Chilling in the extreme, "The Lost Stradivarius" is a classic tale of the supernatural.
While practicing in his rooms in Oxford, gifted violinist John Maltravers notices a strange phenomenon: whenever a certain air is played, a mysterious presence seems to enter.
Unable to rationalize this away, Maltravers becomes increasingly unsettled, until he makes a startling discovery--tucked away in a hidden cupboard in his room is a priceless Stradivarius!
Obsessed by his find, he becomes increasingly withdrawn from those around him, choosing instead to explore more sinister pursuits, little knowing the spell that this seemingly perfect violin is unleashing upon him.
English poet and novelist J. Meade Falkner is best remembered for his novel, "Moonfleet."
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 140 pages
- Publisher: Hesperus Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/09/2006
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781843911371
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by patrickgarson
J. Meade Falkner is somewhat of a cult figure amongst a small group of Victorian fiction aficionados. Unfortunately, the Lost Stradivarius is not the best place to start in order to get a sense of why Falkner is so revered. The book isn't bad, per se, but it's absolutely typical for its genre, and somewhat run-of-the-mill.The novella is a classic Victorian ghost story, detailing the obsession and gradual madness of a young student with the titular violin. There's not a lot more to it than that, and fans of the genre will be immediately familiar with this type of ghost story. Sadly, the book rarely rises above average. Falkner's prose is fine, but his narrator is the protagonist's somewhat starchy and naive sister, so we never get the chance to enter the subjective horror on display, and end up frustratingly ignorant as to the most interesting aspects of the haunting. Her voice also grates after a while. Other than a strong repulsion/fascination with catholicism, which is portrayed as little better than an orgiastic pagan cult at times, there's not much that stands out to this book beyond the general quality of the Hesperus edition, printed on high quality paper with good binding. If you are interested in Victorian tales of obsession there are far better stories to be had in the various ghost anthologies floating about. In particular, Oliver Onions' The Beckoning Fair One basically accomplishes everything this tale sets out to, in a far more eerie and interesting fashion.