An Equal Music

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Author: Vikram Seth

Rating: 1/5

I picked up this book with soaring hopes. Since I have mostly been reading only foreign authors with the occasional mythological fiction by Indian authors, I was desperate to have some Indian author books on my TBR. An Equal Music seemed perfect. Yes, it wasn’t crime genre. Nevertheless, I was really looking forward for the Indian touch. Sadly, I picked the wrong book. To be honest, the mistake is mine. I should have done a thorough research on the book I was about to read. My expectations were high and different. The reality was completely opposite to what I had expected. Hence, race against patience to complete the book.

The book follows the lives of two musicians- Michael and Julia, who parted ways years back, to only find each other after 20 odd years (I don’t even remember! Embarrassing!) in London. Michael is a violinist and is part of a music group. Julia, a pianist, is now married and has a son, joins the group on a tour. Michael and Julia struggle with their relationship. They are in love but Julia can’t see a future for their relationship. Meanwhile, the group rehearses for their tour and there is friction within the team. Tough decisions have to be made, but the group stays together and have a successful tour at the end. Michael and Julia part ways again as Julia sets her priorities right, and that’s her family. Is Michael able to move on, or does he somehow win his love back?

It was a huge struggle to write even the above paragraph as I never really got the point of this book. I somewhere even feel guilty reviewing this book because I am not sure if I am the right person to do so. I knew the book had a musical background, but it had so many technical terms associated that I wasn’t able to understand most part of it. Imagine, unable to understand the basic plot of the book. There are conversations about Bach and Mozart, and strings and C Minor and D Major- I am sure a layman wouldn’t be able to understand those terms. Michael is the central character of this book. He is a depressed, lonely man, who suddenly finds his love back in Julia. The character isn’t interesting enough to feel empathetic towards. I liked the portions where Michael goes home to meet his father or even the discussions in the team and the difference of opinion. But those are just supporting chapters. The main plot didn’t interest me to read every word. Also, the story is too slow. I had to run through to reach the end.

It would be unfair not to mention the author’s brilliant choice of words. For a literature lover, I am sure this book would be magical. The description of the places and even the feelings is top class.

An Equal Music would be a great book for a music lover and a literature enthusiast. For me, it didn’t work.


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