"The Piano Tuner", by Daniel Mason
This is one of those stories.
I was browsing titles at a library's bookstore shelves. Many libraries offer used books and magazines for sale now. Spine after colorful spine of second-hand books haphazardly arranged...called out to be chosen. Which ones are brilliant? Which will move me? It's a luck of the draw. This mustard-colored book jacket caught my eye and made me examine the contents. Late 19th century Burma? Hmmm, probably not my cup of tea. For some reason, however, I purchased the book anyway. And I was instantaneously transformed, embossed, impressed.
I turned the last page only to realize hours had passed in a flash--I had journeyed to another world and my own stopped momentarily. I recommend this book completely--it's my favorite book to date.
"I hope they read the letter, he thought, smiling to himself as he fell asleep. Of course, at the time he couldn't know just how many times it would be read, inspected, sent to cryptographers, held to lights, even examined under magnifying lenses. For when a man disappears, we cling to anything he left behind."
"A balanced peace is a poor fertilizer for promotion."
"'The rock is hollow, they are vibrations from the river, a high-pitched resonance. That is one explanation. The other is Shan, that it is an oracle. Those who seek advice come here to listen. Look up there.' He pointed to a pile of rocks on which a small wreath of flowers had been placed. 'A shrine to the spirits that sing. I thought you would like it here. Scenery fit for a man of music.'"
Labels: Book Review