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Posted September 2, 2011
Posted October 31, 2013
This book wasn't spectacular, but it also wasn't predictable. there's nothing worse than a book that has no surprises! I would be interested in looking into buying another of Mr. Abbot's books. I finished it in the waiting room during a relative's surgery, and it kept me occupied.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 18, 2011
How much does a man's life change when he retires from the company he's built?
Just how much does a successful man's life change when he retires from the company that he's built? When Henry Cage's successful career and influence are gone, he becomes just another elderly man among many. David Abbott demonstrates the small ways in which Cage's life and luck has changed. The crush of the crowds on New Year's Eve leads to a random and vicious act of violence. I found myself sympathizing with Henry Cage as he finds himself uncomfortable in his new life - from his interaction with his housekeeper to the incident that gets him expelled from his favorite breakfast place.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Abbott has made Henry Cage complex and sympathetic. As he tries to behave with integrity, he faces unexpected meanness and tragedy. The Upright Piano Player is gripping, moving, and unsentimental. It's a fascinating read that will stay with you long after you've finished the novel.
ISBN-10: 0385534426 - Hardcover $22.95
Publisher: Nan A. Talese (June 7, 2011), 272 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Posted July 28, 2011
Quietly haunting and tinged with loneliness.
The books that I love are typically quiet books, in that the characters and storyline follow a rather plain, yet interesting path. Domesticity fascinates me. So for this reason I thought I would love The Upright Piano Player. Although parts of it were lovely and beautifully crafted, the narrative structure didn't work for me. The story is about Henry Cage. Forced into retirement by his own company, he doesn't quite know what to do with himself. His wife ends their marriage after having an affair, and his grown son, although "around," is not on terribly good terms with his father. As Henry struggles to make sense of this new life, a violent encounter with a stranger on New Year's Eve forces him to make a decision. This in itself is a lot to deal with but the story opens with a different tragedy and then goes back five years to when he is first retired. Normally, I don't have a problem with knowing the outcome of a particular situation before reading the story, but this outcome was so bleak, and depressing that as I was reading, it left me feeling hopeless about Henry's situation. Plus, I expected the story to at least circle back to the tragedy that it mentioned in the beginning of the book, especially since it had the potential of devastating Henry and his family, but it doesn't. The decision to "not go there" made it a random tragedy and although events are often random in everyday life, this was too significant to ignore. As lovely as the writing was, there was no payoff for me. I don't need a happy ending.I am not about being perfect, but I didn't see a point to that tragic opening, and that is what I was thinking about at the end of this novel. There's no epiphany.no "aha" moment. As harsh as that might sound, I will absolutely read another novel by Mr. Abbott. The Upright Piano Player is a debut novel for him, and shows a great deal of promise. I look forward to seeing what he writes next.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 18, 2011
The Upright Piano Player
The story begins with a shocking tragedy that makes the reader want to continue the story. But as the story unfold it steps back in time prior to the tragedy to the life of Henry Cage, a lonely old man who was forced to retire form the company he created (we learn why through flashbacks).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Henry learns that his ex-wife is dying of cancer and his estranged son has his own son and reaches out to him. He is also stalked by a psychopath he accidently bumped into during a walk n the streets. Henry wants to make right all he has done wrong in his life and I think it may be too late.
David Abbott's debut novel is an emotional story which is well written and the short chapters make it a quick read. I look forward to his second novel.
Posted July 4, 2011
Wait for the paperback or the remainder table
Henry is to be a guy who had his life well-ordered and things went wrong. I felt like I was watching Henry in a bumper car with his hands tied behind his back AND thinking this is the way everyone does it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I read every page with a big wish that all the story threads would knit together. I felt like the dog got my sweater.