The Melody: A Novel (Paperback)
Alfred Busi lives alone in his villa overlooking the waves. Famed in his tiny Mediterranean town for his music, he is mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days. Then one night, Busi is viciously attacked by an intruder in his own courtyard—bitten and scratched. He insists his assailant was neither man nor animal.
Soon, Busi’s account of what happened is being embellished to fan the flames of old rumor—of an ancient race of people living in the surrounding forest. It is also used to spark new controversy, inspiring claims that something must finally be done about the town’s poor, whose numbers have been growing.
In trademark crystalline prose, Jim Crace portrays a man taking stock of his life and looking into an uncertain future, while bearing witness to a community in the throes of great change.
About the Author
Jim Crace is the author of eleven previous novels. His most recent, Harvest, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and won the International Dublin Literary Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In 2000, Being Dead won the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and in 1997, Quarantine was named the Whitbread Novel of the Year and was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Jim Crace has also received the Whitbread First Novel Prize, the E. M. Forster Award, and the Guardian Fiction Prize. He lives in England.
“Superb. . . . Immersive. . . . Haunting.”
“Both grippingly symbolic and intensely real. . . . The Melody takes its place among Crace’s finest novels.”
“Extraordinary. . . . An elegiac ode.”
—The Los Angeles Review of Books
“A haunting story of love and loss, empathy and inequity and the galvanizing power of memory.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Jim Crace writes with great flair and inimitable imagination . . . The Melody is a lyrical and tender meditation on marital love and loss.”
“A brutal parody of urban renewal and its casualties.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Like Kazuo Ishiguro, Crace has a gift for creating specific, vividly imagined worlds. . . . Absolutely mesmerizing.”
“Haunting and transfixing. . . . Like the simple but subtle song from which the novel takes its title, The Melody’s effects linger.”
“Exploring ideas of myth, grief, and inequality, Crace’s latest is an ethereal novel that ambles and simmers towards a delightful conclusion.”