G.P. Walmsley, signed by author
What is the main theme of this book? Well, one could suspect that it was about music, but that would be only partially correct. Or about prostitution since the story is laced with Sophia and Aunt Clara, two ladies that are in the business? Well, not so again. Perhaps what shouldn’t be the question anyway. Perhaps who is the question we should explore? Who are the characters that bring our story to life? Romance? Absolutely! Love? You betcha. Hmmm! Sounds familiar, like hasn’t someone else written this stuff? Of course! I think one of those stories was, “War and Peace”, or “Romeo and Juliette”. They’re not my stories, of course. Then what makes my story different? Only about 130,000 words, plot, sub-plots, characters and of course, the author’s name. Of course, my story is my story and I want to make it your story. In addition to John Dupree we have added another virtuoso, Laura. She too is more than a musician. No! Not a prostitute either. Our protagonist, John Dupree is a guy with hopes and dreams and notions about life that place him outside the cookie cutter image. It’s also about a woman, a very attractive woman, Sophia Berry and she is a prostitute. But she is so much more than a hooker. She is a person and like our favorite virtuoso she has human qualities and frailties that make her special. We will explore their lives along with Laura’s and the less than simple threads that bind them in a world that so often appears simply black and white. We will not be just spectators from our comfortable armchairs, but drawn to know them in very special ways. Ways that may shock your sensibilities or tickle your fancy, but you will never lose sight of the human condition we all share – rightly or wrongly. The embryo of “The Pianoman” was conceived, yet was slow in its coming; much slower than gestation should allow. A mainstream contemporary novel laced with the struggles and ambivalence of a young man’s desire to be a jazz musician and the forces that moved him in another direction – to the classics. How this dilemma resolves itself and the continuing escapades along the way will both rouse, yet soothe your quest for escape from the mundane! “The Pianoman” is a story of romance. A story of love between lovers, between family and friends, and the oldest story of all – the story of human frailty against the spear of temptation. The lives of John Dupree and Laura De Gravolet as well as Sophia Berry are played out against the canvas of music and on the darker side – prostitution and murder. Be prepared for three dimensional characters and convoluted plots. “The Pianoman” will transport you – drawing you into the story to live each scene. Jack Dupree grows up on the worn streets of New Orleans during World War II and later to living in the poshness of a high-rise apartment in New York. It is there we join he and Sophia in the intimacy of their lives. Their lives unfold in a fate that spans some 20 years, in many ways a symbiotic relationship. She is a benefactress in his formative years as he moves toward his goals and hers. He is a benefactor of her love and influence. During the 1960’s he performs on world stages and meets Laura. We join John and Laura in the intimacy of their lives. Their lives unfold in a fate that spans several years. He as a concert pianist, she as a virtuoso violinist. A true love that moves between them as though a dance of destiny brought them together. Also, a twenty year old mystery – hidden for many of those years, living in the shadows is finally exposed for what it is and put to rest. The culmination of our characters lives are found on these pages.