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Poco Poco Accelerando

Page 2

Annie Ryall

“Well, I thought his depiction of musicians was unrealistic, and where was the plot? The arc of the story? I wanted more action! And the characters were all upper class, neurotic wankers”, he trumpeted, blasting through Ariadne’s carefully delivered comments and fine-tuned sensitivities. Sometimes Jessica wondered if he wasn’t throwing around his declarations in a misguided attempt at machismo courtship. He was fighting a losing battle there.

Ariadne would listen respectfully, head tilted to one side, and just give a slight nod of acknowledgment, or respond with a gentle glissando of a hmmm.

“I agree it’s not action-packed, but he keeps the tension going through the moods of the characters and draws you beautifully into the world of the quartet – albeit a somewhat rarified one. I loved the dialogue – it’s so hard to write good dialogue”, smoothed Sophie.  The piano of the group, she always found a way of drawing dissonant opinions together.

And then there was Felicity who, like a trilling flute, played endless runs on an unstoppable repeat loop... “Well I preferred it to his A Suitable Boy because I felt that novel went on and on, and you just wanted the plot to move on, but this one was better because of all the musical references and the characters, and I remember when I was in London and went to hear a chamber group, well they weren’t really a chamber group but there were four of them.. oh no maybe there were five because there was (unusually) a French horn player with the group because it was early music .. or was it Beethoven - but just one of his earlier pieces? Well, when I say earlier.. “

This was Jessica’s cue to excuse herself to fetch coffee and dessert. Sometimes Felicity’s runs were off the scale and an interval had to be called.

And so it came to Jessica’s turn to comment on the book.

“Well, I just got so involved with the characters – I found it totally absorbing. I hoped Michael and Julia would get together again. And um… I felt so sorry for Julia with her hearing loss – I mean that was going to impact her whole career. Look… I’m not very familiar with classical music, but, yeah, um, I really couldn’t put it down.”  Once again she felt she was not quite hitting the note in her comments - emphasizing the personal relationships and her own reactions rather than the grander themes of the book.


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