Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Danse Macabre"

A graduate of Yale, Gerald Elias has been a Boston Symphony violinist, Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony since 1988, Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Utah, first violinist of the Abramyan String Quartet, and Music Director of the Vivaldi Candlelight concert series.

His novels include Devil's Trill and the newly released Danse Macabre.

Elias applied the Page 69 Test to Danse Macabre and reported the following:
Once again Page 69 contains information critical to understanding the entire book. Maybe in my next book I'll just write one page and call it 69 and call it a day. In Danse Macabre we have the first argument between super-amateur-sleuth, Daniel Jacobus, that irascible, blind, aging violin teacher; and BTower, the young, rebellious African American crossover artist, who has been convicted of brutally murdering the beloved virtuoso and BTower's former teacher, Rene Allard. Jacobus--who idolized Allard and who had testified against BTower at his trial--and BTower yell at each other, not bothering to listen to what the other is trying to say:
(BTower): "When I run up the stairs after him, it wasn't to apologize anymore. I wanted to tell him off. But I wasn't going to kill him."

(Jacobus): "Prove it."

"I'm not the one supposed to prove what I didn't do!"

"That argument certainly made for one helluva defense."
Over the course of the book, the slow evolution of this antagonistic relationship and the corresponding light that is gradually shed upon the victim, Allard--all the result of Jacobus's reluctant investigations--is the crucial dimension of Danse Macabre. If there is a moral to the story, it is that a person's true self is not always consistent with the way he or she is perceived by society--in fact, it's often quite the opposite.
Visit Gerald Elias' website.

The Page 69 Test: Devil's Trill.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue