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The Secret Knowledge (Dedalus Original Fiction in Paperback) Paperback – March 31, 2015


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With its enthusiasm for secret societies and acts that echo through time, it mines the fruitful ground between Cloud Atlas and Foucault's Pendulum..." -- James Smart, The Guardian

"...an extraordinarily clever enterprise that repays close reading." -- Gutter Magazine

About the Author

Andrew Crumey was born in Glasgow in 1961. He read theoretical physics and mathematics at St Andrews University and Imperial College in London, before doing post-doctoral research at Leeds University on nonlinear dynamics.After a spell of being the literary editor at Scotland on Sunday he now combines teaching creative writing at Northumbria University with his writing. He is the author of seven novels: Music, in a Foreign Language (1994), Pfitz (1995), D'Alembert's Principle (1996),Mr Mee (2000), Mobius Dick (2004), Sputnik Caledonia (2008) and The Secret Knowledge (2013).
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Product Details

  • Series: Dedalus Original Fiction in Paperback
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Dedalus Limited; paperback / softback edition (March 31, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909232459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909232457
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,454,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ADITI SAHA on August 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, a Russian composer, pianist and conductor, has quoted about composers as:

"A good composer does not imitate; he steals."

Andrew Crumey, an English author has penned down this spectacular historical and musical masterpiece, called The Secret Knowledge which is about an unfinished musical piece by an unknown music composer, which goes down in the history to the modern times when a struggling composer gives life to it.

Before beginning my review, I'd like to thank the author, Andrew Crumey, for giving me this opportunity to read and review his novel.

In the beginning we see a classical sonata is being invented by a Franco-German undistinguished and unfortunate composer named Pierre Klauer in the year 1913. But due to pressures and threatens from some shady conspirators and secret societies, Pierre commits suicide without finishing the piece and leaving behind his beautiful fiancée. Fast forward to the modern day, where we see a young composer, named David Conroy, is struggling with his career as well as the time of capitalism and road to fame along with his student named, Paige. We also see how the piece of Klauer passes down from the hands of philosophers to the secret societies and finally on Conroy's hands, thus giving life to the piece and reorganization to the original composer.

To be honest, it’s a very intellectual book, but if I've to say how I liked the book, then I'll confess that I loved it. Although you've seen that I've not delved much into the synopsis of the book, since there is a mystery surrounding The Secret Knowledge musical piece that you need to find it out by yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian Mond on March 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In a month from now the Hugo Award nominees will be announced. As has become tradition there will be a slew of blog posts taking apart the ballot with specific focus on the Best Novel category. These critiques will generally bemoan the fact that the best novels of the year have been ignored; that the actual nominees – for the most part – only appear on the ballot because of their internet and social media presence; that by ignoring the work of auteurs in the field were actually undermining the genre as a whole.

Not that I’m having a crack at people who blog about the Hugo nominees. For one, I enjoy ranting about the ballot and furthermore some of the best genre discussions in recent history have been sparked by these blog posts. It’s critique and discussion of award ballots in general that keep the genre alive, keep it vital. That’s why I get upset when others try to quash these discussions.

However, I’m also aware that there’s a paradox at the heart of these sorts of blog posts. On the surface, a critique of a list of nominees is an attack on popular culture. But the underlying message – which annoys those who have a problem with this sort of criticism – is the need and desire for the novel I like, for the novel I believe is deserving, to be recognised by the masses. The same masses who foolishly chose the original bunch of nominees.

It’s precisely this paradox that Crumey explores in The Secret Knowledge. In particular, both David Conroy – a pianist at the end of his career who has never realised the potential of his youth – and Theodor Adorno – a European / American philosopher who argued against the commodification of culture by capitalism – typify this paradox. As characterised by Crumey, both hate popular culture. Both crave recognition.
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