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Seven Touches of Music by Zoran Zivkovic
Edited by Translation: Alice Copple-Tosic
Review by Gayle Surrette
Aio Publishing Company Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 1933083042
Date: 01 September, 2006 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Seven Touches of Music is seven short stories or mosaics that all have a common thread of music being integral plot in some manner. In "The Whisper" a teacher plays music for some autistic children and when one reacts in a manner that leads him to believe that there is more to the child than what he sees -- he finds he's become someone he doesn't like. For a woman in "The Waiting Room" the music of an accordion causes her to have visions of the future -- visions that she doesn't know what to do about.

In each story the main character experiences a change in their lives that can either make their life richer, more fulfilling, or out of their control. The stories are simple vignettes but they each hit with a punch that leaves you thinking about life and how did we get to the life we have now from the dreams we had in our youth. Do these illuminating events change the characters -- we don't really know but in most of the stories it's left ambiguous so we can give them our own ending or see the character continue in their own path unchanged.

Each story is a stand alone even thought "The Violin" has a person hearing violin music coming from the third floor window of a house on a square and "The Violin-Maker" has a suicide jump from what sounds like the same window in the same house on the square.

Music pulls the tales together in a themes book, but it’s the ambiguity of each of the stories that lingers after reading them.

NOTE: Translated from the Serbian by Alice Copple-Tosic, the stories read smoothly and with a lyricism to the language that is almost in itself musical.

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