Mad Music

More than a century after Heart of Darkness was first published, Joseph Conrad's haunting novella continues to cast an immense shadow. His short masterpiece has spawned an endless stream of literary guides, dramatizations, even CDs such as Heart of Darkness by the aptly named Conrad Herwig Quintet. So it's no surprise to find novelist Daniel Mason also falling under Conrad's intoxicating spell. Mason's debut novel The Piano Tuner features an array of elements familiar to Heart of Darkness buffs: the madness, the river, the oppressive imperialism. Like Conrad's tale, Mason's book traces a treacherous journey into the remote reaches of...

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