The Bells

The Bells

A Novel

Book - 2011
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"Born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps, Moses Froben and his deaf and mute mother ring the beautiful church bells each day. The townspeople assume Moses is also deaf, but shaped by the glorious music of the bells, he actually possesses a singular sense of hearing that makes him privy to any number of sins -- and puts him in grave danger.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Paperbacks, 2011
ISBN: 9780307590534
Branch Call Number: FICTION Har
Description: 376 pages ; 21 cm


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Dec 16, 2016

A gothic piece of historical fiction that deals with "Musicos" or those who are castrated for the sake of the voice. There were parts of this book that were uncomfortable to read but overall it was a very good story about love, loyalty and the influence of music.

Rachiecakes Oct 08, 2014

I am an extremely picky reader who has never been able to re-read even a book I enjoyed reading.

As soon as I read the last line in "The Bells", I immediately turned back to page 1 and started reading it again!

I cannot pinpoint why this book affected me so much -- but I suspect that it is due to the depth and richness of Harvell's characters -- especially Moses. His childhood is a tragic one, that almost makes the reading of it unbearable -- but you will not be able to stop turning the pages to see how life unfolds for his unfortunate soul. The description of sounds in this book is quite remarkable-- and made me care, all of a sudden, quite deeply about 18th century Vienna, and about what life would be like as a "musico". Really, the setting could have been anywhere because the writing was so good. Can't recommend it enough.

Jun 24, 2012

I truly enjoyed this story of love, loyalty, being true and steadfast. The author focussed completely on the texture of sound, how sound reverberates through life, life, friendship. Sound is a symbol of Life, felt at it's deepest and most pure.
I really liked how "bells" played such a large role in this book and portrayed truth, solidity, joy, pain and, most of all, love.

Feb 04, 2012

a must read -be aware it is a delicate subject!

Apr 07, 2011

This book was an aria by itself. I found myself thinking about the way sound affects so much of my experiences. A wonderful book, but be warned- I was nearly unable to do anything but read for three days, because I needed to find out what happened next!

Mar 27, 2011

Richard Harvell's first novel is an aria unto itself. His colourization is perfect and the characters and the story of their lives will stay with me for a vey long time. I hope Harvell completes another masterpiece soon.

Oct 19, 2010

This well written story follows the tragic life of a young boy who is castrated in order to preserve his incredible singing voice. The writing is vivid and the story is interesting. The story begins with the creation of a set of magnificent bells for a church, but as the story progresses, the bells become symbolic of several different aspects in the story.


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Mar 27, 2011

NanaPat thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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Mar 27, 2011

In this heartbeaking and captivating account of his extraordinary life , Moses tells how his gift for sound led him on an astonishing journey- from a tiny village in the Alps to an apprenticeship at one of Europe's greatest theatres , and to the premiere of one of history's most beloved operas-and tells the secret that has long shadowed his fame : How did Moses Froben , world-renowned musico , come to raise a son who by all rights he could never have sired ?


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Mar 27, 2011

musico Guadagni's sad comment :
" I often ask myself " he said, " as I take my bows, how many boys have I castrated with my voice tonight ?"


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