My Nine Lives

Fleisher, Leon and Anne Midgette. My Nine Lives: a Memoir of Many Careers in Music. New York: Doubleday, 2010.

It took me a long time to get through this book. I would read five or six pages a day and never feel compelled to accomplish more. For me, it was definitely not a Cannot Put Down book. I found Fleisher long winded and didactic at times. Fleisher, for all his accomplishments, deserves to be wordy and authoritarian.  To be fair, I am not musically inclined. To make matters worse I know even less about the world of classically trained musicians. I think this put me at a disadvantage for enjoying the book. There was little to the story outside music. To be fair, this definitely would be an interesting read for musicians, especially pianists and composers.

As an aside: I think part of my problem with My Nine Lives was on a personal level. Fleisher doesn’t mince words or beat around the bush when describing his relationships with women. He had affairs and left marriages. He “traded up” as they say in the tabloids. Each woman seemed to be younger and prettier than the one before. Fleisher doesn’t make excuses for his actions and I respect that, but it definitely altered the way I read his story.

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