A Novel

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Journeying by luxury liner to the United States, where he launches a triumphant grand tour, eccentric curmudgeon and dandy Maurice Ravel travels aboard a series of fabled trains while smoking a precious stash of Gauloises, in an evocation of the last ten years of the music genius's life.

Blackwell North Amer
A bestseller in France, Ravel is a beguiling and original evocation of the last ten years in the life of the musical genius Ravel, written by the novelist Jean Echenoz. The book opens in 1927 as Maurice Ravel - dandy, eccentric, and curmudgeon - voyages across the Atlantic aboard the luxurious ocean liner The France to begin his triumphant grand tour across the United States. Ravel travels across America, playing in grand concert halls from Boston to Chicago to California, meeting luminaries of the day including Stravinsky, Mahler, Bartok, Toscanini, Gershwin, and even Charlie Chaplin.
Echenoz captures the folly of the era as well as its genius, concentrating both on Ravel's personal life - sartorially and socially splendid - and on his most successful compositions from 1927 to 1937. Illuminated by flashes of Echenoz's characteristically sly humor, Ravel is not just a quirky portrait of a famous musician coping with the ups and downs of his illustrious career but also a farewell to a dignified and lonely man going reluctantly into the night.

Publisher: New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton, 2007
ISBN: 9781595581150
Branch Call Number: FIC ECH
Characteristics: 126 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Coverdale, Linda


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Mar 20, 2018

A unique and beautiful small novel based on the last years of the French composer Ravel. The foreword by Adam Gopnik, one of my favourite writers, sets you up to understand the book and appreciate it deeply. It would probably have happened without the foreword but in itself the foreword is a wonderful treatise about how you can show a big picture with surface events. The book is like a series of vignettes - Ravel in his bath, Ravel on a train, on a trip, on American tour, in a restaurant, and when you've read these, you have a feeling of knowing this man far more deeply than you might have had you read the 1000-page official biographical tome.

Dec 01, 2012

This is an essential text.


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