Buy a Kindle from Amazon
An operatic novel
by M G da Mota
Formats: ePub, Mobi
Available for Amazon
First I should make it clear that the author, M G da Mota, is
otherwise known as Margarida
Mota-Bull who is a regular reviewer for MusicWeb International.
I have met Margarida once and, at her request, read a draft
of this book in 2008.
In case it is unclear from the header, Canto di Tenore is
only available in electronic formats. Since I didn't wish to
read it on a computer screen and already had notions of purchasing
Kindle, that is how I have read it. I have appended some
thoughts on my initial experiences with the Kindle below.
The author is not currently a professional writer but I think
we should be wary of drawing too many conclusions from that.
The book I was reading when the Kindle arrived - Ford County
by John Grisham contains a dedication to someone who helped
him at the beginning of his career when he had difficulty in
selling or even giving away A Time to Kill. Getting around
the printing and distribution costs, the e-book format seems
a logical way to start publishing and even more so because this
is targeted at a fairly specialist audience i.e. those interested
in opera. It should certainly appeal to many MusicWeb International
readers as it has been well-researched.
I don't want to say too much about the story other than to point
up its deliberate resemblance to a tangled opera plot. Thus
complaining about lack of plausibility - opera lover meets megastar
tenor by chance, they fall in love - would be unfair. More pertinent
is the successful characterisation of the main players. If I
sometimes felt there were too many sub-plots along the way,
I was ready to forgive all at the dénouement, about which I
must clearly remain silent. The author writes fluently and seems
on firmer ground dealing in the worlds of opera and languages
than murder. Nevertheless this became, for me, a page turner.
Novels with operatic overtones aren't two-a-penny and, if that
idea appeals, this comes highly recommended. If you don't have
the means to read it other than on a computer, then you might
be interested in the comments appended below from a new user
of the Kindle.
Patrick C Waller
Appendix: Some thoughts on the Amazon Kindle
I have written previously about my experiences of downloading
classical music and there are some obvious parallels - instant
access from home, space savings, portability. For many, I suspect
the main obstacle with music is perceived sound quality and,
analogously, for books it may be perceived visual quality i.e.
" I don't want to read off a screen". That was my
prior perspective but the surprising thing is that the Kindle
really does look more like a page than a screen, so this objection
quickly melts away. The Kindle holds up to 3,000 books, one
takes seconds to download and generally they are considerably
cheaper than paper versions. In many cases a substantial sample
can be downloaded gratis (how many books have you read
only the first twenty pages of?) and quite a lot of classics
are completely free. The Kindle requires no set up, just charging
from the mains or a computer about once a week or so if you
go for the "3G" version, as I did. Material can be
transferred to and from a computer by a lead or wireless network,
and it can browse the web in a rudimentary way, and play mp3
files and audiobooks. So the Kindle is rather more than just
an e-book reader and I think it is well worth the £150 price
tag (or £110 without the fast and free 3G connection). A cover
will be needed for protection and a leather one costs an extra
£30 or £50 depending on whether or not an integrated light is
desired. Downsides? The content is licensed rather than sold
so passing books on to others to read or to a second-hand bookseller
isn't permitted. I suppose you could temporarily lend the whole
Kindle to your other half but they would have to be a quick
reader! The Kindle is very light, lighter than many books, so
there is no wrist-strain using it. The font size is adjustable
and is equally visible in a darkened room and in full sunlight.