While practicing his violin at Oxford, John Maltravers notices a strange phenomenon: whenever a certain tune is played a mysterious presence seems to enter the room. Maltravers becomes increasingly unsettled, until he makes a startling discovery – tucked away in a hidden cupboard is a priceless Stradivarius! Obsessed with this treasure, he becomes increasingly withdrawn, unaware of the sinister hold this perfect violin is beginning to take over him.
ion of the opening notes which affects the wicker-work, and we shall see if the noise is repeated." But Mr. Gaskell excused himself from trying the experiment, and after some desultory conversation, to which it was evident that neither was giving any serious attention, he took his leave and returned to New College.
I shall not weary you, my dear Edward, by recounting similar experiences which occurred on nearly every occasion that the young men met in the evenings for music. The repetition of the phenomenon had accustomed them to expect it. Both professed to be quite satisfied that it was to be attributed to acoustical affinities of vibration between the wicker-work and certain of the piano wires, and indeed this seemed the only explanation possible. But, at the same time, the resemblance of the noises to those caused by a person sitting down in or rising from a chair was so marked, that even their frequent recurrence never
This is the first book of J. Meade Falkner that I've read and I love it. It's a very well written and engaging book. I finished in one sitting. Recommended for people who would love a good read.
This was the first book I read on my new e-reader, and the dictionary-at-my- fingertips feature was much used and appreciated. It is written in elegant Victorian -era English. The book is billed as a ghost story or a horror story but I would categorize it more along the lines of a mystery. Victorian horror stories bear no resemblance to the modern horror genre ! An English gentleman finds a fine Stradivarius violin, along with the diary of its former owner, hidden in a secret cupboard. He becomes obsessed with duplicating the music and lifestyle of the past owner, even to the point of being snagged into the Neo-Platonistic and pagan philosophies that he practiced. Sadly, this constituted the demise of the new owner, from which he never recovered. There was no "happily ever after" but yet there was a satisfying conclusion that drew meaning from sordid events. This is a short book, with well drawn characters and a moral point. The point is that music has power over the human spirit, and as such can be an instrument to lead one into temptation. I had never heard of this book or its author; I downloaded it as a freebie because I liked the evocative title. It was a little gem of a find and I have now scouted out 2 other titles by this author that I plan to read.
A supernatural tale of possession by an evil force. This horror story slowly builds until you just can't put it down. Falkner does a good job with the characters, especially John's sister. She narrates much of the story in the form of a letter written to John's adult son. If you like the horror fiction of Edith Wharton or Shirley Jackson, I think you would like this book.