counter create hit While the Music Played - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

While the Music Played

Availability: Ready to download

A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WW II "We were the dreamers of dreams, the singers of songs. We were the music makers. We would not hear nor play nor love without each other. This is a prelude to our experience, an overture to who we were and how we arrived on the shores of friendship." Beginning in 1939 pre-war Prague, WHILE THE MUSIC PLAYED focuses on the A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WW II "We were the dreamers of dreams, the singers of songs. We were the music makers. We would not hear nor play nor love without each other. This is a prelude to our experience, an overture to who we were and how we arrived on the shores of friendship." Beginning in 1939 pre-war Prague, WHILE THE MUSIC PLAYED focuses on the story of young Max Mueller, a curious bright romantic—a budding musician, piano tuner, and nascent journalist. Max is on the cusp of adolescence and facing a rapidly changing world as the Nazi influence invades Prague's tolerant spirit with alarming speed, compromising those Max loves even as he struggles to understand. While his father, noted German conductor Viktor Mueller, is drafted into the German army and finds himself increasingly involved with Nazi propaganda; Viktor's best friend, noted Czech composer Hans Krása, protests the occupation in every way he can. As everyone Max knows and loves chooses sides and accepts the consequences, he becomes increasingly isolated, and forced to find his own way. With each step, Max's journey grows more fraught until music is the one constant tying him to both the lost childhood he cherishes and the man he still hopes to become. But will it be enough to sustain him against the relentless Nazi threat? With a seamless blend of historical and fictional characters, told from multiple points of view, and sweeping across the capitals of Prague, London, and Berlin as World War II ravages Europe, this meticulously researched book is unique with its diverse and interweaving narratives, threaded with news accounts, and including some of the most triumphant and devastating moments of the war—from the opera houses of Berlin to the music halls of London and the making of the famous children's opera Brundibár. "WHILE THE MUSIC PLAYED is a lyrical, absorbing, and heart-breaking story of love and courage from the widely revered and best-selling author Nathaniel Lande


Compare
Ads Banner

A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WW II "We were the dreamers of dreams, the singers of songs. We were the music makers. We would not hear nor play nor love without each other. This is a prelude to our experience, an overture to who we were and how we arrived on the shores of friendship." Beginning in 1939 pre-war Prague, WHILE THE MUSIC PLAYED focuses on the A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WW II "We were the dreamers of dreams, the singers of songs. We were the music makers. We would not hear nor play nor love without each other. This is a prelude to our experience, an overture to who we were and how we arrived on the shores of friendship." Beginning in 1939 pre-war Prague, WHILE THE MUSIC PLAYED focuses on the story of young Max Mueller, a curious bright romantic—a budding musician, piano tuner, and nascent journalist. Max is on the cusp of adolescence and facing a rapidly changing world as the Nazi influence invades Prague's tolerant spirit with alarming speed, compromising those Max loves even as he struggles to understand. While his father, noted German conductor Viktor Mueller, is drafted into the German army and finds himself increasingly involved with Nazi propaganda; Viktor's best friend, noted Czech composer Hans Krása, protests the occupation in every way he can. As everyone Max knows and loves chooses sides and accepts the consequences, he becomes increasingly isolated, and forced to find his own way. With each step, Max's journey grows more fraught until music is the one constant tying him to both the lost childhood he cherishes and the man he still hopes to become. But will it be enough to sustain him against the relentless Nazi threat? With a seamless blend of historical and fictional characters, told from multiple points of view, and sweeping across the capitals of Prague, London, and Berlin as World War II ravages Europe, this meticulously researched book is unique with its diverse and interweaving narratives, threaded with news accounts, and including some of the most triumphant and devastating moments of the war—from the opera houses of Berlin to the music halls of London and the making of the famous children's opera Brundibár. "WHILE THE MUSIC PLAYED is a lyrical, absorbing, and heart-breaking story of love and courage from the widely revered and best-selling author Nathaniel Lande

