ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 10 MARCH 2013
A dozen responses so far on Amazon.... leading to an average five star rating. Some extracts:
As well as being enjoyably written it was interesting to see the frustrations of the wannabe classical pianist mirroring those of the UK bluesman. It's all music...All mid-life aspiring rockers and maestros should read it. Townheadbluesboy ***** N Yorkshire
I love this book... I also am an adult getting into piano lessons so I found the diary most useful and interesting, particularly the interviews with famous musicians.
Alfred J. Castino ***** San Fransisco
Brilliant, inspiring.. Absolutely loved this book. I'm a diabolical piano player, (I started lessons ten years ago, and still haven't managed to memorise a single piece of music, or play anything worth listening to) so this story of managing to squeeze in just a small amount of piano practice amongst a maelstrom of working life, really grabbed me. Told in diary entries, and covering the build-up to a nerve wracking performance, it was surprisingly engrossing. Plus the backdrop of life as the Editor of the Guardian was a real insight. If you play the piano badly, (or quite well) I could not recommend this book any higher. Really, really good.
I enjoyed this book as much as anything I have read in the last 5 years. It is a testament to his skill as a writer that he is able to make the process of learning a piano piece by an amateur a "gripping" read...All amateur musicians, particularly pianists, will love this book.
Tom Nor *****
Fantastic account interweaved with the curent affairs of the day. A must read for all pianists. A motivational book at its best.
grumpy old woman *****
I greatly enjoyed "Play it Again", both for the musical endeavour and the inside story on current affairs in the making. The quest to learn the Ballade as well as the subsidiary ones to build a music room and find the right piano for it, interspersed with thoughts from the great pianists interviewed made for fascinating threads of story running through the constant breaking of news and running of a newspaper/media enterprise. The inspiring part was to realise that if he managed to find the time to practise in that year, then I can too. Perhaps I should actually have been practising while I was reading this book... Hmm
Engagingly written (as you might expect expect), inspiring and useful.
Claire Wolstencroft *****
I am a lapsed muscician too and this book gave me the inspiration me to start playing again. I enjoyed every page!. Unique insight into into the big news stories of the year and into the difficulties of squeezing something you love doing (playing the piano ) into a ridiculously hectic work schedule.
Favourite bit was at the summer camp recital. I was living every note and felt the pressure in every sentence. Fabulous.
Kenny Macdonald *****
As a piano teacher in Ontario, Canada, I am finding this book very interesting, enjoyable, and encouraging! Recommended for music teachers, amateur pianists, and classical music lovers