corner corner The Piano Cemetery


The Piano Cemetery
by José Luís Peixoto | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingiiwiwing of Zeist, Utrecht Netherlands on 3/20/2011
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by marko167): reserved

5 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingiiwiwing from Zeist, Utrecht Netherlands on Sunday, March 20, 2011

8 out of 10

I was killing time at the airport of Faro (Portugal) and went into a bookstore. I picked up this book because of the first sentence of the blurb: 'The Lazaro family are carpenters who would rather be piano-makers.'

In essence this is the story of the Lazaro family, there loves, familytroubles, marriages and deaths in Benfica, Lisbon. It's melodrama, the protagonists love, mourn, fight and forgive. The pianocemetary being the place were new lovers meet, love, where the past is stored and the future is build. It has the feel of a Portuguese day, hot and drowsy.
But somethings happens. Times is not linear in this story, nor are the protagonists clear. There are several I-persons, several generations Lazaro, sometimes hard to distinguish. It seems to be playing in 1912, during the olympics, but it seems more modern. Because of this the memory of the family tragedy , the story, becomes the story of the whole family, repeated through generations. The story is the protagonist, and the protagonist become obscure. Because of this the story feels like a pianopiece. It catches rythm, coda's, appergio. Peixoto is the conductor and arranger.
I liked the way the thoughts are structured during the olympic marathonrace. The paragraphs start suddenly, in mid-sentence, and end in mid-sentence as well, sometimes to be continued paragraphs later, sometimes not. I am a runner myself, and thoughts do occur to me that way during running, ad random, without internal structure. 

Journal Entry 2 by wingiiwiwing at Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Monday, March 21, 2011

This book has not been rated.

This book will be a ring! Occupants:

back to me? 

Journal Entry 3 by okyrhoe at Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Thursday, April 07, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in Athens :-) Thanks iiwi for including me in the ring & for posting the book to me!

BTW, always a pleasure to hold a hardcover book. 

Journal Entry 4 by okyrhoe at Bookring, By Post -- Controlled Releases on Monday, May 30, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (5/30/2011 UTC) at Bookring, By Post -- Controlled Releases


Sorry iiwi for taking so long to finish the book.

I didn't have any problem with the alternating narration and unspecified narrators; actually that was a pleasant challenge, trying to figure out who's who. Most of the time it wasn't too difficult. Despite this stylistic complexity, I wasn't expecting to find myself reacting to the emotional intensity of the story. There is something strong here in the depiction of the family relationships, the way the male narrators feel (or choose not to feel) that got to me.

On its way by post to mafarrimond. Enjoy! 

Journal Entry 5 by mafarrimond at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, June 09, 2011

This book has not been rated.

The book has arrived safely. Next to be read. 

Journal Entry 6 by mafarrimond at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

9 out of 10

I really enjoyed this book. The juxtoposition of the three diffent narrators was a little confusing to begin with but it soon became clear who was talking after a while.

I loved the pace of the book. It seemed so relaxed. 

Journal Entry 7 by mafarrimond at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, June 23, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (6/24/2011 UTC) at Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom


Posted to Finnchen. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Journal Entry 8 by Finnchen at Luxembourg, Kanton Luxemburg Luxembourg on Thursday, June 30, 2011

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived safe and sound today. Thank you, mafarrimond!

Journal Entry 9 by Finnchen at to another Bookcrosser, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Luxembourg on Friday, July 08, 2011

9 out of 10

Released 6 yrs ago (7/9/2011 UTC) at to another Bookcrosser, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Luxembourg


This is a wonderful book, written in a beautiful language. I have been enthralled from the very first page onwards. The story is narrated in a rather unusual way, from different perspectives, sometimes a little confusing, as I did not always check immediately who is talking.
I had never heard of this author before, but he is definitely someone to remember.
Thanks for sharing this book.

The book will continue its journey tomorrow morning ... Spain it is! 

Journal Entry 10 by marko167 at Sitges, Barcelona Spain on Sunday, July 24, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived whilst I was away on a business trip. Have a couple books before this one but will start soon. 

Journal Entry 11 by marko167 at Sant Pere de Ribes, Barcelona Spain on Thursday, February 16, 2012

8 out of 10

First apologies for taking so long with this book.

I found this a difficult book to read. Not because it was overly complicated, having the different narrators nor did I find it disturbing or badly written. Simply it just didn't seem to hook me. I wanted to read it so kept giving up, waiting a while and trying again.

Reading the book to me was like listening to the radio with the volume turned down so low, so as to avoid waking your parents, that you miss words and find it hard to follow the conversation. No matter, it is a good book, with an interesting style and an interesting (if not enthralling) plot providing structure and giving the engine gas.

Taking a look at the cyclical nature of history (a la 100 Years of Solitude) with a Latin but very European slant. The author presents seemingly good men in their entirety, warts and all, from being hopelessly romantic, to being domineering patriarchs to being hopeless failures in love, families and relationships. The women don't come off much better, either being passive victims or complicit in the sins of the men.

However, all through this what comes through as most important was the continuance of the family as generation after generation is born and continues, nurtured fed and onwards to make their own mistakes. 

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