52 review for While the Music Played

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader

    The historical facts where out of this world, researched so well. I was skeptical going in but soon after starting this book I was all in. I did find myself sad at times. But I had to keep reading. I was sweep away to another place and time. I just cant say enough about the writing style and I learned so much. This is a book to be cherished and reread. I hope that you will give this 4 star book a read. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not requ The historical facts where out of this world, researched so well. I was skeptical going in but soon after starting this book I was all in. I did find myself sad at times. But I had to keep reading. I was sweep away to another place and time. I just cant say enough about the writing style and I learned so much. This is a book to be cherished and reread. I hope that you will give this 4 star book a read. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    The story starts in Prague in 1938 with a twelve year old Max. His family is not Jewish, but his father instilled in him respect for Jewish people as they made many contributions to people’s lives, especially in the arts and science. While WWII progresses and people pick sides, Max tries to make sense of everything that goes around him. And to rise above all horror, he finds refuge in music. As the story shifts between Prague and London, it shows the contrast of progressing events in continental The story starts in Prague in 1938 with a twelve year old Max. His family is not Jewish, but his father instilled in him respect for Jewish people as they made many contributions to people’s lives, especially in the arts and science. While WWII progresses and people pick sides, Max tries to make sense of everything that goes around him. And to rise above all horror, he finds refuge in music. As the story shifts between Prague and London, it shows the contrast of progressing events in continental Europe and the oblivious reaction to its events by Londoners, who think it is just a phase that may pass. There is a journalist from London, who meets Jewish composer and then takes her investigative skills to Prague. She wants to find out what is going on on the continent. I enjoyed the appearance of Churchill and involvement of some famous names including Sigmund Freud seeking refuge in England. I appreciate the historical background, but the problem is the cohesion of the story. It needs to be tightened up. It is a fact that music is healing. It gave a piece of dignity to those who went to the concentration camps and to the very few who survived concentration camp only because they were musically talented. So the premise of this book is beautiful, music being a healing balm, while facing the horrors of war. But I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters. Also, the story has a lot of loose threads and it takes a long time for them to start connecting. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    While The Music Played by Nathaniel Lande is arguably one of the best works of historical fiction I have encountered. This novel treats the Nazi occupation from the perspective of our main characters who are caught in Prague as the city falls. The character development is outstanding, from the flamboyant and fictional orchestral conductor (the Great) Victor Mueller, to the occasionally human yet mostly cold blooded (and real) Nazi SS man Reinhard Heydrich.  This work plays heavily on one’s emotio While The Music Played by Nathaniel Lande is arguably one of the best works of historical fiction I have encountered. This novel treats the Nazi occupation from the perspective of our main characters who are caught in Prague as the city falls. The character development is outstanding, from the flamboyant and fictional orchestral conductor (the Great) Victor Mueller, to the occasionally human yet mostly cold blooded (and real) Nazi SS man Reinhard Heydrich.  This work plays heavily on one’s emotions as the author exquisitely expresses the fear and hope of those impacted by Nazi oppression.  Author Lande beautifully links our characters by the hope that endures and is shared in each of them from their love of music. At the center of it all is a gut wrenching story of father and son, father doing his best to protect his beloved son while undoubtedly feeling the panic that comes from facing increasingly uncontrollable evil.  Adding to the novel’s realism (and enjoyment) are wonderful period references to cultural fabric in Allied England and America as well as an important development of one character’s close friendship with Winston Churchill. The other aspect of the book that I found enjoyable was the detail given to explaining the Nazi occupation from the point of view of the Czech Resistance (which I had previously known nothing about, but I'm now inspired to learn more).  All in All, this book expertly brings to life its subject matter consistent with one of my favorite movies:  Roberto Benigni’s 1997 film “Life is Beautiful”. I received an advance copy of this book from Blackstone Publishing in exchange for my honest review. For more reading recommendations, visit Book Junkie Reviews at www.abookjunkiereviews.wordpress.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Morgan

    What an exquisitely told historical fiction novel!. Starting in 1939 Prague and encompassing WWII and the rise of Nazism, young Max Mueller must navigate life and coming-of-age in the most dire of circumstances. Soon after the Nazi invasion, Max's father, a renowned German composer, is conscripted into the German army and finds himself torn between doing what's expected of him while also keeping Max safe. All of those closest to Max are Jewish and he struggles to understand what's happening all What an exquisitely told historical fiction novel!. Starting in 1939 Prague and encompassing WWII and the rise of Nazism, young Max Mueller must navigate life and coming-of-age in the most dire of circumstances. Soon after the Nazi invasion, Max's father, a renowned German composer, is conscripted into the German army and finds himself torn between doing what's expected of him while also keeping Max safe. All of those closest to Max are Jewish and he struggles to understand what's happening all around him. Told from multiple points of view with historical as well as fictional characters, I found this to be one of the most compelling coming-of-age stories I've ever read. With family, friendship, love and music at its core, this one is about hope and the unflappable human sprit. Often cinematic, the scenes are richly described and put you in the middle of the action. The fictional characters are so fleshed out that you don't really think they're fictional at all. Lots of research went into writing this story and the blending of the real life characters with the fictional ones is seamless. There have been plenty of historical WWII novels written over the last few years but none are as original and heartfelt as this one. I can't recommend this book highly enough and if you're a fan of the time period (and even if you aren't) I implore you to pick this one up, it's that good! Thank you to Nathaniel Lande, Blackstone Publishing and Suzy at Suzy Approved Book Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan The Book Dragon Campton

