The Big Music
Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize, The Big Music by Kirsty Gunn is a story about family, love and the power of the imagination.
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‘The hills only come back the same: I don’t mind . . .’ begins Kirsty Gunn’s The Big Music, a novel that takes us to a new understanding of how fiction can affect us.
Presented as a collection of found papers, appendices and notes, The Big Music tells the story of John Sutherland of ‘The Grey House’, who is dying and creating in the last days of his life a musical composition that will define it. Yet he has little idea of how his tune will echo or play out into the world – and as the book moves inevitably through its themes of death and birth, change and stasis, the sound of his solitary story comes to merge and connect with those around him.
In this work of fiction, Kirsty Gunn has created something as real as music or as a dream. Not so much a novel as a place the reader comes to inhabit and to know, The Big Music is a literary work of undeniable originality and power.
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