How does a simple piece of wood become the king of instruments?
The violin does something remarkable, magical, and evocative. It is capable of bringing to life the mathematical marvels of Bach, the moan of a Gypsy melody, the wounded dignity of Beethoven's Concerto in D Major. No other instrument is steeped in such a rich brew of myth and lore--and yet the making of a violin starts with a simple block of wood. "The Violin Maker" takes the reader on a journey as that block of wood, in the hands of a master craftsman, becomes an instrument to rival one made by the greatest master of all time.
"Like The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, THE VIOLIN MAKER is easy, entertaining, and uniquely informative reading.--Booklist
"A beguiling journalistic meditation on the links--and tensions--between art, craft and connoisseurship."--Publishers Weekly
"An impassioned account...shows what magic is secretly being practiced behind many nondescript doors."--New York Times
"Honest, witty and dramatic. A thoroughly gripping read."--The Strad
"Marchese is engaging and funny and he uses his substantial skill to tell a story worthy of his subjects."--Newsweek
"A magical, profound and elegant look at the continued need for high quality in our throw away society."--Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Tulane University and author of THE GREAT DELUGE
"An edifying adventure from hewn log to work of art. On pitch reporting documents an inspiring craft."--Kirkus Reviews
"Strikes a high note, with rich overtones on the themes of art, creation, and the power of music.--Entertainment Weekly
"You don't have to be a fiddler to enjoy this small gem of a book. A fine, informative read."--Santa Fe New Mexican
"Engaging...[In] the tradition of John McPhee and Tracy Kidder, John Marchese wittily deconstructs the capacious lore of violin-making."--Ben Yagoda, author of About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made and When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better and/or Worse
"Entertaining...(Marchese) shows a talent for engaging turns of phrase, and his accessible style and dry humor commingle well."--Library Journal
"Well researched...an appreciation for the ability and dedication of a man working with his hands."--Hartford Courant
"Informative. Insights (into) why classical music's most analyzed instrument retains so many mysteries.--San Diego Union-Tribune
"A deeply descriptiveand appreciative look at a slow, exacting craft. Marchese is a skilled writer."--USA Today