An Equal Music

An Equal Music

3.76 (7,781 ratings by Goodreads)
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Michael is a violinist from Rochdale. He plays in a trio in Vienna with Julia, a pianist, and they are much taken with each other. But the trio splits up and they go their separate ways. One day in London, from the top of a double-decker bus, Michael catches a glimpse of Julia. They eventually meet up, and she tells him that she is contentedly married and has a child. Michael persuades her to visit Vienna and Venice with him. He discovers that Julia has become deaf, though her deafness comes and goes. When Michael reads a letter from Julia to her husband, he realises that Julia is never going to give herself to him more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 110 x 180 x 32mm | 276g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion mass market paperback
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Open market ed
  • 0752826549
  • 9780752826547

About Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth was born in 1952. He trained as an economist and has lived for several years each in England, California, China and India. He is the author of A Suitable Boy, which was an international number one bestseller, An Equal Music and several other novels. He has also written five volumes of poetry including Beastly more

Review Text

'Under the arrow of Eros I sit down and weep.' If this sentence hovers close to parody or pastiche, it is also poetic and plangent, with just a hint of self-mockery, and it perfectly distils the variegated tone of Seth's novel. An Equal Music is a love story in which the object of desire is as much the art of music as it is the elusive Julia. Michael, who tells the story in the present tense, plays the violin in a string quartet. The life of this group, its rehearsals, dependencies and tensions, is the quietly flowing current which provides some sense of fragile continuity to what might otherwise be too evanescent a novel. For this is a book about the impermanence of relationships and the nostalgia which governs so large a part of our existences. Readers expecting to return to the India of A Suitable Boy will be confounded - this is set mainly in central London, with Lancashire, Vienna and Venice also impinging upon the action. Seth's mastery of dialogue and his gentle nuanced descriptive art are, however, as subtle here as in anything he has written. This is a loving novel in which Terpsichore is the prevailing muse, not Eros. Review by ALASTAIR NIVEN, Director of the British Council (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

7,781 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 26% (2,051)
4 37% (2,867)
3 26% (2,042)
2 8% (643)
1 2% (178)
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