The Noise of Time (Large Print / Hardcover)

Staff Pick Logo
The Noise of Time Cover Image
Email or call for price.
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews


Barnes employs the famous modernist Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich as his protagonist in his new novel. In stunning, crisp, methodical prose, The Noise of Time is divided into three sections, each focusing on a defining moment in Shostakovich's life--the first in 1936 after he finds himself denounced by Stalin, and the final in the 1960s, as he reflects on the relative time of peace in Russia and his appointment to the Chairmanship of the Russian Federation Union of Composers. Barnes charts Shostakovich's turbulent career, falling in and out of favor with Stalin, forced to balance the whims of a dictator while staying true to his art. A disquieting, beautiful, atmospheric novel, this powerful book will have you pondering the role of art and artist long after you've put it down.

— Erin

Description


A masterful novel dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, from the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of"The Sense of an Ending."

The book begins in 1936, with Dmitri Shostakovich petrified at the age of thirty and fearing for his livelihood and even his life. His opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" has just been denounced in Pravda in an article that certainly reflects the opinion of Joseph Stalin himself. Every night he waits on the landing outside his apartment, expecting NKVD agents to come and whisk him away. Shostakovich reflects on not only his predicament but also his own personal history, his parents and his various women and wives and his children, and all who are still alive themselves hang in the balance of his fate.
When the interrogation he fears does eventually arrive, a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming a casualty of the Great Terror that claims so many of his friends and contemporaries--"chips that had flown while the wood was being chopped." Still, the spectre of the government hovers over him for several further decades, forcing him to constantly weigh the merits of appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music. Barnes elegantly guides us through subsequent stages of Shostakovich's life, from being ground into the dirt under the thumb of despotism to being made to serve as a figurehead of Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York, and finally being forced into joining the Party. The trajectory of his career illuminates the evolution of the Soviet Union, with Nikita Khrushchev assuming its leadership, this providing no great joy to Shostakovich.
" The Noise of Time" is both a heartbreaking account of a relentlessly fascinating man's experience and a brilliant meditation on the meaning of art and its place in society.

About the Author


JULIAN BARNES is the author of twenty previous books, for which he received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in France, the Prix Medicis and the Prix Femina; in Austria, the State Prize for European Literature; and in 2004 he was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. The author lives in London."
Product Details
ISBN: 9781410490193
ISBN-10: 141049019X
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Publication Date: June 8th, 2016
Pages: 270
Language: English
Series: Thorndike Basic