From Publishers Weekly
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"More books will be written about the famously eccentric pianist Glenn Gould. Perhaps none will be as intriguing as Hafner’s....Hafner gives us a book as rich and engrossing as the finest novel." –Booklist
"Hafner, in writing an entire book on such a narrow subject, reveals herself as an extraordinary storyteller...A book for Gould fans, piano lovers, and those who enjoy an unusual tale well told. Highly recommended." –Library Journal
“The musical version of Seabiscuit....Lucidly grasp[s] the essential: the complex interaction among an artist, a craftsman and the precious tool they both revered. Written with authority and enthusiasm, a treat for armchair musicologists, Gould fanatics and even those who never heard a note he played.” —Kirkus Reviews
"This book is about the oldest human intoxicant, the quest for perfection. Katie Hafner describes in fascinating detail the entire human apparatus—teachers, tuners, piano builders, sound engineers, impresarios—that made possible Glenn Gould's singular art. With the narrative force of fiction she explores the uncertain territory where unbridled artistic imagination meets the limits of an instrument, and shows us the emotional costs.” —Thad Carhart, author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
“This evocative, detailed account of the compulsive search for a sensitive, highly responsive concert piano by Canadian musical wunderkind Glenn Gould combines the parallel histories of one of the most controversial and brilliant pianists of the last century and the incredible keyboard instrument on which he played for some of his most important recordings. Hafner, a New York Times correspondent, presents a fascinating biography of Gould, who was known for his quirks, including his wearing of winter gear on summer days, his donning of fingerless gloves while playing, his manic fear of germs and hand shaking. The book will greatly appeal to those intrigued by the history of the influential German-bred Steinway piano company, but it is the close interaction of Gould and Charles Verne Edquist, the nearly blind piano tuner, with a Steinway CD 318 concert piano, that lift the book above the usual biography. This book will aid the reader to fully appreciate Gould's creative work in interpreting the early sonatas of Mozart and his majestic rendition of the Goldberg Variations.”—Publishers Weekly