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The Violin Conspiracy

af Brendan Slocumb

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7975827,991 (3.96)53
"Ray McMillian loves playing the violin more than anything, and nothing will stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a professional musician. Not his mother, who thinks he should get a real job, not the fact that he can't afford a high-caliber violin, not the racism inherent in the classical music world. And when he makes the startling discovery that his great-grandfather's fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, his star begins to rise. Then with the international Tchaikovsky Competition-the Olympics of classical music-fast approaching, his prized family heirloom is stolen. Ray is determined to get it back. But now his family and the descendants of the man who once enslaved Ray's great-grandfather are each claiming that the violin belongs to them. With the odds stacked against him and the pressure mounting, will Ray ever see his beloved violin again?"--… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 58 (næste | vis alle)
Right before Ray is scheduled to leave for Moscow to compete in the Tchaikovsky Competition, his violin is stolen from his New York hotel room. He does not discover the loss until he has returned home to Charlotte. The NY police, FBI, and the insurance company have investigators on the job to find the violin. Will he have his violin back before he leaves for the competition? Who stole it? Why?

I enjoyed this very much. I liked Ray. I liked his passion for his violin and his music. I liked how the story starts in the present then goes back to the past of both Ray and the violin. How he gets into the music, how his mother hated it, how he got the violin, how he found out about the violin both from the family's point of view and the history of it, how he learns give a depth to the story. I was fascinated how greed tries to take the violin away from Ray who has more of a claim on it than anyone alive. His family and the great grandfather's family of enslavement are pieces of work. I do not know how they felt they had more of a claim on the violin than Ray did since it was passed to him from his grandmother.

The mystery of the disappearance was interesting. Ray was his own detective if you ask me. He was persistent in looking for it. The competition was also fascinating as Ray went through each round. I liked that the music was listed that he played throughout the story. I am interested in listening to it all. I enjoyed the comments about it and how Ray would need help on the fingering. This was so good! ( )
  Sheila1957 | May 27, 2024 |
An excellent book about racism .Enjoyed but not a thriller ( )
  SBG1962 | Apr 27, 2024 |
An exceedingly accomplished violinist who rose above the obstacles placed in his way by his family's financial circumstances, their lack of support, and their general disdain for his passion for music, Ray's star rose even further when he discovered that his violin, a family heirloom, was actually a priceless Stradivarius. Now, as Ray is engaged in intense practice for the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition, the violin is stolen.

