April 2012 Indie Next List
“As he faces retirement, Henry Cage finds his life spiraling out of control. He must deal with an ailing ex-wife, an estranged son, and a malicious stalker who is prone to violence. This first novel is both a page-turner and a disconcerting portrayal of the randomness of life and the choices we make. Strangely uplifting, The Upright Piano Player is guaranteed to keep you riveted.”
— Jack Gillard, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Henry Cage seems to have it all: a successful career, money, a beautiful home, and a reputation for being a just and principled man. But public virtues can conceal private failings, and as Henry faces retirement, his well-ordered life begins to unravel. His ex-wife is ill, his relationship with his son is strained to the point of estrangement, and on the eve of the new millennium he is the victim of a random violent act which soon escalates into a prolonged and mysterious harassment. Who is doing this? And why?
Full of exceptional grace and emotional power, The Upright Piano Player is a wise and acutely observed novel about the myriad ways in which life tests us—no matter how carefully we have constructed our own little fortresses.
About the Author
DAVID W. ABBOTT is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College. /e He had taught and written in the field of American politics and electoral behavior for twenty-five years. He co-edited Political Parties, and has also conducted extensive public opinion survey research.
“[A] gripping novel, a reminder of how little control we have over our lives.” —Los Angeles Times
“Wise and moving. . . . An accomplished novel of quiet depths and resonant shadows.” —John Burnham Schwartz, author of The Commoner
“Stirring. . . . Abbott has created a memorable book, and readers will ache along with the principal characters.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Gracefully constructed and wholly consuming.” —Associated Press
“Elegant, rich, and gratifying.” —The Independent (London)
“The menace simmering beneath the surface of [The Upright Piano Player’s] prose is compelling.” —Daily Mail
“A powerful and well-written portrayal of loss and grieving.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“A concise, haunting work, a short, brilliantly observed novel. . . . Fluid and elegiac, filled with somber, serious tones, the author’s writing is reminiscent of the great Ian McEwan.” —Curled Up With a Good Book
“Masterful.” —The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
“A beautifully constructed debut.” —The Guardian (London)