The Piano Tuner


Original Title: Der Klavierstimmer

Paperback, 512 pages, 11.8 x 18.7 cm, 4.6 x 7.4 in.
ISBN: 978-3-442-72654-7
€ 12.00 [D] | € 12.40 [A] | CHF 17.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: btb

Date of publication: October 1, 2000
This title is available.


Rights sold to: France (Maren Sell), The Netherlands (De Wereldbibliotheek), Romania (Vivaldi), Turkey (Kirmizi Kedi)

Pascal  Mercier - The Piano Tuner


The tragic fate of a family devoted to dangerous passions and destroyed by a series of calamities

A famous Italian tenor is shot on stage during a performance of Puccini’s Tosca. The children of the shooter, the twins Patrice and Patricia, travel to the family home in Berlin to try to understand what could drive their father, a legendary piano tuner and unsuccessful opera composer, to resort to this act of violence. They delve into his background and with each piece of the past are gradually able to understand their father’s desperate motive.

The story is told from the perspective of the twins. Years earlier, the brother and sister fled from each other and their incestuous love, ending up in different hemispheres of the world. The incomprehensible act of their father becomes the catalyst that eventually leads to their reconciliation. They open up to one another and begin writing about what they experienced during their past intimacy. Through a process of encountering the past, they dissolve their mutual obsessive dependence and become, for themselves and for each other, distinct, independent individuals.

With his story about the fall of a family, about intimacy, and about the destructive desire for success, Pascal Mercier has created an intense novel, which along with its compositional ingenuity exerts an irresistible appeal.


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