The Rivered Earth, By Vikram Seth


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The Independent Culture

"Words are all very well, but the success of a musical work lies in its music..." writes Seth, in this book which aims to describe the musical process – in words.

Seth, best known for his novels, set out on a four year project a composer, Alec Roth, and a violinist, Philippe Honoré. The result – as far as this book goes – is sound without music.

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Reading Seth's four librettis is a rich poetic experience, though the music-making process described so meticulously alongside is less compelling, and his reader longed for a CD of the book.