The Chopin Manuscript is a weird little book in a couple of ways:
- It is only available as an audiobook as far as I can tell. That’s how I stumbled across it and Amazon doesn’t list a monograph version. It won the 2008 Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year from the Audio Publishers Association and I can see why. The narrator, Alfred Molina, was one of the best I’ve heard, though I did have a bit of a problem isolating his female character voices.
- It has about 15 different authors. Jeffrey Deaver writes the first chapter, outlining the major characters and plot points then 14 authors (and it’s a star-studded lineup, make no mistake) each write a chapter to move the story forward. Mr. Deaver steps in after that to wrap things up.
It was a fairly exciting story that kept me interested until the very end, but those different authors and different writing styles began to take their toll after awhile and choppiness abounded. I expected more Da Vinci Code and less agonized introspection. The bad guys didn’t seem quite as bad as I wanted them to be (except for one VeRy bad guy…and I never saw that one coming) and the good guys always got out of trouble immediately. I know they were going for a tense, DVC-esque tale of intrigue, and it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t tense and edgy either. In the end it didn’t resonate with me in any way, it was just a decent story. Again, Molina is a great narrator! I’m going to have to look him up and see if he has any other work.