Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book review: The Metropolis Case

Gallaway, Matthew. 2010. The Metropolis case: a novel. New York: Crown Publishers.

Although some passages of this first novel, a work featuring four intertwined stories that take place decades or even centuries apart, are way, way over the top (approaching camp), the story about art, music and time (and some big secrets that are pretty easy to guess) keeps you reading. A lawyer named Martin and a soprano named Maria grow up in Pittsburgh; Maria confronts a budding talent in conflict with her standoffish nature, and Martin tries to play by the rules of hockey and his father despite his attraction to men. We also learn of Anna, a great Wagnerian soprano in New York, and Lucien, a budding tenor in 19th century Paris whose father's experiments hold great promise. The author's love of opera and punk rock come through in this largely lark. The characters make more sense as tools of the plot than as living beings, and the reader will figure solve the "case" about halfway through the book, but it's fun to follow along with the intersecting lives of these people, united by time and opera.  

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