Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mozart's Last Aria

by Matt Rees

In Mozart's Last Aria, Matt Rees explores the mystery that surrounds the early demise of Amadeus Mozart. Running with the popular belief that he was poisoned, Rees employs Nannerl, Mozart's elder sister, who takes it upon herself to discover the murderer. The idea has a lot of potential, unfortunately Rees' account falls short. His character development is weak, the characters and situations are unbelievable, he loses plot focus, and the story line gets bogged down in terminology familiar only to a musical progeny.

First, my disclaimer:  I have almost no knowledge of music terminology and am only minimally familiar with the works of Mozart, as in, I have heard some of his pieces. I'm not sure where my lack of musical knowledge falls among the general public, but in this book it is a stumbling block. Next, the story begins as somewhat of an historical mystery, but midway through gets sidetracked in an unfathomable romance and then struggles unsuccessfully to return to the original purpose. Then, the main character is confusing and confused. She is presented as a determined and independent woman at the same time she is manipulated by her father, gets trapped into a marriage of convenience, and is morally weak. On one page she is making harsh demands of princes and barons and on the next she is falling helplessly into their arms (a favorite ploy of Nora Roberts). In short, she is unlikeable and unbelievable. Finally, the writing is forced, resembling a high schooler's essay that required varieties of the absolute phrase.

Didn't like it and wouldn't recommend it.

No comments:

Post a Comment