Crumey’s seventh novel is a time-travelling tale of secret societies, dark symphonies and troubled pianistsIn 1913 Yvette stands in the Paris sunshine, gazing at a fairground wheel and waiting for composer Pierre to greet her with what she hopes will be a marriage proposal – but fears will be something darker. Their rendezvous with Yvette ends with a bang that propels Crumey’s seventh novel past Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, civil unrest and war and into the present day, where troubled pianist David Conroy and his student Paige come across the dark symphony Pierre was writing before his tryst with Yvette. Various men – some charming, some threatening, none entirely trustworthy – seek Pierre’s notes, and as Conroy retreats into paranoia and Paige dreams of fame, another conflagration looms. With its enthusiasm for secret societies and acts that echo through time, The Secret Knowledge mines the fruitful ground between Cloud Atlas and Foucault’s Pendulum, but fails to reach the heights of either. The dialogue can be tooth-wrenchingly annoying (“I thought you believed in destiny” … “I believe in hope”), and it’s hard to care too much for the characters, but some scenes – a febrile union meeting, a loaded meeting between …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books