The Metropolis Case

The Metropolis Case

by Matthew Gallaway

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307463432
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 11/08/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.24(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

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


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The Metropolis Case 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 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.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing 6 days ago
The Metropolis Case is a book in which the story revolves around Wagner's Tristan and Isolde (one of my favorite operas). It's sweeping dissonance and harsh demands on its singers voices makes it an incredible piece to listen to and capable of catching the attention of even the most reluctant opera listener. When I read the summary of this book I could feel my heart begin to beat faster - finally it seemed someone else could put into words a story that seemed worthy of that opera and I couldn't wait to open the book and begin my foray into the worlds of Martin, Lucian, Maria and Anna. However, what the summary does not tell you is that, in their searches for love, there are less than traditional forays into that path. While I could have dealt with this aspect of the story (and potentially even enjoyed it), what I struggled with were the graphic, and sometimes a bit crude, descriptions of actions performed. This is not something I struggle with in just this type of book, but one I struggle with in other books as well. As my reading style has developed I've learned that to say less is sometimes all you need - the readers imagination provides plenty and there are some things which I really do not need spelled out for me. So while I loved parts of this novel, the descriptions of the music, the intense love of opera shown (it's very clear that the author feels much of the passion toward the music as his characters feel), I was disappointed by the graphic sexuality of the book. Matthew Gallaway has a way with words, it's impossible to deny that. His witty chapter titles, his descriptive passages, the ability to infuse his characters with passion, it's all there. Once again, I am feeling my "prude" nature, however, and it's that prudishness which keeps this book from a higher rating and will keep me from recommending it as much as I would have loved to.
ken1952 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Okay. I read this novel in two days. And I was totally captivated by it. And it all revolves around Wagner's huge opera Tristan und Isolde. Gallaway is an amazing writer considering this is his first novel. The structure is complicated with a constant change of time periods. He pulls it off. Even made me laugh. I'm not an opera fan, but this novel made me want to find a filmed version of the opera or a recording.
melaniehope on LibraryThing 6 days ago
The story focuses on four characters and each chapter gives us a look into their life. The book revolves around the opera of Tristan and Isolde. I am not an opera fan and worried I may not enjoy this book, but that was far from the case. As the storyline moves along, we slowly learn how these characters are connected. When I first started reading this book, it took me about 20 pages or so before I was hooked. The writing style felt a little awkward to me. But then the story took off and I didn't want to put it down. We are introduced to Martin, a 41 year old lawyer who feels disconnected from his life. Then we meet Anna, who used to be a big opera star. Their is also Maria, a lonely teenager who has nothing in common with her classmates, but instead learns to embrace her singing and finally, Lucien, a young singer who lives in the late 1800s. These characters stories weave together throughout the book. I highly recommend!
DieFledermaus on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Spoilers!! ¿ sort of??I enjoyed this book ¿ but I had high expectations, so I was rather disappointed. The narrative follows several characters connected in tangential ways and also through their association with Wagner¿s monumental, revolutionary opera Tristan and Isolde. Martin is a disaffected lawyer trying to navigate a post-9/11 NYC as well as his own detachment from life and love, Maria is a former high school outcast trying to harness her talent as a singer the 70s and 80s, Lucien ¿ living in mid 19th c Paris ¿ despises school, trains as a singer, and gets a chance to be in the first performance of T&I. There was another character, Anna who, after triumphing as Isolde in the 60s, disappears for a bit from the plot. That was one odd thing with the switching plots. Another was the structure of the Martin narrative. Martin¿s story follows him over the course of one day as he thinks about his past, so there was a lot of jumping between time periods there. Presumably, the author didn¿t want to have two similar juxtaposed coming of age sections with him and Maria. Lucien¿s at least was different because of the time period ¿ that one was a fun comparison, since it showed him with all too modern school irritations. The divided plots also made it hard to develop all the characters and care about side characters. The protagonists experience some significant losses, but it¿s hard to feel much, since there just isn¿t enough time spent on the supporting cast. Also, the next section dealing with that character often jumps ahead some years, further minimizing losses. I would have liked to have read more about Maria¿s struggles to move from student to singer ¿ that was glossed over, and more with Lucien after his plot point ends ¿ he still has some youthful optimism, wanted to see the slow decline of that. But despite the plot issues that I had, the book was a very fast read with fluid prose and a number of memorable sentences and descriptions of subtle emotions, especially the day-to-day ennui felt by many of the characters. It is very accessible despite the focus on T&I¿ even starts in sly mode with an enthusiastic email extolling the virtues of T&I so you have some idea of the status of the opera. Actually, there was almost not enough of T&I ¿ there are several performances described but in most cases, there¿s not much time spent on the actual performance or its lead-up - like with Anna ¿ her Isolde was just skipped over, and with Lucien ¿ the premiere takes backstage to his partner¿s job problems. The actual premiere/history of T&I comes with plenty of real or apocryphal baggage (orchestra can¿t play it - singers going crazy, becoming stalkers, dying ¿ furious patrons horrifically offended by content and chromaticism). So there was nothing very dramatic in the depiction of the performances ¿ not like, say, the hysterical and hilarious depiction of T&I in Mawrdew Czgowchwz. Also, there was not a lot of backstage maneuvering or glimpses of all the work that has to go into putting on a production. We get some of that while Lucien works as a stagehand, but would have liked more ¿ esp in the 20th c parts. Another thing ¿ one might have an idea after reading the book that singers are apt to jump in bed with a person upon first meeting ¿ happens quite a few times. So you don¿t have to be a huge opera buff to enjoy this book ¿ though that might help explain some of the plot twists at the end. It actually might be better ¿ was disappointed because - 1. I love Tristan and Isolde ¿ did want more - and 2. also love Janacek and his opera that gives the book its title ¿ both not mentioned in the book, but clearly the inspiration (this does act as something of a spoiler ¿ one could go read the plot synopsis for the opera or play to find out some of the plot points in this book ¿ but that would be all on such a person. I suppose a person could already be familiar with said opera/play ¿ but then it seem
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