Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Review: Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai mixes music and tragedy in this collection of short stories. Music for Wartime.  The stories range widely in topic but mix conflict with hope, as befits quality fiction.  She does a lovely job of creating both vivid imagery and just as vivid emotions.

I was touched by many of the stories, saddened but also reflective.  The opening story is barely above a page long, yet I still perhaps love it best of all.  To make an emotional impact in so few words and to craft such a believable time and place with such, shows true talent.  A composer walks into what's left of a village destroyed by war.  He listens to the last women singing some cultural songs, the past wiped about by a dictatorship.  He makes a record and the dictator kills the women, wiping out the very last visages of the culture he's destroyed.  Wow!

Talented musicians, and those touched by music, war or tragedy works, perhaps because music reaches people at a different and more instinctive level.  It also works based on familiar patterns and touches on memories.

I really enjoyed this book.

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