Title: Love is Blind: the rapture of Brodie Moncur
By: William Boyd
Call #: Fiction Boyd.W
For a book about love, passion, hate and jealousy, Boyd’s prose is curiously cool and his main character, one of Europe’s finest piano tuners of the late 1800s, Brodie Moncur, isn’t a completely likable hero. Brodie works for John Kilbarron, a brilliant, egotistical concert pianist whose time in the limelight is ending. Brodie has fallen helplessly in love with his employer’s mistress, Lika Blum. Along with John’s controlling brother-manager Malachi, the foursome tour the great concert halls of Europe. Brodie and Lika are surreptitious lovers, not really wanting to run away because the life style they live with Kilbarron is exciting and luxurious, not to mention very lucrative for Brodie. There’s also the odd factor of Brodie’s chronic TB. He’s occasionally very ill, but being a young man in his late twenties, manages to bounce back to relative health. What is appealing about this book is the colorful characters, the twists and turns of the plot, the inside view of the turn-of-the-century classical music world, and fascinating look inside the piano itself–what makes a good one, how it can be customized perfectly for each player, and how particular the piano players can be.