Music & Silence

by Rose Tremain | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by Tori58 on 1/30/2009
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Tori58 on Friday, January 30, 2009
It took me a while to get used to Tremain's style and the shifting points of view in this book. At first, I found some of the characters to be not entirely believable. Kirsten, for instance, seemed almost like a caricature to me, but she became more real as the book went on. And, it was only when I had finished the book that I realized how totally I had been drawn into this world. It was almost like coming out of a dream. Definitely a worth-while read!

From Publisher's Weekly:
As she proved in Restoration, Tremain can write literary historical novels whose period details encompass the social and intellectual currents of their time and place. This dazzlingly imaginative, powerfully atmospheric work is set mainly in 17th-century Denmark. One of the protagonists is English, however, and Tremain captures the sensibilities of natives of both countries. British lutenist Peter Claire arrives in Copenhagen in 1629 to join the orchestra of King Christian IV. Depressed after a doomed love affair with a soulful Irish countess, Peter finds his melancholy mood mirrored by that of the king, who is beset by both financial and marital crises. That fruitless wars and profligate spending by the Danish nobility have depleted the country's coffers is the king's public woe; privately, his heart is anguished by the behavior of his consort, Kirsten Munk, who despises her own children, keeps her spouse from her bed and is carrying on with a German mercenary. Recognizing in Peter's handsome countenance a resemblance to a lost childhood friend, Christian declares that Peter is the "angel" who will help solve his personal and national problems. Tremain's complex plot is built in small increments. Excerpts from the brazenly selfish Kirsten's diary alternate with the points of view of dozens of others, including Kirsten's lady-in-waiting Emilia Tilsen. Kirsten deems Emilia irreplaceable and prevents her from openly acknowledging her feelings for Peter. Love--requited and thwarted, healthy and perverted, damaging and healing--is one theme of the novel, represented by six pairs of lovers. Love is inextricably tied to the power to enslave; perhaps it's a form of enchantment, of which another manifestation is music. Tremain builds her narrative via alternating voices blending like the solos of musical instruments. Threading irony among its many leitmotifs (Christian IV, for example, who understands that music can "lead to the divine," subjects his musicians to brutal living conditions), the narrative sweeps to a dramatic crescendo, with several characters in mortal danger and the prospect of tragedy everywhere. Yet it ends in felicitous harmony, a triumph of storytelling by a master of the art.



1. Make a brief journal entry when you receive the book.

2. Try to read the book within 2 months. If that doesn't happen, make
another brief journal entry explaining that you'll need a bit more time.

3. When you're near the end of the book, PM the next person for their
address. Journal your thoughts about the book and that you've sent it

Note: I'd like to mention here that I bought this book used and it does have some slight damage on the front cover. I mention it only so that nobody has to worry about how it happened.

Shipping order:

1. Rrrcaron Lancaster, New Hampshire

2. rebeccaljames Cincinnati, Ohio

3. imuzak12 Key West, Florida

4. darkhorse4460 UK

5. penelopewanders Switzerland

6. Scribacchina Portugal


Journal Entry 2 by Tori58 at sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (2/10/2009 UTC) at sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Mailed to Rrrcaron as a bookring.

Journal Entry 3 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, February 21, 2009
I received this book in the mail today. It probably arrived earlier, but I didn't go to the post office until today. I'm starting it tonight!

Journal Entry 4 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Phillipa Gregory's "King" books. Everything turned out pretty much the way I'd hoped it would. Thanks so much for sharing this book. Sending on to the next in line.

Journal Entry 5 by rebeccaljames from Cincinnati, Ohio USA on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I just received this book today. I am looking forward to reading it. I will get to it as soon as possible. I am a college student and tend to lose track of time so if I keep it for to long please send me a friendly remind to get it moving on. Thank you for sharing.

Journal Entry 6 by rebeccaljames from Cincinnati, Ohio USA on Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This book is being mailed out sometime this week.

Journal Entry 7 by imuzak12 from Virginia Beach, Virginia USA on Monday, August 10, 2009
Recived by mail@Key West, Florida, USA. Thank you Tori58 for sharing this book and rebeccaljames for mailing it to me.
My schedule will be a little busy from the next week, but I try finish reading as soon as possible.

I am sorry of my slow reading. It is due to my school works, and I've read 50 pages or so now. I hope I can make more time to read and finish reading this one soon.

