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A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


"A mesmeric combination of vivid, keen, obsessive precision and raw, urgent energy.†? --Zoe Williams, Guardian

"Thrilling and harrowing . . . Unsurpassed and unsurpassable.†? --Sunday Times

James Rhodes's passion for music has been his lifeline--the thread that has held through a life encompassing abuse and turmoil. But whether listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatized teenager or discovering a Bach adagio while in a hospital ward, he survived his demons by encounters with musical miracles. These--along with a chance encounter with a stranger--inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today.

Instrumental is a memoir like no other: unapologetically candid, boldly outspoken, and surprisingly funny--shot through with a mordant wit, even in its darkest moments. A feature film adaptation of Rhodes's incredible story is now in development from Monumental Pictures and BBC Films, following a competitive bidding war involving major U.S. and U.K. companies.

An impassioned tribute to the therapeutic powers of music, Instrumental also weaves in fascinating facts about how classical music actually works and about the extraordinary lives of some of the great composers. It explains why and how music has the potential to transform all of our lives.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 10, 2016 – Music soothes a lifetime of mental illness and psychosexual trauma in Rhodes's intense memoir. Rhodes, an English concert pianist famous for his classical-music-for-the-masses shows, tells of being raped from the ages of six 10 by a teacher, which eventually led him to heavy drug abuse, obsessive-compulsive tics, a wrecked marriage, a suicide attempt, and commitment to mental institutions. The author tells his story with harrowing realism and even rollicking humor smoking heroin, he writes, was "the greatest and stupidest thing I've ever done" probing both the everlasting anguished chaos in his head and his own appalling behavior with self-lacerating specificity. Intertwined throughout is the remarkable efflorescence of his musical career he didn't start studying piano seriously until his late 20s and the healing power of music. (He credits a cache of music smuggled into his psych ward by a friend with helping him regain sanity, and he sprinkles in rapturous appreciations of his favorite pieces.) The book trails off at times in self-promotion (Rhodes even plugs his shoe line) and showbiz rants, but Rhodes's energetic, edgy, painfully perceptive prose makes for a gripping narrative of abuse and dysfunction as well as the quiet, painstaking, redemptive labor of music making.
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  • $17.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Feb 07, 2017
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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