The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason
May 25 from 7 to 8 pm via Zoom
In 1886 a shy, middle-aged piano tuner named Edgar Drake receives an unusual commission from the British War Office: to travel to the remote jungles of northeast Burma and there repair a rare piano belonging to an eccentric army surgeon who has proven mysteriously indispensable to the imperial design. From this irresistible beginning, The Piano Tuner launches readers into a world of seductive, vibrantly rendered characters, and enmeshes them in an unbreakable spell of storytelling.
Forty-one-year-old Edgar Drake seems an unlikely protagonist for a bildungsroman. Happy with his wife of eighteen years and his reputation as one of the finest piano tuners in late-nineteenth-century London, he is "a man whose life is defined by creating order so that others may make beauty." Transformation comes in the form of a summons to a remote outpost in Burma: a maverick British officer there has imported a vintage Erard grand into the jungle, where the humidity has caused it to lose its temperament.
Drake's journey to the Far East is a kind of anti-"Heart of Darkness," as he opens himself up to the uncertainty and wonder of human experience. In this début novel, Mason proves himself equally adept at scenes of wry humor and moments of rapture; most remarkable, he has written a profound adventure story with an unexpected climax, as the mild piano tuner finally becomes the hero of his own life.
The Friends of the Doylestown Library would love to have you join us! For more information and/or to request the link to the May 25 ZOOM meeting, please email us at