    Hello My Fellow Book Dragons! Welcome to Throwback Thursday. This is quite beautiful, but disquieting. It is a piece of onyx cut in the shape of a musical note. It even gives off a distinct tone, but of a minor key which can feel disheartening if held too long, but admire it, learn it’s lessons and vow not to let them be repeated and the note feels as though it strikes a chord within the heart, the very soul. This is Gem Maker Nathaniel Lande’s “While The Music Played”. Set in Czechoslovakia befor Hello My Fellow Book Dragons! Welcome to Throwback Thursday. This is quite beautiful, but disquieting. It is a piece of onyx cut in the shape of a musical note. It even gives off a distinct tone, but of a minor key which can feel disheartening if held too long, but admire it, learn it’s lessons and vow not to let them be repeated and the note feels as though it strikes a chord within the heart, the very soul. This is Gem Maker Nathaniel Lande’s “While The Music Played”. Set in Czechoslovakia before WWII, it is the story of Max Mueller son of the Great Mueller the Orchestra Conductor. Max is barely a teenager, he has the heart of a romantic, full of the desire for adventure, music and life. He has a good friend in David and he has a crush on his dear friend Sophie. Life is good, but Max is a bright boy and can see the writing on the wall as things in Prague slowly change and news trickles in from Austria, Hungary, and other European countries. He also reads the stories his friend Sophie writes. I loved this book. There have been so many books written about WWII these past two years. I have enjoyed nearly all the ones I have read. Most of these have been from the point of view from a Nazi, a Jewish Concentration Camp Victim, some other type of Concentration Camp Victim or a spy. This one gives us yet another POV. That of the resistance fighter. This is one view I have not read before now and I must say, now I want more. It is also the POV of teenagers. How it impacts them, how they handle change, separation, uncertainty, stress and the impact of losing much, of hiding what they know to help others and of growing up much more quickly than Max or his friends ever thought possible. I also loved the fact this is written on about an eighth grade level as far as words and styling go. This means that young people are going to be heavily enticed to read this novel, and I cannot think of anything better for them to read in these times. Famous names are mentioned: Freud, Einstein, Churchill, Wallenberg, Heydrich. There are pictures in the book. The author’s notes give even more food for thought. Actually a marvelous idea might be to get a copy and read it together as a family. Assign one person to do research each time you read and have them look up the famous person and read a short biography aloud. I can think of so many projects this gift of Lande’s could be used for with young people my brain is on fire! It is available on Kindle right now for $8.99! Get one today and get your family interested in history! Until tomorrow I remain, your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten I received a copy of this book from #BlackstonePublishing as part of #suzyapprovedbooktours . As always, my opinions are my own. Share this:

