The Prague Sonata by Bradford Morrow

The Prague Sonata

From the critically acclaimed author Bradford Morrow, a literary quest novel that travels from Nazi-occupied Prague to turn-of-the-millennium New York as a young musicologist seeks to solve the mystery behind an eighteenth-century sonata manuscript.Music and war, war and music—these are the twin motifs around which Bradford Morrow, recipient of the Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has composed his magnum o...


Details The Prague Sonata

TitleThe Prague Sonata
ISBN9780802127150
Author
Release DateOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherAtlantic Monthly Press
LanguageEnglish
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Music, Mystery, War, World War II, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Adult
Rating

Reviews The Prague Sonata

  • Marita
    1970-01-01
    “Then there was the matter of the manuscript, a piano sonata in three movements, its staves scored with musical notes in sepia ink by an anonymous hand sometime in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. It had been her birthright and burden for these two decades since her father’s death. Birthright because it constituted her father’s most treasured bequest to his daughter.” Prague Sonata is a complex work of historical fiction s...
  • Diane S ☔
    1970-01-01
    What I liked?The history, had read little before of the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, and none at all of The Velvet Revolution of the nineties.The tour of Prague, fascinating city with a long history.A few of the characters, Otylie, Sam, Garrett, Tomas and Irena. All interesting and touching, living in hard times and trying to survive the best way they could. Their lives afterward, what happened to them.What was mixed? Love music, find searchi...
  • Liz
    1970-01-01
    This book contains several of my favorite things- history, music, a love story and a good mystery. Meta, a musicologist, is given the second movement of an unknown 18th century sonata by Irena, a Czech emigre, and charged with finding the first and third movements. The story travels back and forth in time, between Otylie being given the sonata by her father at the end of WWI, to her divvying up the movements during WWII to keep it out of the hand...
  • Angela M
    1970-01-01
    I thought I would like this more since at it's core, this is story of courageous resistance against the Nazis during the German occupation of Prague. I’ve read stories before about how people have tried so hard under almost impossible circumstances, to save paintings. This time it’s a music manuscript. For a moment I ask why - when your life and the lives of others are so much more precious. But it is a matter of saving a part of history, a p...
  • Esil
    1970-01-01
    2.5 stars. As I read The Prague Sonata, I kept thinking "Please let this book end..." What a terrible reaction to what should and could have been a really good novel. The Prague Sonata is a good idea left untamed. It takes place throughout the 20th and early 21st century, and focuses on a found musical manuscript that is suspected of being by a famous composer. Just at the beginning of WWII, Prague resident, Otylie, who has inherited the manuscri...
  • Maureen Carden
    1970-01-01
    Lush, lovely, and lyrical would be an accurate way to describe Mr. Morrow's twenty year journey in researching and writing The Prague Sonata. I was captivated from the beginning by the story of two women, born almost sixty years apart, in their quest to preserve, and then recover a sonata of unknown authorship but of unmistakable beauty and originality. A sonata is a composition written in three sections known as an exposition, a development, an...
  • Barbara
    1970-01-01
    I absolutely loved this book! It had all the aspects I love - historical detail, mystery, complex characters and scholarly research. Perhaps because I love music and have had many years of piano instruction, the preservation of a previously unknown sonata by a master such as Beethoven was mind-boggling. I do enjoy lengthy books as they make me feel connected to the story and the characters.I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a "meaty" and ...
  • Cindy Burnett
    1970-01-01
    3.5 starsI loved the base story line in The Prague Sonata; it was completely engrossing, clever and unique. My one complaint, which altered my overall thoughts on the book significantly, was that the book was WAY too long and included too much extraneous information. I ended up having to skim pages and pages to pick up the next section on the sonata story line. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale regarding the missing manuscript, and the resolution of ...
  • Joyce
    1970-01-01
