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Dissonance: A Novel Hardcover – October 1, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An academic-press novel that deserves attention…written in polished, impressive prose." -- New Republic, January 2003

"Dissonance is lyrical, luminous and pitch-perfect." -- Historical Novels Review, Nov. 2003

"The descriptions of musical pieces are particularly beautiful, and readers will be intrigued by discussions of the meanings of music… -- Library Journal September 1, 2003

"…a promising debut." -- Dallas Morning News, May 28, 2004

Chosen for the Performance Today Summer Book List -- Performance Today, NPR, 2004

From the Publisher

Dissonance, Lisa Lenard-Cook’s novel of love, war, and forgiveness, has been selected for the 2004 Durango-La Plata County Reads! program, Chief Librarian Sherry Taber recently announced. Residents of the southwest Colorado community will read Dissonance this summer and gather in the fall in groups to discuss its themes, characters, and meaning.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826330908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826330901
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,562,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Dissonance" swept me from page to page.
Was it the gripping story of one woman, two families, an entire race? The mystery of a bequest from a stranger? The journey from tea and ristras in today's New Mexico to World War II death factories -- a Czech Concentration Camp and our own Los Alamos Labs? The unexpected symphonies in all these places?
Or the poetry -- the sound -- that breathes in each paragraph?
I don't know. I can only tell you that this book led me to a most wonderful place of the heart.
This book sings.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the writing (not to mention the story). The author wove several lines in a delightful way...very enjoyable to read. The style was very effective in conveying the harmony/dissonance themes. And the story had enough surprising twists and turns to keep me turning pages.
I was especially impressed with the extremely well researched material on music and the Holocaust.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This novel weaves its many themes together with wonderful prose and sensitivity. I read it the first time for its story and plot, but the second time to listen to the music of its language.
Using music theory as a metaphor for the events of the 20th century, Ms. Lenard-Cook takes us to the concentration camp of Terezin, the nuclear labs of Los Alamos and the hearts of two generations of pianists.
I have suggested this book to numerous friends and relatives and everyone has thought it a great book.
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By A Customer on September 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The analogy of music and the piano, as an instrument, to human events and emotions is superb! This alone, makes the book worth reading. However, you won't lay this little gem down until the mystery of the story is resolved.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In "Dissonance," past lives and events cause ripples that affect the characters in profound ways, leading to a resolution that is both surprising and deeply satisfying. Deceptively slight, this lovely little gem of a novel holds a treasure trove of ideas and a story line that spans generations. It unfolds quietly, drawing the reader in as the story deepens. What I enjoyed most were the fully realized emotional landscapes of the characters: We know these people. We can relate to their hopes, fears and human foibles, and when they transcend their circumstances it reminds us of what’s best in the human spirit.
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Format: Hardcover
For the past several years everyone has been telling me I needed to read this book. For some reason or another it kept slipping to the back of my mind and I'd forget to read it. Last week I decided it was time and I'm so glad I finally sat down and opened the cover. This is a beautiful book, elegant and deep. The seamless interweaving of the three distinct story themes (the present, past, and the power of music) is as lovely a melody as I have ever encountered. Unforgettable, haunting, and highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A novel devoted mostly to musical themes, but also to the holocaust, homosexuality, and general remembrance of thing past. All the story was triggered by a legacy received by the heroine from a woman whom she didn't know. Following up lead to learning things about her mother she had never known, and all revolving around musical themes, principally around the piano. Even I, ineptly non-musical, enjoyed the development of the theme.
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Format: Hardcover
I think the author does an excellent job of juxtaposing these two time periods, present-day New Mexico and World War II Czechoslovakia. I never felt ripped from one story line to the other or disappointed in being pulled from Anna to Hana or vice versa. The themes of music and art, history, physics and philosophy were interlaced with the story in such a way that I never felt them to be imposed without good literary reason and meaning. I've been an avid reader of "holocaust" fiction for many years, and although I'm not sure I would put this novel in that category, the questions that the author raises about good and evil are provocative and expertly interlaced within the frame of the story. The characters express these very human conflicts aptly both in their dialogue with themselves and in their dialogue with other characters. It reads true. One criticism I read of the novel said that the ending was disappointing. If one believes, as I do, that love can change us and thereby change those around us, this might be the only ending that could feel right, although I know there are many possibilities. I found it a riveting read and recommend it highly.
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