Review 1408: Love Is Blind

Although generally speaking, I love William Boyd, I should have known better than to read a book named Love Is Blind. Even from the title, I could tell it was about a man who falls in love with a woman who is trouble, a plot that I hate. Although men love to write books upon this subject, most of the women incarcerated in the United States are there because of a man. Of course, it happens for both sexes, but a man enthralled by a lethal siren is the least of it and, for me, not interesting.

In 1894 Edinburgh, Brody Moncur is a piano tuner of significant skills. He is offered a position of assistant manager in his company’s Paris office which he takes, determined to get away from his controlling father.

In a promotional effort, Brody makes a deal with John Kilbarron, a famous pianist, to play only his company’s pianos. Soon, he has fallen in love with Lika, Kilbarron’s mistress, who is an opera singer. They begin an affair, and his life becomes a series of efforts to win her away safely from Kilbarron.

Disturbingly, we get very little sense of what Lika is like as a person. She serves pretty much as Boyd’s MacGuffin. The novel just focuses on Brody’s obsession and its consequences. It’s obvious that Lika has her secrets, and to me, it was even obvious what the major one was.

As well written as it is, I simply didn’t enjoy the theme of this book. As with Boyd’s other recent books, it takes in a sweep of history and visits many places while it meanders to its denouement.

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7 thoughts on “Review 1408: Love Is Blind

  1. Naomi October 23, 2019 / 10:58 am

    I don’t like this type of plot, either. Do you have a favourite Boyd book?

    • whatmeread October 23, 2019 / 7:16 pm

      It’s been a long time since I’ve read them, but Armadillo and The Blue Afternoon are good. Any Human Heart is his biggy, I would say, and Sweet Caress is pretty good. He’s written lots I haven’t read yet.

      • Naomi October 24, 2019 / 9:21 am

        Thanks!

    • Davida Chazan October 31, 2019 / 7:07 am

      Have you read his Restless? Loved that one!

      • whatmeread October 31, 2019 / 10:25 am

        I haven’t read that one. I should try it. I liked Any Human Heart, Armadillo, and The Blue Hour.

  2. Davida Chazan October 31, 2019 / 7:06 am

    I have this book on my shelf. Boyd is a very good writer.

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