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The Music Room A Memoir (Paperback)

Author:  William Fiennes
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FORMAT: Paperback
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Product Details:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0393338789
ISBN-13: 9780393338782
Sku: 215184959
Publish Date: 9/1/2010
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.25H x 5L x 0.5T
Pages:  216
See more in Personal Memoirs
A bittersweet description of an ancient family house in an enchanted setting, and of growing up with a damaged brother. "Sublimely evocative."--The New Yorker.
From the Publisher:
William Fiennes spent his childhood in a moated castle, the perfect environment for a child with a brimming imagination. It is a house alive with history, beauty, and mystery, but the young boy growing up in it is equally in awe of his brother Richard. Eleven years older and a magnetic presence, Richard suffers from severe epilepsy. His illness influences the rhythms of the family and the house’s internal life, and his story inspires a journey, interwoven with a loving recollection, toward an understanding of the mind.

This is a song of home, of an adored brother and the miracle of consciousness. The chill of dark historical places coexists with the warmth and chatter of the family kitchen; the surrounding landscapes are distinguished by ancient trees, secret haunts, the moat’s depths and temptations. Bursting with tender detail, The Music Room is a sensuous tribute to place, memory, and the permanence of love.
William Fiennes (THE SNOW GEESE) grew up in a moated English castle that had been in his family since the 16th century--the location for such films as THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL and SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. His descriptions of the family home in his memoir THE MUSIC ROOM are weird and wonderful: bicycling in the great hall, swimming in the moat, sword fighting with friends while his father restores the grounds and his mother leads guided tours. If the castle is the quiet hero of the book, then his older brother Rich is the troubled antagonist. Suffering from severe epilepsy, Rich not only has seizures, but erratic mood-changes that can, at the drop of a pin, plunge him into intense rages or fill him with sunny benevolence. His condition keeps the family in a constant state of tense expectation, and readers will feel their sorrow and love in equal measures. With its beautiful prose, radiant description, piercing characterization, and sly tragicomic wit, Fiennes's book rises far above the average psychobabble of the memoir genre to occupy a unique place of its own.


"[T]he record of [Fiennes's] feelings for Rich from childhood through adolescence that is compelling. Those feelings are remarkable for the absence of fear, shame, anger, and jealousy, and the presence of delight, charm and wonderment at the strange beauty and terror of the world." - Barbara Fisher 09/13/2009

"[A] sublimely evocative memoir....Fiennes's account of his childhood is interwoven with passages about science's evolving understanding of epilepsy, which provide a clinical counterpoint to the emotional, elegiac narrative of...[his] family." 09/21/2009

"Fiennes is a keen observer of the natural world and writes about it beautifully....[He] has written a fine and sensitive memoir of a childhood passed in a splendid setting but troubled and troubling circumstances." - Tony Gould 04/17/2009

"As the narrative slowly advances, a seemingly limitless storehouse of lucid memories unfurl, untethered to linear time. Some loop in a rhythmic refrain of recurring daily events; in others, Fiennes grinds time to a near-halt, expertly bringing microscopic detail into focus..." - Christine Thomas 10/06/2009

Product Attributes
Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0216
Product attributePublisher:   W. W. Norton & Company
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