“Wunderkind is a gift for all the senses. Nikolai Grozni’s shimmering, visceral prose unfurls like music, as if a baby grand served as his infernal typewriter.”
—Patti Smith, bestselling author of Just Kids
“With heartbreaking insight, Wunderkind portrays the searing brutalities of life in Communist Eastern Europe—and the power of music to provide solace and redemption. I found myself astonished, amazed, and moved by this remarkable novel.”
—Lauren Belfer, bestselling author of City of Light and A Fierce Radiance
“Nikolai Grozni’s Wunderkind is an elegant, graceful novel that captures not only the power and beauty of music, but the stifling oppression of life in a totalitarian state. The novel sings and howls, and in its finest moments, takes the reader’s breath away.”
—Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
“Shrewd, rhapsodic, Nikolai Grozni’s Wunderkind fuses high romanticism with sinister, hard-edged humor. A love-hate letter to a Bulgaria that no longer exists, it contains some of the most vivid, celebratory writing about music I’ve ever read.”
—Zachary Lazar, author of Sway
“In this fine portrait of a suffocating society, what are especially remarkable is the vitality—Konstantin is a rebel with a cause, his anger contagious—and the way Grozni writes about music. Rapturous and insightful . . . passages [are] a real adrenaline rush. . . . [T]his passionate novel should be pushed on anyone interested in music, politics, or energized coming-of-age tales.”
“Grozni's writing is colorful and strong.”
—Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Nikolai Grozni is a Bulgarian-born American writer. Grozni wrote his first book, the acclaimed memoir Turtle Feet, while living in India, where he spent four years as a Buddhist monk. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Brown University. He lives with his wife, the author Danielle Trussoni, and their children in France.See all Editorial Reviews
Just getting started reading it. Will check back in later. Well written thus far. Hard to believe the author
wrote it in English and English is not his native tongue.
The setting is the Sofia Music school for the Gifted. Before the Communists arrived, the school building was a faunctioning Catholic monastery. Read morePublished on September 6, 2012 by Mary E. Sibley
Wunderkind seemed only very loosely fictional. The author, Nikolai Grozni, grew up as a piano wunderkind, and as you read his novel, you can almost feel his personal experience. Read morePublished on January 10, 2012 by L. King
For some reason, I went into "Wunderkind" thinking it would be a dark comedy. However, I'm glad I made that mistake, because otherwise I might not have chosen to read this... Read morePublished on January 4, 2012 by Ellen W.
This is a sad and dark look at a 15 yo boy, Konstantin growing up in the late 1980's in the Communist ruled Sofia, Bulgaria. Konstantin is a gifted pianist. Read morePublished on October 25, 2011 by bookmagic
With all the reviews already written, I assume all of you have a fair Idea about what this book is about, its strengths (Groznis writing about music) and its weaknesses in plot and... Read morePublished on October 25, 2011 by Dr. J. J. Kregarman
First off, may I get a complaint out of the way? The blurb for the book describes Konstantine as a Russian "Holden Caufield".... Read morePublished on October 20, 2011 by Meg Sumner
Count me with those readers who found this too slow moving, too dark, and too musical, as well as my apparently unusual complaint: too lurid. Read morePublished on October 16, 2011 by Unity Dienes
Perhaps it is not fair that I review this book, as classical music has been integral part of my life since I was four or five. Read morePublished on October 13, 2011 by I. Martinez-Ybor