The Page Turner
By (author) David Leavitt
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Page Turner by David Leavitt
Book DescriptionAt eighteen, Paul Porterfield aspires to play the piano at the world's great concert halls. So far the closest he has come has been to turn pages of sheet music for his idol, the dashing, temperamental Richard Kennington, a former piano prodigy on the cusp of middle age. Months later, while on holiday with his mother in Italy, Paul encounters Richard a second time. Their earlier attraction develops into an intense affair. As the innocence of first love becomes entangled with the quest for a more enduring happiness, Paul comes to realise that he cannot be a page turner all his life and that he has to confront his ambitions. With artful storytelling, shrewd perception and arch humour, THE PAGE TURNER testifies to the bittersweet truths of strained relationships and the resiliency of the human heart.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780349109527
(200mm x 127mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 1-Apr-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author David Leavitt
Florence, Hardback (April 2016)View all books by David Leavitt
David Leavitt brings the wonders and mysteries of Florence alive, illuminating why it is, and always has been, one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world.
US Kirkus Review » Another intimate and knowing-albeit also wearing - portrayal of gay life in America from the author of such well-received fiction as, most recently, last year's Arkansas. Leavitt's venue this time is the world of classical music performance. We meet his protagonist, Paul Porterfield, as a hopeful 18-year-old pianist who is chosen to turn pages at a concert performed by his idol Richard Kennington. Paul is smitten, and when a trip to Rome with his mother coincides with Kennington's Italian tour, he seeks out the older man. It's apparent that Richard will not abandon his sustaining relationship with his manager (and lover) back home, Joseph Mansourian - and also that Paul's brush with musical genius will doom him to a parallel frustration (as his elderly tutor warns: "It's best to decide now whether you can bear accenting a secondary role"). Paul, Kennington, and Mansourian are all introspective characters whose ruminations are presented in generous detail (though Paul remains somewhat opaque until relatively late in the novel) - as is Paul's mother Pamela, who's at some times a doting nincompoop straight out of sitcoms, at others a credibly aggrieved woman who's lost her adulterous husband and is determined not to lose her son (to a man who, she briefly believes, loves her). The characters' interactions occur in a world where virtually everybody is linked either by being gay or by having a gay loved one. If this hothouse atmosphere feels oppressive, it must also be said that the book is graced by brisk dialogue and sharp, suggestive images (of flight and fall, and, interestingly, of cats), and that sudden shifts from simple observer to godlike omniscience in narration keep the reader intrigued as well as exasperated. Leavitt marches on, to a tune that's becoming monotonous. This is a writer who needs a new subject, or at least a new perspective on what looks increasingly like the only subject he's interested in. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - David Leavitt
David Leavitt has written several highly acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction, including THE LOST LANGUAGE OF CRANES, which was made into a BBC film. His recently published collection of novellas, ARKANSAS, was hailed by the INDEPENDENT as 'a literary triumph'.
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