MY INTERVIEW WITH BEETHOVEN: an intriguing, impeccably researched look at the human side of a musical titan.

Posted: March 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

I have previously stated my fascination with Beethoven. I see him as the most iconic figure in music, and a living monument of perseverance and tenacity. I think he is the closest thing to a rockstar ever to emerge from the classical music scene. The intensity of his Fifth Symphony is earth-shattering and the triumphant vibration of the Ode to Joy can literally bring nations together. If there is a name that is worthy of being called a musical titan, that name is Beethoven.

What fascinates me more than his unmistakable music, however, is the sheer humanity of Beethoven, the consuming passion within him, the stubbornness befitting a tortured soul, the desire to be the foremost of his craft, the thundering anger.

I had the pleasure of rediscovering this startlingly human Beethoven in the debut novel of Ms. L.A. Hider Jones. The book, called MY INTERVIEW WITH BEETHOVEN, is one of the most vivid historical novels I have ever had the pleasure to read. The premise is awesome, and tantalizing without being lurid, and it turns a story about Beethoven into a profound, humorous meditation about the nature of truth and what makes human beings tick.

George Thompson is a young journalist who has had quite a run with bad luck. His mother is mentally ill, his stepfather is a bitter, harsh man, and he is in trouble with his boss. On top of it all, he finds out that he might be the son of the Lion of Vienna. Yes, that is the premise of this book: what if Beethoven had a son that was kept secret? How would that affect the life of the most iconic composer of his time? Is Beethoven more or less than the man he is made out to be? Is there any truth to this incredible tale? What is his true connection to Hannah Bekker, the troubled mother of the protagonist, who is seeking the truth? What is truth? All of these questions collide in an adventure that is filled with drama and humor, centered around the majestic, and yet overwhelmingly human figure of a Ludwig van Beethoven in the twilight of his career. I LOVED the portrayal of Beethoven. He is meant to stand out, he is a mess in an era where music and those who composed it where meant to be very orderly. If I were to make a comparison, I would say the Beethoven readers have the privilege to see here is a Pitbull among poodles. A larger-than-life, yet deeply flawed figure, who you will feel richer by knowing. A genius of staggering humanity. Oh, and I have been listening to his Fifth while writing this review. The feeling is beyond any words.
Although I am deeply thankful to Ms. Hider for the copy of her novel she provided me with, the views in this review are entirely my own. Ten out of five for a triumph of historical fiction. Thank you, Ms. Hider. A great job, if there ever was one.

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