INSTRUMENTAL: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music

INSTRUMENTAL: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music

JAMES RHODES    Book Number: 83233    Product format: Hardback

This is the book they tried to ban on the grounds that it would be too disturbing for the author's children. After court cases and appeals, however, it eventually burst into print and was praised by Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch for its honesty about the devastating subject of child abuse. The concert pianist James Rhodes was only five when a teacher at his school started grooming him, giving him matches to play with and sharing secrets. Soon he was invited to join the boxing club and there the outright abuse started, lasting four years. The head teacher saw that James was often tearful and sometimes bleeding when he came out of the locker room, but she was unable to interpret the signs and only told her side of the story when James, by now famous, mentioned the abuse in an interview with the Sunday Times. This angry memoir is a roller-coaster of a read, with passages of intense musical appreciation interspersed with outbursts of rage in which only expletives can express Rhodes's helpless fury and humiliation. Each of the 20 chapters is introduced with a description of a piece of music, starting and finishing with Glenn Gould's performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations. The news that Rhodes's wife is pregnant, for instance, prompts reflections on Shostakovich's second piano concerto, with its unbearably lyrical second movement, written as the composer was surrounded by Stalinist madness, and when his marriage collapses and Rhodes starts to self-harm he turns to Chopin in pyrotechnic mood. 281pp. Remainder mark.
Published price: $27
Bibliophile price: £3.75

Additional product information

ISBN 9781632866967
Browse these categories as well: Last Chance to buy!, Biography/Autobiography, Music & Dance, Psychology & Sociology

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