The Universal Composer
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“Brilliant....This book is a perfect marriage—or should one say, duet—of subject and author, every word as masterly as the notes of the artist it illuminates.” — Christopher Buckley, Forbes
“This is not just criticism but poetry in itself, with the additional—and inestimable—merit of being true.” — Washington Post Book World
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, Dutch) is one of America’s most distinguished biographers, known for his rich, compulsively readable prose style. His biography of Beethoven, one of the most admired composers in the history of music, is above all a study of genius in action, of one of the few giants of Western culture. Beethoven is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins’ “Eminent Lives” series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Well-written account of the maestro that brings Beethoven to life as a real human
Even with all his contradictions, Beethoven remains one of the leading figures of humanity.
Look Elsewhere for Ludwig Van...
Do not purchase this book unless you are desperate to read a biography on Beethoven. I found myself desperate to learn about Ludwig immediately after being struck by a fit of Beethoven fever. The book is not written well, nor is it original. The ideas are stolen bits from other biographies. It wanders about and smacks of an author who is good at writing about dead presidents, who has a thesaurus lying around, and who thought he could crank out some pulp about Ludwig as a lark. It's a mistake.
I now would have recommended to myself Thayer's biography. Watch "Immortal Beloved," then the documentary "In Search of Beethoven," then read Thayer's book, then watch the movies again. Beethoven is such a wonderfully tragic soul who left his unique emotional imprint for all to witness. Long live Herr Beethoven! ...look elsewhere for inspiration.