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Buy a Kindle from Amazon
G3 AmazonUK £152 AmazonUS $189
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Canto di Tenore

An operatic novel
by M G da Mota
Formats: ePub, Mobi
Publisher: $8.99
ISBN: 978-1-61766-032-0

Available for Amazon Kindle £4.36
First I should make it clear that the author, M G da Mota, is otherwise known as Margarida Mota-Bull who is a regular reviewer for MusicWeb International. I have met Margarida once and, at her request, read a draft of this book in 2008.
In case it is unclear from the header, Canto di Tenore is only available in electronic formats. Since I didn't wish to read it on a computer screen and already had notions of purchasing an Amazon Kindle, that is how I have read it. I have appended some thoughts on my initial experiences with the Kindle below.
The author is not currently a professional writer but I think we should be wary of drawing too many conclusions from that. The book I was reading when the Kindle arrived - Ford County by John Grisham contains a dedication to someone who helped him at the beginning of his career when he had difficulty in selling or even giving away A Time to Kill. Getting around the printing and distribution costs, the e-book format seems a logical way to start publishing and even more so because this is targeted at a fairly specialist audience i.e. those interested in opera. It should certainly appeal to many MusicWeb International readers as it has been well-researched.
I don't want to say too much about the story other than to point up its deliberate resemblance to a tangled opera plot. Thus complaining about lack of plausibility - opera lover meets megastar tenor by chance, they fall in love - would be unfair. More pertinent is the successful characterisation of the main players. If I sometimes felt there were too many sub-plots along the way, I was ready to forgive all at the dénouement, about which I must clearly remain silent. The author writes fluently and seems on firmer ground dealing in the worlds of opera and languages than murder. Nevertheless this became, for me, a page turner.
Novels with operatic overtones aren't two-a-penny and, if that idea appeals, this comes highly recommended. If you don't have the means to read it other than on a computer, then you might be interested in the comments appended below from a new user of the Kindle.
Patrick C Waller

Appendix: Some thoughts on the Amazon Kindle

I have written previously about my experiences of downloading classical music and there are some obvious parallels - instant access from home, space savings, portability. For many, I suspect the main obstacle with music is perceived sound quality and, analogously, for books it may be perceived visual quality i.e. " I don't want to read off a screen". That was my prior perspective but the surprising thing is that the Kindle really does look more like a page than a screen, so this objection quickly melts away. The Kindle holds up to 3,000 books, one takes seconds to download and generally they are considerably cheaper than paper versions. In many cases a substantial sample can be downloaded gratis (how many books have you read only the first twenty pages of?) and quite a lot of classics are completely free. The Kindle requires no set up, just charging from the mains or a computer about once a week or so if you go for the "3G" version, as I did. Material can be transferred to and from a computer by a lead or wireless network, and it can browse the web in a rudimentary way, and play mp3 files and audiobooks. So the Kindle is rather more than just an e-book reader and I think it is well worth the £150 price tag (or £110 without the fast and free 3G connection). A cover will be needed for protection and a leather one costs an extra £30 or £50 depending on whether or not an integrated light is desired. Downsides? The content is licensed rather than sold so passing books on to others to read or to a second-hand bookseller isn't permitted. I suppose you could temporarily lend the whole Kindle to your other half but they would have to be a quick reader! The Kindle is very light, lighter than many books, so there is no wrist-strain using it. The font size is adjustable and is equally visible in a darkened room and in full sunlight.







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