Released 9 yrs ago (10/17/2009 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom



Thank you for sharing the book. The writing style of Rose Tremain is beautiful and I liked it. However, my life lately got too busy to appreciate to read this type of books. When things around me get speed down, I may add my review on the previous entry. I should be able to do so because I found my local library had this book, but I am not sure how soon the time will come at this moment.

Sending to the next reader.

Journal Entry 9 by darkhorse4460 from Bletchingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, October 25, 2009
Arrived yesterday - despite postal strike. Thank you imuzak12 for sending all that way and Tori58 for starting the bookring. I hope to start this after my current read.

Journal Entry 10 by darkhorse4460 from Bletchingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 26, 2009
Because this was a in a bookring I felt I had to read it straight away and I wasn’t really in the mood for reading a novel set in 17th Century Denmark to be honest. However, once I started I was completely immersed the world it describes. Rose Tremain ia very good at making the historical past immediately believable. Some historical novelists are inclined to lay on the period details in a way that you feel is just showing off how much research they’ve done. This is different and I think this has a lot to do with the creation of characters that are very strong and have a universal appeal that is timeless.

I loved the melancholy King Christian coping with the double edged sword of his power and responsibility, his guilt and loneliness and attempts to understand the meaning of everything. I loved Kirsten his dreadful wife who was outrageously self centred and manipulative but also sometimes surprisingly perceptive, courageous and generous. In fact I like the way this novel showed how women in general dealt with their total powerlessness in this society by learning to use their wits and often their sexuality.

Beatifully written, alternately moving and funny, a long and complex journey, but ultimately a very satisfying one.

I shall be in touch with the next person on the list very soon.

Journal Entry 11 by darkhorse4460 at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (12/2/2009 UTC) at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Now on its way to penelopewanders in Switzerland :-)

Journal Entry 12 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Tuesday, December 08, 2009
This arrived safely in the Alps today, where it may have to cozy up with a cup of hot tea and admire the scenery for a while as I'm flat out with work and have a few other rings in front of this one. I'll try to tackle it quickly, but it may take a few weeks. This will be my first Rose Tremain, I'm looking forward to discovering this author I've heard of. Thanks so much for sending, making it available and thanks for the card!

Journal Entry 13 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This is the first I've read by Tremain and I enjoyed it very much. Real life kept me from plowing through it at top speed, but I savored this tale of an English lute player in the Danish court of Christian IV. As the story is told in sections, I noticed that when I came to the sections concerning Kirsten Munk I tended to slow down or put the book down and get on with other things needing doing. I've come to realize that when I read I don't so much enjoy reading about people I dislike - I feel like I'm spending my time with unpleasant people and I don't like having to do that by choice! So I left Kirsten on the bedside table quite frequently. She doesn't really improve with deeper acquaintanceship, but whatever. Curious about other work by Tremain now.
I sent a PM to the next in line a few days ago but haven't heard back yet. I expect the holiday season may mean it will take longer for a response. Thanks so much for making this available.


Travelling from the Swiss alps down to Italy. Thanks for making this available!

Journal Entry 15 by Scribacchina from Udine, Friuli Venezia Giulia Italy on Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Arrived here today, thank you for sharing! It's next up on my reading list. Am I still the last one on the ring?


Apparently it took me a very long time to read this, but I found it to be a book to be read ans savoured slowly. I don't usually care for slow-paced books, but this one I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing!
I will be shipping it on Monday or Tuesday next week.

Journal Entry 16 by Scribacchina at returned to owner, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, April 10, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (4/12/2010 UTC) at returned to owner, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



I'll choose cheaper shipping, so it may take a while, but it will be safe home soon :)

Journal Entry 17 by Tori58 at Shawano, Wisconsin USA on Monday, June 14, 2010
Book arrived home safely quite some time ago, but I didn't get around to journaling that.

Thanks for participating and for your commentary.

I especially appreciate your comments about Kirsten. She was, in some ways, the most compelling character in the book to me. She is such a monster in so many ways and yet, ultimately, so very real. And yes, so annoying that, since I couldn't slap her I sometimes just had to put the book down for a little while! LOL!

Journal Entry 18 by Tori58 at ~ RABCK ~, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (8/18/2010 UTC) at ~ RABCK ~, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


mailed to sromano93 as a RABCK

Journal Entry 19 by sromano93 at Miami, Florida USA on Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thank you!

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