What I loved about this novel were the immersive focus on music and music terminology, as well as the dramatic storytelling. I was sucked in immediately and had many thoughts about the "whodunit" from the get-go. It was a respectable debut novel, though I did have a few quibbles. Some of the characters felt like little more than caricatures. Ray's younger siblings were never named (unless I missed it?) and were referred to only as "the twins," making them seem like cardboard placeholders. It was also disappointing that most of the antagonistic characters were described as fat and/or ugly. There were times when I would have desired a bit more subtlety (more showing, less telling) in the narrative, and some of the contrived drama and the ending neatly wrapped up with a bow was almost too much, but I'll forgive these in a first novel. Recommended. ( )
  ryner | Feb 7, 2024 |
“He would tell you that music is truly a universal language, and that we the listeners will always impose our own fears and biases, our own hopes and hungers on whatever we hear. He would tell you that the rhythm that spurred on Tchaikovsky is the same rhythm that a kid in a redneck North Carolina town would beat with a stick against a fallen tree. It is a rhythm in all of us. Music is about communication, a way of touching your fellow man, beyond and above and below language. It is a language all its own.”
  taurus27 | Feb 3, 2024 |
First novel by this author about a young man who loved the violin. He used a beat up rental during his school years and was always told by his mother to get a real job so he could help with household expenses. It was not until he grandmother mentioned that her great, great grandfather received a violin from his Master at the time of the slave owner?s death that he began searching her attic for this mysterious violin. As it turned out, his grandmother gave him the violin and he secured a full scholarship to a music school. When he was encouraged to get a new violin and knew he could not afford one, he asked that his violin be cleaned up. The fun begins here when it is discovered to be a Strad worth $10 million. It is then stolen from him and that opens up all kinds of events. An excellent story and one with a surprise ending. Kirkus: classical musician tries to find his stolen violin in this entertaining debut novel.There are few worse nightmares for a musician than having a treasured instrument stolen. For Ray McMillian, the protagonist of Slocumb?s debut, the theft of his violin is especially painfulnot only was it a gift from his beloved grandmother, it?s also a Stradivarius, one of the rarest instruments in the world. And it happens to be worth more than $10 million. Ray, a classical music phenom who?s about to compete in the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, discovers his violin has gone missing in his Charlotte, North Carolina, house; when he opens its case, he finds only a tennis shoe and a ransom note demanding $5 million in Bitcoin. He has a few suspects in mind, chief among them the members of two families: the Marks clan, who claim that Ray?s great-great-grandfather, an enslaved person, took the violin from their ancestor; and his own family, a collection of grasping doubters who don?t care much for Ray but do care about his valuable violin. Ray trusts only a few people, including his violist girlfriend, Nicole, and his ?mentor, friend, and surrogate mother,? Janice. Slocumb?s novel is told in flashbacks, chronicling Ray?s early years and fraught relationship with his uncaring mother and his ascent as a star violinist who takes America by storm. Ray, who is Black, has to deal with not only lawsuits from his family and the Marks family, but also with vicious racism from both inside and outside the music world: ?No matter how nice the suit, no matter how educated his speech or how strong the handshake, no matter how much muscle he packed on, no matter how friendly or how smart he was, none of it mattered at all. He was just a Black person. That?s all they saw and that?s all he was.? While the whodunit element of Slocumb?s novel is unlikely to stump mystery fans, his writing is strong, if a little unpolished in parts. Still, it?s a gripping novel, and Slocumb, himself a violinist, does an excellent job explaining the world of classical music to those who might be unfamiliar with it.A solid page-turner.
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
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On the morning of the worst, most earth-shattering day of Ray McMillian's life, he ordered room service: scrambled eggs for two, one side of regular bacon (for Nicole), one side of vegan sausage (for him), one coffee (for Nicole), one orange juice (for him).
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Today he learned two things, and these two things were intertwined in his head and in his life. First, he learned that he could make money playing in front of an audience: his listeners spurred him to play better, to dig deeper inside himself, to trust his fingers and their innate sense of where the music wanted to go. Second, he learned that doing what you loved may not be enough, that all the passion and perseverance that roared like blood within you could be trumped by factors that you could never control—factors like the color of your skin, or the shape of your eyes, or the sound of your voice.
"That thing that happened to you was terrible. That man was sick. Nothing you do or say will ever change that. You can't think from one encounter that everyone thinks the same way he does. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of people, men and women, young and old, that are just like him. He wasn't the first and he won't be the last one to treat you that way. You are a fine young man who has so much to offer. You can't let them take that away from you. They will try and keep trying."
"You promise me one thing, you hear me? You stay the same sweet Ray that Grandma loves so much. You work harder than they do and you stay sweet. When you begin to hate them just because they hate you, you turn into them. And then they win. Grandma can't have that. You just have to be true to your own sweet self and not let them change you."
"Don't you ever apologize for being who you are or let someone make you feel bad for being Black."
"Don't be sorry. It's an ugly part of life but that's how things are. Probably how they always will be. You just work hard and be your own sweet self, you hear me? You stand up for yourself, but always respectfully. I want you to remember that. You stand up, you respect yourself, and you be respectful. That's how you win."
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"Ray McMillian loves playing the violin more than anything, and nothing will stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a professional musician. Not his mother, who thinks he should get a real job, not the fact that he can't afford a high-caliber violin, not the racism inherent in the classical music world. And when he makes the startling discovery that his great-grandfather's fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, his star begins to rise. Then with the international Tchaikovsky Competition-the Olympics of classical music-fast approaching, his prized family heirloom is stolen. Ray is determined to get it back. But now his family and the descendants of the man who once enslaved Ray's great-grandfather are each claiming that the violin belongs to them. With the odds stacked against him and the pressure mounting, will Ray ever see his beloved violin again?"--

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