The Metropolis Case: A Novel

The Metropolis Case: A Novel

3.5 12
by Matthew Gallaway
     
 

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From the smoky music halls of 1860s Paris to the tumbling skyscrapers of twenty-first-century New York, a sweeping tale of passion, music, and the human heart’s yearning for connection
 
Martin is a forty-year-old lawyer who, despite his success, feels disoriented and disconnected from his life in post-9/11 Manhattan. But even as he comes to terms…  See more details below

Overview

From the smoky music halls of 1860s Paris to the tumbling skyscrapers of twenty-first-century New York, a sweeping tale of passion, music, and the human heart’s yearning for connection
 
Martin is a forty-year-old lawyer who, despite his success, feels disoriented and disconnected from his life in post-9/11 Manhattan. But even as he comes to terms with the missteps of his past, he questions whether his life will feel more genuine going forward.
 
Decades earlier, in the New York of the 1960s, Anna is destined to be a grande dame of the international stage. As she steps into the spotlight, however, she realizes that the harsh glare of fame may be more than she bargained for.
 
Maria is a tall, awkward, ostracized teenager desperate to break free from the doldrums of 1970s Pittsburgh. When the operatic power of her extraordinary voice leads Maria to Juilliard, New York seems to hold possibilities that are both exhilarating and uncertain.
 
Lucien is a young Parisian at the birth of the modern era, racing through the streets of Europe in an exuberant bid to become a singer for the ages. When tragedy leads him to a magical discovery, Lucien embarks on a journey that will help him—and Martin, Maria, and Anna—learn that it’s not how many breaths you take, it’s what you do with those you’re given.
 
This unlikely quartet is bound together across centuries and continents by the strange and spectacular history of Richard Wagner’s masterpiece opera Tristan and Isolde. Grandly operatic in scale, their story is one of music and magic, love and death, betrayal and fate. Matthew Gallaway’s riveting debut will have readers spellbound from the opening page to its breathtaking conclusion.


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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This debut offers an operatic confluence of multiple stories concerning Martin, a 40-year-old, HIV-positive lawyer in 2001 New York, who's going through a midlife crisis; the musically gifted Maria, an orphan adopted in Pittsburgh in 1960; and Lucien, also musically gifted and the son of a well-known scientist in mid-19th-century Paris. Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is important to them all: Lucien eventually sings the role of Tristan at the opera's premiere in Germany in 1864, Maria enrolls at Juilliard and sings as Isolde at a Metropolitan Opera performance, and Martin, who's had an emotionally difficult time coming to terms with his gay identity, decides after his 40th birthday to retire from his lucrative law practice and devote himself to his own interests, one of which has become opera. It all comes together in New York City in the years after 9/11, as fate, destiny, and the transformative power of love are unleashed from the Wagner opera and exert a strong influence on the lives of the characters. VERDICT This charming and inventive novel works as a romantic mystery story of sorts and is recommended for all fiction readers.—Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. at Oneonta Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307463449
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
12/28/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
636,893
File size:
965 KB

Meet the Author

MATTHEW GALLAWAY is a first-time novelist originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He now lives in New York City.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The Metropolis Case 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This extraordinary set of connected narratives is both intellectual and highly affecting. The characters all grabbed me immediately as they were introduced, and Gallaway gives them all strong, plausible personalities. There are several very powerful scenes that moved me at the time and have stayed with me. The philosophical themes of the power of art - in this case music, and particularly opera - and death, are woven seamlessly into the story and handled with great intelligence. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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