Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Bells

by Richard Harvell

Just as Girl with a Pearl Earring brought Vermeer's paintings to life, The Bells gives life to the music of opera and life. Harvell magically uses words which allow the reader to experience sound from deep within, the sounds of song and the sounds that surround us every day. Harvell is a gifted writer and his use of language carries the story.

The main character, Moses, is hyper-sensitive to sound having been raised in a bell tower by a deaf-mute mother. When his mother dies, the young boy is taken in by a monk and introduced to a choir where his extraordinary voice is discovered. At this time in history the Catholic church preserved these angelic voices using castration and thus begins the tragedy of Moses: love, revenge, opera, fame and fatherhood.

I was so caught-up in the writing and idea of this story that I didn't mind its predictability, which generally turns me off, but in this case seemed to fit the operatic theme. This is a book worth reading.

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