    5 plus stars Our story starts out in Czechoslovakia just after the ending of WWI. A little girl named Otylie is told by her father that there is music in war. He describes even the various types of military music, including the music that accompanies the start and finish of a battle. The young girl ponders this and decides she doesn’t want this haunting her. He leaves her a three part musical score. For Otylie this is the only thing that remain...
  • Nancy
    1970-01-01
    What makes me love a book? Gorgeous writing. Great characters. An intriguing plot. Insights into our common humanity. Historical perspective. Encountering joy and love. Encountering horror, war, and villains. A story line that grabs me so I want to know what happens next. Some books have one or two of those attributes. To find a book that wraps up all of these things is a happy day indeed. Bradford Morrow's The Prague Sonata offers the whole pack...
  • Phil
    1970-01-01
    An anonymous piano sonata of unknown provenance and Prague, one of the most enchanting cities in the world – I simply loved the premise and read The Prague Sonata in great anticipation.In brief, I was disappointed. The characters are not especially developed and the “bad guy” is not especially bad – just another vain, narcissistic academic. In places, it felt the author was simply copying off notes for a plot outline, and in others, the n...
  • Bandit
    1970-01-01
    A while ago I read Morrow's Forgers and remember enjoying it within reason, but being somewhat underwhelmed. One of the most memorable things about that reading experience was the exhaustive amount of research the author ahs obviously put into it. Well, at 300some pages that was nothing comparing to this particular behemoth and all the musicology that went into it. Confession time...Music, I'm just not that into you. I'm not against music for the...
  • Faouzia
    1970-01-01
    Stories about music are among my favorites. Stories about music set in cities i love and composers i really like are even better. So when i requested this book, The Prague Sonata, i was expecting a very pleasant journey in my favorite city. And i was not disappointed. It was kind of thrilling to be able to picture exactly the places mentioned and to recall the emotions and impressions that those same places conjured.By some mysterious chance, a p...
  • Patricia Doyle
    1970-01-01
    The Prague Sonata was extremely well researched. Unfortunately, more often than not, this research read like a history book with countless facts or much like a telephone book filled with Czech names. It reminded me of Cliff Clavin, from television’s ‘Cheers’. Cliff knew everything about everything (“It’s a little known fact that …”) and told you all of it. There were more details in this book than I ever wanted to know.There were to...
  • Steven Z.
    1970-01-01
    At the end of World War I Jaromir Laska is killed on the battlefield leaving an orphaned daughter with his most prized possession, an old music manuscript. The daughter, Otylie was packed off to live with an aunt in Prague where she remained until 1939 when the Nazis seized control of her country. So begins Bradford Morrow’s brilliant new novel, THE PRAGUE SONATA where the music manuscript became the centerpiece of Otylie’s memory of her fath...
  • Nancy
    1970-01-01
    I'm giving this book a five-minus--but I'm aware that other readers might not find the book as delicious as I did. I am a musician and a student of music history, so the musician-to-musician dialogues and explanations sprinkled generously through the text (the typical architecture of a late Classical-era sonata, for example) were familiar territory. The story, from beginning to end, was utterly believable, from the seemingly random discovery of t...
  • Smkarizona
    1970-01-01
    Run...don't walk to your bookstore or library to get a copy of this book. It is seriously one of the best books I've read in a while. The story is fantastic, woven through the German invasion of the Czech Republic and modern times, and touches on greed, loss, love of music, and just plain love. I was pleasantly surprised when Nebraska (specifically Lincoln and PRAGUE!) provided a backdrop for part of the timeline in the book. At one point I stopp...
  • Davida Chazan
    1970-01-01
    When part of a manuscript of what seems to be an 18th century piano sonata falls into Meta Taverner’s hands, she decides she must find the missing pieces, and see if she can discover who wrote it, as well as attempt to return the full work to its rightful owner. Her search takes her half way across the globe, and gets her involved in an intrigue that might result in her losing everything. This is the latest novel from Bradford Morrow, and you c...
  • TAS
    1970-01-01
