The Bells

Richard Harvell, Crown, $24 (384p) ISBN 978-0-307-59052-7
Chronicling the journey of 18th-century singer Moses Froben from his Swiss village to Vienna, this debut novel strikes many melodramatic notes in an overwrought plot; squalor, beauty, horror, forbidden love, tragedy, and triumph splash broadly, sometimes artfully, but often with operatic excess. Moses, born to a deaf-mute in a belfry, possesses a unique bond to music. Cast from his home, he joins a choir, discovering that he can mold "that ocean of sound... into something beautiful." Harvell, however, shows his own limitations when he seeks to describe the resonance of music. When Moses says, "I wished I could dissolve into sound," the reader shares his frustration. A tormented choirmaster castrates Moses to preserve his beautiful voice, transforming him into a "musico," a soprano whose voice never deepens, and who will never be a man. His ability to sound like an angel brings him into contact with a wealthy family, sparking an impossible love affair with a beautiful but crippled woman. Moses's ardor impels him to Vienna and its vibrant opera scene, where his brief appearance on stage allows love to triumph before, unsurprisingly, tragedy brings down the curtain. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4417-6320-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4417-6323-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-6321-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4417-6326-6
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-307-35824-0
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4417-6325-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-6322-8
Paperback - 376 pages - 978-0-307-59053-4
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-307-35825-7
Hardcover - 274 pages - 978-0-307-35823-3
Open Ebook - 258 pages - 978-0-307-59054-1
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