Reviews

The Ensemble, by Aja Gabel

relativelysane's review against another edition

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5.0

Hauntingly personal and enrapturing look at a group of people's lives. Had no expectations going in, but couldn't put it down. Fantastic.

scmaley's review against another edition

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4.0

I really enjoyed The Ensemble! I put it down earlier this summer, but it turned out to be an interesting look at choices, character, and how our past can or won’t define us.

martewin's review against another edition

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4.0

I started reading this book, well, not reading but listening to it in audiobook when it was first released and then never finished because - I don't know why. I have a love/hate relationship with audiobooks. But it stayed with me for some reason, and I kept thinking that I had to finish this and ended up buying the ebook a few months ago. And I finally read it! I had of course to start from the beginning again because I remembered only a few bits here and there but I'm so glad I did. I love the characters and the writing and I have a weird fascination with the classical music world even though I don't even listen to classical music that much. You can tell the author plays the violin and is very passionate about classical music, I'm curious to listen to all the pieces mentioned in the book now.
Sometimes POVs switches can be annoying but I really liked them in this book, I don't think it would've been the same if we've gotten only one POV out of all four of them.
If you know me, also, you know that the found family trope is my favorite thing ever so this was right up my alley and I loved how it was executed.

hayes_jumper's review against another edition

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4.0

this book was beautiful. a very moving story with unforgettable characters. my ONLY issue was the presence of lots of exposition dump, but Aja Gabel at least did her part in making it bearable to read. i definitely recommend this one.

suus's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5 - probably would have been 4 stars if I’d read it in English, there were a few flaws in the translation.

eowyn's review against another edition

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4.0

I liked this a lot--it reminded me a bit of the TV show "Mozart in the Jungle." It follows the musicians in a string quartet from the beginning of their career in their 20s into their 40s and 50s, telling the story from each of their perspectives at different times. Lots of growing up and relationship stuff along with evocative descriptions of the music and what it's like to play it. The author played music at a fairly high amateur level and you can tell she knows what she's talking about. Recommended.

emkleinhans's review against another edition

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5.0

Really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were very real- and though very different, I liked each one of them. I wish I knew more about music and string quartets! I think after reading this, I may pull up some songs on Spotify!

singercat36's review against another edition

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3.0

Couldn't finish the book. I am a professional musician and even I couldn't get engaged in these angsty characters or their soap opera story. Pacing was slow. The writing, however, is gorgeous.

sarahbohl's review against another edition

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4.0

“Because [love] is a mystery, we have to take care of it. Feed it. It can go missing, but we can’t tie it up. We can only tie it to someone else. Other people. Then the world is like this: full of the geometry of my rope tied to you, and yours tied to him, and to her, and hers to someone else. I love you, it’s a mystery.”

Beautifully, beautifully written story about a string quartet, spanning their professional careers and the personal relationships that tie them together. No, you do not need to know much about music to enjoy this book, but if you do, it will enrich the experience.

Aja Gabel builds and weaves these characters so well, and each are like-able and unlikeable in their own ways.

This one would be good for fans of The Nest, Nick Hornby novels, or any other books where human nature takes center stage. Note that there is not a driving plot here, but it’s more about the relationships we have with those that are closest to us and how they can complete us.

abookolive's review against another edition

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5.0

A mix of my favorite book, [b:Rules of Civility|10054335|Rules of Civility|Amor Towles|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1311705045l/10054335._SY75_.jpg|14950407] and another one of my favorites, [b:The Interestings|15815333|The Interestings|Meg Wolitzer|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1451446889l/15815333._SY75_.jpg|21541829], but starring the members of a string quartet. LOVED it!