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The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

While the critics may have said that this was an admirable while sometimes slow moving debut novel by Daniel Mason, I personally found it a very enjoyable read. It was probably one of the last books I recorded using my ‘nom-de-voix’ of ‘Richard Matthews’.
From AudioFile Magazine:
Daniel Mason combines Britain’s attempt at pacification of the Shan states in 1886 with one man’s mystical journey. The British War Office sends piano tuner Edgar Drake to Burma to tune Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll’s rare Erard grand piano. Drake’s long trip from England to Burma is fraught with strange meetings, bandits, and tribal uprisings. Deeply affected by the florid, tropical landscape and a beautiful woman, Drake is lulled into Carroll’s visionary dream of peace through music and art. Mason’s delicate prose ensnares. Richard Matthews delivers an astonishing performance. His characters are as meticulously crafted as Burmese-carved ivory miniatures. Matthews handles Asian pronunciations without hesitation in accents absolutely convincing. The dialogue soars. Mason’s plot fascinates and surprises, while Matthews’s performance is a tour de force. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003

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