David Abbott is, or was, if I recall, a highly successful advertising executive, which might explain why he has managed to manipulate me so cleverly! He controlled my emotions so skilfully – dread, fear, hope, confusion.
Where do I start? The book starts at the end, and finishes suddenly, so you go back to the start and re-read, and re-read. I took away a strong lesson from The Upright Piano Player – that you may order your life in every aspect, but life is so random and fate so unpredictable that life will get you and in spite of your best efforts, it will make you weep.
The piano-playing, successful executive nearing retirement is very upright, very orderly, very unemotional, but then we are witness to the punishing events that visit him randomly until he breaks. There are some scenes where you need to put the book down and have a walk around to calm down. How do you cope with the killing of your small grandson while he is in your care? Why did the skinhead choose him to menace?
The Upright Piano Player leaves you with more questions than answers, and you are compelled to go over the scenes again and again.
By Jenny Mann