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Extended Audio Sample The Piano Tuner: A Novel, by Daniel Mason Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,393 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel Mason Narrator: Richard Matthews, Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An extraordinary first novel that tells the story of a British piano tuner sent deep into Burma in the nineteenth century.

In October 1886, Edgar Drake receives a strange request from the British War Office: he must leave his wife and his quiet life in London to travel to the jungles of Burma, where a rare Erard grand piano is in need of repair. The piano belongs to an army surgeon-major whose unorthodox peacemaking methods—poetry, medicine, and now music—have brought a tentative quiet to the southern Shan States but have elicited questions from his superiors.

On his journey through Europe, the Red Sea, India, and into Burma, Edgar meets soldiers, mystics, bandits, and tale-spinners, as well as an enchanting woman as elusive as the surgeon-major. And at the doctor’s fort on a remote Burmese river, Edgar encounters a world more mysterious and dangerous than he ever could have imagined.

Sensuous, lyrical, rich with passion and adventure, this is a hypnotic tale of myth, romance, and self-discovery: an unforgettable novel.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Excellent. . . . [Mason’s] powerful prose style and his ability to embrace history, politics, nature and medicine . . . [is] astonishing. The New York Times Book Review
  • A gripping and resonant novel. . . . It immerses the reader in a distant world with startling immediacy and ardor. . . . Riveting. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • “An ambitious, adventuresome, highly unusual first novel that offers pleasures too rarely encountered in contemporary American literary fiction. . . . [Mason is] a gifted, original and courageous writer. The Washington Post Book World
  • “This wondrous work of fiction . . . artfully weaves psychology, politics, medicine and music theory into a polyphonic composition. . . . A virtuoso performance. Newsday
  • [A] very fine first novel. . . . Its author is rich in talent and promise. Philadelphia Inquirer
  • “Daniel Mason’s ambitious, lyrical The Piano Tuner . . . [possesses] genuine moments of ominous beauty. . . . Readers . . . should be intrigued by the mix of historical detail, lush settings, and equally lush language. San Jose Mercury News
  • A smart, entertaining adventure. Christian Science Monitor
  • “An intense, shimmering dream of a story. Grand Rapids Press
  • Mason has improvised a virtuoso tale . . . a complex and subtly imagined adventure. Guardian Unlimited
  • Inspired. . . . The Piano Tuner is a brilliant debut. Miami Herald
  • Reminded me of books I read by flashlight, under the covers, when I was young. USA Today
  • Mason’s writing achieves that kind of reverie in which every vision, tone, flavor and sensation is magnified. LA Times
  • “Luminous. . . . Mason’s writing achieves that kind of reverie in which every vision, tone, flavor and sensation is magnified. Los Angeles Times
  • The Piano Tuner is a haunting, passionate story of empire and individualism. . . . [Mason is] a gifted writer. San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Intoxicating, full of sights to see, histories to learn, stories to entertain. USA Today
  • Remarkable. . . . A profound adventure story. The New Yorker
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mary | 2/19/2014

    " This one started a little slow for me, but I'm so very glad I stuck with it. It has such a payoff at the end (and really, by about page 50 I was being sucked into its spell). It felt like a long study of Story (the shadows of stories, the myths, the fables, the slippery truths), and it was definitely an odyssey story. So many wonderful possibilities open up at the end. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time to come. Marvelous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Caitlin Kiley | 2/16/2014

    " A little Heart of Darkness-esque. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Celia | 2/15/2014

    " Interesting book. Not terribly exciting, but it had a strong sense of location and good sensory input. The musical information was correct but scant. I enjoyed learning about the British occupied Shan States in the 1800's. It was not very predictable, which I find satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Wendy | 2/7/2014

    " This is an exquisitely written story about an English piano tuner commissioned by the British War Office in 1886 to travel to Burma to repair an Erard grand piano. Thank you, Karin! "

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