Title: Ghost of Frederic Chopin
Author: Eric Faye
What's it about?
When Slaney is assigned to make a documentary about a woman claiming to be in contact with the ghost of Frederic Chopin and writing his works composed from the grave, he knows that the whole thing is a hoax. There are no such things as ghosts, and the sure don't compose music! But what Slaney finds, instead, is a maze of pieces that don't quite fit together and more questions then answers and not matter how many times he asks for an extension, he may never find the one answer he wants most of all.
What are my favorites?
Favorite Character: I really liked Vera and I'm even tempted to say that she is my favorite. But I'm not sure I can. As much as I liked her quite, sure, calm, eccentric nature, I think I liked Ludvik Slaney's journey more. I have to be honest, at first I didn't love him. Honestly, seemed kind of flat. But, by the end of the story, I found that I had fallen in loved with his journey. I loved how he questioned theories and, most importantly, himself. He fought for what he believed in.
Favorite Part: The end. Not because it ended like a fairy tale. Not becuase it ended the way I imagined, but the ending was satisfying, poetic and intriguing. It was the moment that I became invested in the story; that I was hooked. It was the moment I wanted more.
Least Favorite Part: The beginning. It just felt slow and like it was dragging. I honestly questioned if I was going to like it, or even if I was going to make it through the book. (It was worth it. I promise it grew on me).
Any other thoughts?
This was very much not what I expected. Not at all.
I misread the title when I first saw it and thought it said "The ghost of Frederic Chaplin" and totally thought that it was going to be Charlie Chaplin's real name was Frederic or it was his brother or something.
I thought it was going to be a "who done-it" type mystery with clues sprinkled around for us to collect and put together.
I thought, for some reason, it was more of a kids/YA book.
Wrong on all accounts!
It had nothing to do at all with the Chaplin family! Though, the ghost was an entertainer of sorts. Instead it was Frederic Chopin, the Polish composer best known for his complicated and intricate piano compositions including "The Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op." (Yea. I know. I had to look it up, but I sounded super smart for a minute, didn't I?)
There wasn't a sprinkle of clues. There was a story that made you question your thoughts and beliefs. It made me question what it would take to change my mind. At what point do you start believing in what you thought was not true at all and at what point do you declare nothing has changed, you still know what's real and not.
Nope. It's an adult book (not that there's sex or anything in it) with a ton of cultural references and comments that, honestly, I didn't get or feel the "proper" impact.
The story takes place in Prague in the year 1995. The story is slow without a lot of big, exciting scenes but, what I noticed in the end was that the story was more of a journey of belief, faith, hope and existentialism then finding solid, concrete answers that prove what you want the evidence to prove. The path to the full discovery was a pretty slow one, one that threatened to buck me off a few times.
With that being said, I do feel like I would have appreciated the story more had I had a better handle of the history of the the land. I feel like I had just enough to slightly get the references and know that they meant something important that I didn't get. On the plus side, I did look some of it up told learn a little more about the context of the story and to learn a little about Chopin himself. Thank goodness for Google, right? But even with my historical ignorance, I found myself ending the book which much more love then I ever would have thought.
In the end, as I closed the book on the last page (221), I was so glad I picked this book up and stuck with it. It was absolutely worth the read!