    First, full disclosure. I gained early access to this book with the understanding that I would write an impartial review AND I requested that access because I read a lot about the two world wars and the book's description indicated it was related to Prague during World War II.PRAGUE SONATA is a great read! It's suspenseful, has interesting and multi-dimensional characters and takes the reader deep inside the world of professional musicians and mu...
  •  Natasa
    1970-01-01
    I'm really sorry I can not give a better review, but this book disappointed me by the time I reached the end. A rather interesting story is embedded in an inexplicable number of details that do not contribute to the plot, and the action is so extravagant and, as an average reader, at some point you will probably lose the will to find out the remaining secrets hidden in this book. I believe this is an excellent idea, but a weak performance. The wh...
  • Vanessa
    1970-01-01
    I thought this book was excellent. The story is intriguing. It's well written. It takes place mostly in Prague, which I love. This is the story of a sonata that was divided into three parts during World War II, the people who had the three parts, and the musicologist that is tasked with bringing them back together. I love novels like this where there is historical fiction and some sort of mystery in the present that needs to be solved. I definite...
  • John
    1970-01-01
    Meta Taverner, a former piano prodigy & now a dedicated musicologist, wonders about the manuscript that's just fallen into her hands. The gift of the Eastern European emigre Irena, living out her last days in Queens, NY, the work's penmanship & rag-paper & more suggest the composition dates a long way back, 1800 or earlier, & according to the ancient Irena, it's one movement of a sonata, separated into thirds back in 1938, in Prague. At that time...
  • Sarah
    1970-01-01
    Our story begins during WWII with the occupation of Prague by the Nazi's. Already, I'm excited because what would make for a better story than WWII and Prague! Otylie Bartsova is in possession of a sonata manuscript given to her by her father. She decides that the only way to keep it out of Nazi hands is to split it into 3 sections. She gives one section to her best friend Irena, one to her husband who is active in the Prague resistance, and keep...
  • Corinne Edwards
    1970-01-01
    4.5 starsA piece of music given to a child near the end of World War I ends up in the hands of a modern woman, New Yorker musicologist Meta. But its not just a "piece of music" - it is a fragment, only a portion of a sonata that promises to be astounding. But finding the missing parts will take Meta on a search to Europe and, in a way, back in time to determine what happened to one woman and the people she loved.I grabbed this off the library she...
  • Eugenea Pollock
    1970-01-01
    I had really high hopes for this book, enjoyed the sample (thought grammar issues were probably a feature of the electronic copy), bought the hardcover version off amazon, finished off a prior book-in-progress, prepared to enjoy the type of story I love best (treasure hunt for lost cultural artifact through the years/its custodians). So far, so good. However, after persisting through 60% of this book, I abandoned it yesterday—for me, problems w...
  • Gary
    1970-01-01
    This is such a beautiful book. It is the story of a musical manuscript that survived in parts and the young woman musicologist who tracks them down. It is partly a mystery story, but revealed in such a stately fashion that it might be memoir or essay. It is longer than my usual preference, but this is one of those book you are sorry to see come to an end. If you love music or mystery or history or Prague, this is it -- with even a love story toss...
  • J.S. Dunn
    1970-01-01
    4.0 to 4.5An opus magnum, and worth the ten years plus it took the author for research, travel, and writing. This is a page turner and for all the right reasons. Several stories intertwine like musical phrases into a consistent sonata with themes. Every page is worthwhile, nothing forced or contrived or ponderous but nevertheless, of weighty effect. A solid intro to the Czech Velvet Revolution for those of us not familiar with it, and just enough...
  • Liz
    1970-01-01
    This is a wonderfully written story that grabbed my interest from the first page and held me until the last. I've been to Prague and Lidice and had heard a great deal about the war in Czechoslovakia but this book made it all seem so real and personal. I really enjoyed the merging of the past and the present as the story evolved. There was a lot to like: a well done intrigue, a nice romance and fascinating history. Since I know nothing about music...