey House featured in The Big Music. Throughout the book, Gunn layers detail upon detail - including family trees, radio interviews and the history of a piping school - so effectively that I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction.

This may all sound daunting and, to start with, it was. Footnotes and appendices? In a novel? Is it possible to make up so much detail about people and places? Sometimes though, as a reader, you just have to go with it and trust the author. Don't be tempted to go to Google or Wikipedia. It doesn't matter if its true or not. In this case, the sheer beauty of the writing makes such a leap of faith very easy. Set in the far north of Scotland, the people, the life and the landscapes jump off the page and surround you. Couple this with a multi-generational sweep across a family history, a deep understanding of what music is, really, and bagpipe music especially - so much more than the notes themselves - and the social, cultural and political context of the Scottish highlands, and you have a true masterpiece.

And yet, even then, there's more to it. Deep within the narrative there are rewards of a different kind; visceral, heart-wrenching moments of emotion. On at least one occasion I simply had to stop reading and put the book aside. The pattern of the narrative contributes to this. What starts, in each `paper,' as straightforward - but still beautiful - prose evolves in carefully chosen places into something much more. It is here that Gunn's true commitment to consistently representing the way her imagined writer struggles to get the story down on paper comes through most strongly.

Kirsty Gunn makes all of this - the layering, the structure, the emotion - seem completely effortless, which is the mark of a great writer. She has the most outstanding technical mastery of her craft, together with the skills of a poet for rhythm and cadence and language. More than anything, though, I cared deeply for the characters she's created and that, surely, is the ultimate test for a novel.

I can't recommend this book highly enough and, finally, while I've nothing against e-books, the physical beauty of the hardback version of The Big Music - with its maps and floor plans, musical manuscripts and handwritten notes - is completely in keeping with the prose that Kirsty Gunn has put on its pages. Buy your copy now; you won't regret it.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 landscape in music 4 janvier 2014
Par Saposcat - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
stunning. syntax bends to the will of the music that is inseparable from the story. why this is so difficult to find in the U.S. i don't know. amazing achievement, a world in itself, you have to live in it to listen to it. once you are there, in the pages, the bagpipe drones will wash over you, and suddenly within bookends you are in enormous fields, and you don't so much read histories as let them envelop you in all their beauty. appendices abound, footnotes, maps, etc., but, as "Gunn" says early on in the foreword, in other words, these are just more doors through which to step into this place, because this is a place, it feels like. i can think only of Richard Skelton, who describes landscape in music, when i listen to these words as i read them. when you can, read this book aloud.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Great Book by Kirsty Gunn 10 décembre 2013
Par Mel u-The Reading Life - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have read Kirsty Gunn's The Keepsake three times. I have posted on it twice and hope to read it again in 2014. I think it belongs in the Sontag category of "High Art". The Big Music, twice as long as The Keepsake, is a very challenging, intricately constructed modernist tour de force set in the highlands of Scotland (where New Zealand born Gunn now lives). There are excellent very insightful reviews of The Big Music in online editions of majors newspapers which I suggest interested buyers read.

The central thing in the book, called "The Big Music", is Scottish bagpipe music. If you know little or nothing about the history or the musical theory and methods of bagpipes, you certainly will after completing The Big Music. Gunn's work is a deep meditation on the nature of music and through this that of art. It is also a lesson in how to read a novel.

The novel is presented to us as if were a collection of material Gunn found relating to a famous family of bagpipers. For generations they have composed music for bagpipes and instructed others advanced techniques of the instrument. Gunn uses the material as if were the basis for an academic treatise. Interspaced with personal notes from many members of the family are historical and theoretical notes about bagpipe playing.

I read this book twice, once three months ago and once this week. There are many wonderful sentences and paragraphs about loneliness and the Scottish Highlands. The bagpipe is superbly equipped for expressing pain and loss. It was played as troops went into battle and at the funerals of kings and presidents. It's sound is like no other instrument.

There is a lot of fascinating historical information in The Big Music.

The Big Music is a very challenging book which should be read slowly and thoughtfully. I hope to reread it in a year or two.
2 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Unique, Transformative, Brilliant 4 septembre 2012
Par Mark White - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I was transformed into a world of bag pipers that I did not now exist and into the irresistible tide-like pull of family legacy. This novel takes the structure of the its very subject as it tells the story of three generations of (male) musicians and the women who reared them. All strongly built characters, not a line (or movement) out of place. It's profound in its fatalistic pull; it has the feel of a Greek tragedy, with a chorus of bagpipers.

I am in the U.S. and read the e-book first, since it's not available here. But halfway through I had to order the hardback from England because I wanted a physical reminder of this amazing piece of art and I could not wait for the U.S. edition to come out. The writing demands attention and patience. A repetition of themes, and close naming of the bloodlines, a refusal to "show" and not "tell"...all demand close attention. But you will be rewarded.
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