The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht

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Martin Simmonds’ father tells him, “Never trust a musician when he speaks about love.” The advice comes too late. Martin already loves Dovidl Rapoport, an eerily gifted Polish violin prodigy whose parents left him in the Simmonds’s care before they perished in the Holocaust. For a time the two boys are closer than brothers. But on the day he is to make his official debut, Dovidl disappears. Only 40 years later does Martin get his first clue about what happened to him.

In this ravishing novel of music and suspense, Norman Lebrecht unravels the strands of love, envy and exploitation that knot geniuses to their admirers. In doing so he also evokes the fragile bubble of Jewish life in prewar London; the fearful carnival of the Blitz, and the gray new world that emerged from its ashes. Bristling with ideas, lambent with feeling, The Song of Names is a masterful work of the imagination.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Norman Lebrecht

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Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read modern commentators on music, culture, and politics. His Wednesday column in the (London) Evening Standard and on the internet has been described as “required reading”. His BBC Radio 3 show, “Lebrecht Live”, attracts web-listeners from Buenos Aires to Budapest. His many books include The Maestro Myth, When the Music Stops, Mahler Remembered, and Covent Garden: The Untold Story. The Song of Names is his first novel.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Anchor. 322 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Song of Names

Kirkus Reviews

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Martin is happy to follow the lead of the dynamic Dovidl, reveling in his newfound self-esteem as Dovidl becomes his alter ego.

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The Guardian

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In Williams's novel, a young acolyte of Hilldyard is thrilled to be taken into the great novelist's confidence, until it becomes clear that he intends to exploit his experiences as material for his next book: "using him, taking him, syringing him out of life into art".

Dec 14 2002 | Read Full Review of The Song of Names

Entertainment Weekly

Narrator Martin Simmonds lives in London with his uptight, class-conscious Jewish family, but his pedestrian childhood changes course in 1939 when Dovidl Rapoport, a refugee from Poland and a violin prodigy, moves in.

Feb 20 2004 | Read Full Review of The Song of Names

The Sunday Times

Available at the Sunday Times Books Direct price of £10.39 plus £1.95 p&p on 0870 165 8585 The Department of Energy & Climate Change - England - CompetitiveDepartment of Health - UK - CompetitiveDepartment of Health - UK - Salary - £63,000 per annumDepartment for Work and Pensions (DWP) - England...

Oct 13 2002 | Read Full Review of The Song of Names

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