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Was The Piano Tuner Accomplice to a Spy?

Victim or accomplice: Help us solve the mystery.

“In 1886 a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake receives an unusual commission from the British War Office: to travel to the remote jungles of northest Burma and there repair a rare piano belonging to an eccentric army surgeon who has proven mysteriously indispensable to the imperial design. From this irresistible beginning, THE PIANO TUNER (Vintage 2004) launches readers into a world of seductive, vibrantly rendered characters, and enmeshes them in an unbreakable spell of storytelling. ”

Daniel Mason wrote Piano Tuner as an undergraduate at Harvard University, an amazing accomplishment given its powerful prose, psycho-political intrigue and haunting imagery and characterization. Reminiscent of Joseph Conrad and E.M. Forrester for his capture of the exotic sense of place, set in a similar age — British Colonial times, infused with intrigue and romance vivid of Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American”. Mason effectively personifies a rare musical instrument into a cast of richly imagined characters with a cliff-hanging mystery that will have your group long discussing and mythering its outcome.

Was Edgar Drake the quiet, singularly absorbed tuner of rare French Erard pianos and duped accomplice to Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll in his quest to control the indigent tribes of the East Burmese jungles? Or was he the mistaken victim of an over eager military officer upset with the aesthetic conversion of a people through non-violent treaty versus military conquest and empire domination?

Weigh-in with your opinion!