REVIEW: Love is Blind, William Boyd

Monday, 21 January 2019

When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future - and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum. Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie's love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the nineteenth century becomes the twentieth.
If his author’s biography is correct, William Boyd is a world-class, near-universally revered author who has been long listed for the Man Booker Prize and awarded a CBE for his contributions to literature by the Queen.
I saw no trace of that here.
Maybe his identity has been stolen. Maybe this book was ghost-written. Maybe he has lost the spark that made him the author he once was. 
I have honestly no idea. All I do know is, that if Love is Blind was lifted up as the pinnacle of literature, I would be one of the first to take to the picket line. 
It’s just - if this is to be considered love, romance, obsession (whether that be with music or with another human being), then all of the colour needs to fade from this world and we must only be left with lifeless shades of grey.
Or rather, lifeless shades of pianos and boobs. Boobs and pianos. And neither were titillating, intriguing, sensual or erotic. In Love is Blind, there was no love or passion for anything, no matter how much the author tried to conjure up. It was utterly empty, flat, meaningless. Too obsessed with the details of the world at the end of the Victorian age, to be interested in portraying life within it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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