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Soloist

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Overview

At thirty-four, piano soloist Max Randal has hit a wall. It's been four years since his last live performance, and his manager is intent on revitalizing his career with a big concert at Carnegie Hall. As if that wouldn't be enough for Max to worry about, as he struggles to prepare, the ghosts of his failed relationships have come to haunt him — his first ex-wife is dying, his second ex-wife wants to get back together, the mother of his child has taken off for Europe and unexpectedly left him to care for their ...

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Overview

At thirty-four, piano soloist Max Randal has hit a wall. It's been four years since his last live performance, and his manager is intent on revitalizing his career with a big concert at Carnegie Hall. As if that wouldn't be enough for Max to worry about, as he struggles to prepare, the ghosts of his failed relationships have come to haunt him — his first ex-wife is dying, his second ex-wife wants to get back together, the mother of his child has taken off for Europe and unexpectedly left him to care for their nine-year-old, and his present girlfriend now wants to get serious. Believe it or not, the plot only gets thicker.
Merging dozens of characters and events into a seamless narrative, gifted novelist and poet Nicholas Christopher delivers a compelling tale. Like an exhilarating performance, The Soloist takes you on a brilliant adventure that resonates even once it's over.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Suffering a kind of housemaid's knee of the fingers, piano prodigy Max Randal stumbles over the keys trying to recover the virtuosity that for 10 years has made him the toast of the music world and will reaffirm his position when he plays at Carnegie Hall a few months hence. At the moment, however, he seems more involved with wine and women than with song; his first wife dies tragically, his second duns him for thousands in alimony, his third sets him up for re-seduction, and his interim companion goes after him with a knife. In between, his 9-going-on-19-year-old daughter Daphne is thrust upon him while her mother traipses around Europe, disregarding Max's need to practice undisturbed except by sex, speed and Scotch. His best friend, furthermore, flies off on a mysterious mission to (of all places) Albania, which eventually yields not only photographs never before revealed to the outside world, but a hitherto unknown Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody. There's intrigue aplenty, along with some homey scenes of Daphne and Daddy cooking, and a good deal of musical name-dropping and classy partying. These elements will probably charm readers willing to overlook the pretentiousness of the narrator, the improbability of the plot and the flatness of the characters. U.K. rights: Viking Penguin; translation rights: Melanie Jackson Agency. January
Library Journal
Another novel of midlife crisis. Max Randal, a world-famous concert pianist who hasn't performed in four years, is holed up in Boston, ``a deadbeat city,'' practicing for a comeback tour. Max has problems. He fears his playing has turned mediocre. His current girl friend wants to move in, his illegitimate daughter has been dumped on him for the summer, and his first ex-wife has arrived at a Boston hospital dying from a rare tropical disease. In New York after some steamy sex in a jacuzzi his second ex-wife announces they should remarry. Throughout, Max ponders his capacity for love and the connection between music and the erotic life. At the end, triumphant at Carnegie Hall, he finds himself alone and realizes that in life as in art he is a soloist. A novel that tries hard to be very seriousquoting Byron, Kierkegaard, and even Epicurusbut doesn't succeed. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593761226
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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