Review Blog

Nov 15 2010

Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy

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Read by Paul English. First published by Angus and Robinson, 1989. Unabridged. Louis Braille Audio edition 2003. ISBN 07320 27551. 5 hours, 5 CDs.
15 year old Paul Crabbe arrives in Darwin from the south in 1967. His parents find him an old Viennese piano teacher to train their talented son in the hope he will become a concert pianist. Paul loves Darwin, its lushness mirrors his growing physical and emotional maturity but his relationship with his strict and demanding teacher, Eduard Keller, is complex. Determined to prove his ability yet angry that nothing he does is ever good enough, Paul, with the callous confidence of youth, sets out to find out what terrible secrets are hidden in Keller's past. Looking back on that time the adult Paul realises the significance of those years and the key role his teacher played in his life.
Paul English reads with a light touch, sensitive to the wry humour Goldsworthy slips into the text. There is a tense moment where the author declares he will not try and capture the Viennese accent of the piano teacher but the accent ascribed to him is both necessary and consistently applied.
This much studied text takes on a freshness and immediacy as an audio book and would make an excellent introduction or revision for senior students or adults.
Sue Speck

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