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The Upright Piano Player
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'This is a fine, sensitive, moving book - a remarkable first novel' Justin Cartwright. '(A) beautifully constructed debut' Catherine Taylor, Guardian. 'The menace simmering beneath the surface of its prose is compelling' Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail. 'Elegant, rich and gratifying' Claire Beale, Independent. 'It is beautifully written, the sentences polished like gems - but it is the book's substances that sticks in the mind' Anthony Capella.

About the Author

David Abbott began his career as an advertising copywriter and went on to found one of the U.K.'s outstanding advertising agencies, Abbott Mead Vickers. He is widely recognized as one of the industry's most deservedly celebrated creative directors. This book, many years in the making, is his first novel.

Reviews

'Elegant, rich and gratifying' Claire Beale, Independent. * Independent *
'It is beautifully written, the sentences polished like gems - but it is the book's substances that sticks in the mind' Anthony Capella. * Anthony Capella *
'This is a fine, sensitive, moving book - a remarkable first novel' Justin Cartwright. * Justin Cartwright *
'The menace simmering beneath the surface of its prose is compelling' Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail. * Daily Mail *
'(A) beautifully constructed debut' Catherine Taylor, Guardian. * Guardian *

In an elegant debut filled with anguish and yearning, a retired London executive stumbles through a detached life of loss and muted violence. After Henry Cage retires from the consulting firm he founded but lost control of, his quiet, solitary life closes in around him. His estranged son, Tom, lives on the coast with his wife and four-year-old son, Hal, whom Henry has never met, but who provides a catalyst for the family to reconnect once Tom tells Henry he's a grandfather. Also on the docket for a reconnection is Henry's ex-wife, Nessa, who now lives in Florida and, unbeknownst to Henry, is stricken with terminal cancer. Abbott takes these broken relationships and slowly works over their frayed ends with a delicate touch, sometimes mending them and other times hitting exposed nerves, and when Henry becomes the object of an obsessed violent stalker, the novel takes on a welcome texture of subtle menace that colors the unfolding family dramas. It's a very careful novel in its structure and revelations, but Abbott impresses most in his easy balance of the disparate plot elements (the stalker bit, which threatens to dip into the sensational, is precisely controlled) and overarching themes of reconnection and regret. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

This debut novel by a founding partner of Britain's largest ad agency follows the life of Henry Cage, a successful executive at a management consultancy, as he tries to cope with the changes in his life brought on by a sudden, involuntary retirement. The opening chapter, actually at the end of the story chronologically, portrays the aftermath of a terrible tragedy involving Cage's grandson. The chapter sets a melancholic tone for the rest of the book. Abbott proceeds to delve into Cage's past, detailing his unsuccessful attempts to hold his life together after retirement. When Cage is attacked by a thug while watching the New Year's fireworks celebrations, it sets in motion a whole series of events, including a growing reconciliation with his family. But the prolog has foreclosed any chance of redemption for Cage. VERDICT Readers who can make it through the gruesome opening scene will be rewarded with a powerful and well-written portrayal of loss and grieving. Highly recommended.-Douglas Southard, CRA International, Boston (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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