Have you read this book?
Join the discussion!
By Jim Crace
Published by Macmillan Digital Audio on 2018-02-08
Audible Audiobook: $20.24
Alfred Busi, famed and beloved in his town for his music and songs, is now in his sixties, mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days alone in the large villa he has always called home. The night before he is due to attend a ceremony at the town's avenue of fame, Busi is attacked by a creature he disturbs as it raids the contents of his larder. Busi is convinced that what assaulted him was no animal, but a child, 'innocent and wild', and his words fan the flames of old rumour - of an ancient race of people living in the woods surrounding the town - and new controversy: the town's paupers, the feral wastrels at its edges, must be dealt with. Once and for all.
As Busi's nephew's ambitious plans for himself and the town develop, he is able to fan the flames of rumour and soon Busi and the town he loves will be altered irrevocably.
The Melody by Jim Crace is a story about grief and ageing, about reputation and the loss of it, about love and music and the peculiar way myth seeps into real life.
A novelistic trickster (Harvest, 2013, etc.), Crace engages in some subversive sleight of hand here, introducing a story about a recent widower, a formerly acclaimed singer named Alfred Busi, known to all who still remember him as Mister Al, who “wonders if he’s running out of days” and, in the meantime, struggles to find some purpose or significance to fill them. Then comes the first attack, which ...
With devastating understatement, Crace offers a parable for a time in which empathy has given way to callousness and fear.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT Kirkus Reviews Copyright Kirkus Reviews