Saturday, March 24, 2012

THE UPRIGHT PIANO PLAYER: A PREVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED 
THE UPRIGHT PIANO PLAYER
BY DAVID ABBOTT
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Henry Cage seems to have it all: a successful career, money, a beautiful home, and a reputation for being a just and principled man. But public virtues can conceal private failings, and as Henry faces retirement, his well-ordered life begins to unravel. His ex-wife is ill, his relationship with his son is strained to the point of estrangement, and on the eve of the new millennium he is the victim of a random violent act which soon escalates into a prolonged harassment.

As his ex-wife’s illness becomes grave, it is apparent that there is little time to redress the mistakes of the past. But the man stalking Henry remains at large. Who is doing this? And why? David Abbott brilliantly pulls this thread of tension ever tighter until the surprising and emotionally impactful conclusion. The Upright Piano Player is a wise and acutely observed novel about the myriad ways in which life tests us—no matter how carefully we have constructed our own little fortresses. 

PRAISE FOR THE UPRIGHT PIANO PLAYER:
"How quickly a carefully constructed life can unravel! ... Abbott has peered over the edge to write this gripping novel, a reminder of how little control we have over our lives."—Los Angeles Times

"Stirring ... Abbott has created a memorable book, and readers will ache along with the principal characters."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"Gracefully constructed and wholly consuming."
—Associated Press

"[A]n elegant debut filled with anguish and yearning ... Abbott takes these broken relationships and slowly works over their frayed ends with a delicate touch, sometimes mending them and other times hitting exposed nerves ... It's a very careful novel in its structure and revelations, but Abbott impresses most in his easy balance of the disparate plot elements ... and overarching themes of reconnection and regret."
Publishers Weekly

"A powerful and well-written portrayal of loss and grieving. Highly recommended."
—Library Journal (starred review)

 David Abbott's The Upright Piano Player is a wise and moving debut, an accomplished novel of quiet depths and resonant shadows.”—John Burnham Schwartz, author of The Commoner and Reservation Road

“A beautifully constructed debut.”
—The Guardian

“Elegant, rich and gratifying.”
—The Independent

“The menace simmering beneath the surface of its prose is compelling.”
—Daily Mail
 
 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David Abbott worked for forty years in the advertising industry as a copywriter and creative director. He was a founding partner of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the United Kingdom's largest advertising agency. The Upright Piano Player is his first novel, and he is at work on his second. 

In a recent interview with Paul Engles, Abbott was asked: 
Paul Engles: What first gave you the idea for writing The Upright Piano Player?
David Abbott: I didn’t know that I was going to write this specific book, but I always knew that one day I would try to write a novel. I put it off for forty years because I had a job as an advertising copywriter and, frankly, that exhausted whatever creative juices I had. I also wanted to be a good copywriter and I didn’t think I could be, if I did it only to pay the rent, while my heart was really engaged with fiction. So, I waited until I retired and then I started keeping a notebook. In 1999, on the eve of the Millennium, my wife and I actually made the homeward journey that Henry Cage makes in the book. Of course, I wasn’t attacked, but that walk was the genesis of the book.

Paul Engles: When you started writing The Upright Piano Player did you have a good idea of how it would end, or was writing it a journey of discover for you?
David Abbott:The plot pretty much developed from the character of Henry Cage. I had no clear idea of the action other than I knew I would have to put him under some kind of pressure. I gave him a business background because I believe business is rarely treated accurately in contemporary novels. If the characters work in industry, they are invariably stupid or evil. That wasn’t my experience. I often came across intelligence, discernment – and even honour.  As to the ending, I had that in my notebook. On holiday in Florida in 2002, I clipped a small item from a local newspaper, which detailed a similar tragic death.  Putting the end at the beginning of the book was a big decision and several people advised me not to, but I felt it was too strong to end the book. As a reader, I would have felt manipulated and cheated. It had to be at the beginning.
  
GIVEAWAY
I HAVE ONE HARD BACK COPY OF 
THE UPRIGHT PIANO PLAYER, BEFORE IT
COMES OUT IN PAPERBACK THIS SUMMER, 
TO GIVE AWAY TO ONE LUCKY READER
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE

--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT

--ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE

SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT

AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
 
HOW TO ENTER: 
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THE UPRIGHT PIANO PLAYER THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF SWAGBUCKS BY ENTERING FROM MY WEBSITE. IF NOT, YOU CAN ENTER IN THE RIGHT SIDE COLUMN NOW. IF YOU HAVE WON ANY SWAGBUCKS RECENTLY, COMMENT ON HOW MANY AND I WILL CHECK MY ACCOUNT. I THANK YOU AS I USE THESE "SWAGBUCKS" FOR GIFT CARDS TO BUY THINGS TO GIVE AWAY ON MY BLOG

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, MARCH 31
GOOD LUCK! 

73 comments:

Karen B said...

Sounds fascinating and the reviews are excellent!
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debbie said...

I would like to see who and why someone is stalking him.
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dogwood said...

I thought his comments about the way people in industry are often characterized in books is so true. This sounds like a great read.

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lag123 said...

I want to know more about how the characters life unravels and what he does about it.

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petite said...

Captivating and interesting. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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rubynreba said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I like the comment - Life tests us no matter how carefully we have constructed our own little fortresses. So true!
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mamabunny13 said...

I would like to know why he is being stalked.
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Linda Kish said...

It sounds very interesting. I want to find out more about why he is being stalked and his unraveling life.

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Lilian said...

I am really curious about the author's interpretation of "business," I am looking for it to reading how it compares with other contemporary novels. I loe playing the piano, so I am curious as to how that ties into the novel (I don't seem to see any mention of it in the blurb?).

lilianxchengATgmailDOTcom

Lilian said...

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Pamela Keener said...

This book sounds like a good read
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