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com

    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com While the Music Played: A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WWII by Nathaniel Lande is a historical fiction book following a young German musician throughout World War II. Mr. Lande is an author, journalist, and film maker. Max Mueller, a teenager blessed with a musical ear, faces a changing world as Germany’s racial laws and war machine impacts the whole world. Max’s father, a famous German conductor, is draft For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com While the Music Played: A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WWII by Nathaniel Lande is a historical fiction book following a young German musician throughout World War II. Mr. Lande is an author, journalist, and film maker. Max Mueller, a teenager blessed with a musical ear, faces a changing world as Germany’s racial laws and war machine impacts the whole world. Max’s father, a famous German conductor, is drafted into the German army for the purposes of Nazi cultural propaganda. Everyone Max knows is forced to choose sides, his best friends is Jewish, and so is the girl he’s falling in love with. The more the war progresses, Max loses his innocence and his world view, along with what it means to be German. This is an epic story which spans decades, revolving around the protagonist, Max Mueller, and his experiences mainly during World War II. As with other impressing historical fiction boons, While the Music Played: A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WWII by Nathaniel Lande is well researched and involves historical figures in the narrative, as well as excerpts from newspapers. The author follows several people throughout the book, some famous, some well-known, and others are just trudging day to day trying to survive. The author weaves in history whenever is possible, and it seemed to me that he did not take many, if any, literary licenses to make the story move along. The book is geared towards the YA crowed, and is written that way. One does not have to have much knowledge of history as the author lays it all out in very simple terms. Usually history is not simple, and intertwined. I thought the author chose well as to what to present and omit, as is relevant to the story and to move it along. The character of Max, a very idealistic boy in a country where nationalism and propaganda were being fed to you daily, was complex and one could certainly tell he is growing up fast, maybe too fast as no 13 year old I know is like him. I like to believe that boys like him existed, and we have some evidence that they did, which I find amazing and cannot even begin to imagine people I know in that kind of situation. This is a good novel for adults who want a quick, easy and enjoyable read as well as teens who would find something of Max in themselves. I appreciated the ending where the author gives an overview of the war with the benefit of hindsight, as well as recounting the relating between the fictional and historical parts.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This is a beautifully written, well researched novel about WWII told through the eyes of Max who is a teenager when the novel begins but becomes part of the resistance as the Nazi regime takes over his country. Max and his friends and family all connect through music - at times it is the only way they can keep their sanity in their world gone crazy. 1939 in Prague - Max Mueller lives with his father Viktor, a world famous conductor. He isn't Jewish but has been taught to respect everyone no matte This is a beautifully written, well researched novel about WWII told through the eyes of Max who is a teenager when the novel begins but becomes part of the resistance as the Nazi regime takes over his country. Max and his friends and family all connect through music - at times it is the only way they can keep their sanity in their world gone crazy. 1939 in Prague - Max Mueller lives with his father Viktor, a world famous conductor. He isn't Jewish but has been taught to respect everyone no matter what their religion or heritage. He and his father are very close and his father has instilled the love of music into him and he has become a pianist and is a piano tuner on the side. The two most important people in his life are his best friend David and the girl he is falling in love with, Sophie. As the Nazis invade Prague and change the life that Max has always known, the truths that he has carried since childhood come into conflict. His father gets drafted into the German Army and becomes friends with a high ranking Nazi. As their friend ship continues, Viktor gets more involved in the Nazi party and helping them with their propaganda. Max is confused by this change in his father who had always taught him to be accepting of everyone and he begins to rely more on his friends. After both David and Sophie are sent to live in Terezin which was referred to as a spa area but was actually one of the first concentration camps. Max goes there to live outside the camp through the help of his father's Nazi cronies but he goes into the camp as much as possible to spend time with David and Sophie and to help them and others where he can. This camp was known for known for its relatively rich cultural life, including concerts, lectures, and clandestine education for children. As conditions worsen and people start to disappear on the trains to Auschwitz, Max and David know that the only way there can stay alive is to escape...but is it even possible? I read a lot of WWII fiction and found this one exceptional. The writing is beautiful, the friendship between Max, David and Sophie is very honest and real and the way that music ties everything together throughout the novel was outstanding. This is a WWII novel that I will long remember. Be sure to have tissue close at hand while you read this book. Note: Be sure to read the author's notes at the end to see which of the characters in the novel are based on real people and their effect on WWII. Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mirna Skuhan

    I got this book from NetGalley in an exchange for an honest review. After reading this book it took me nearly two months to write this review. My emotions were such a mess - I was sad, angry, happy, frustrated, and wanted to just cry after reading it. The horrors of WWII never seize to shock me. It doesn't matter how many book I read, how many documentaries I watch, how many stories I listen to - it just makes me utterly depressed and sad knowing what happened to all those people and that a lot of I got this book from NetGalley in an exchange for an honest review. After reading this book it took me nearly two months to write this review. My emotions were such a mess - I was sad, angry, happy, frustrated, and wanted to just cry after reading it. The horrors of WWII never seize to shock me. It doesn't matter how many book I read, how many documentaries I watch, how many stories I listen to - it just makes me utterly depressed and sad knowing what happened to all those people and that a lot of people of the time thought that was normal. In this book we follow the story of a boy, later a man called Max that lived with his father in Prague before and one period during the war. He tells us dashing stories about his father, a famous orchestra conductor, and all the famous composers and writers as well as musician and artists of every kind. The authors undeniable way of putting in a same story a real person from that period of time with a fiction of his imagination is just marvelous. The method of going into every characters emotion, distress, description, especially fear got me caught in a whirlwind of going back into history, trying to depict more about actual people from the book and trying to think what were their thoughts at that exact moment. The incredible research, the in depth characterization and incredible manner of portraying Theresienstadt - the concentration camp got me thinking about what those people must have felt, what horrible things did they had to endure and if they have ever found their piece. I cried myself for 7 nights in a row whilst reading the book because I am finally in that part of my life where I understand that nationality, religion and ethnicity are in fact the most stupid things to go to war to. Music, beautiful books, pictures are something that will be passed from one generation to another and it will always survive. The beautiful music, the opera Bumblebee will tell everyone that comes to this Earth about everything that happened almost 80 years ago. And it will survive. Because music is eternal and it surpasses the everyday life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I felt this started off slow but once Max starts to tell his story I was hooked. Aww, poor Max, I was so desperate to find out what happened to him and his lovely friends and family. Pre war Prague seemed like a lovely place to be. I am not a massive classical music fan but it was lovely how music seemed to bond everyone together. It would have been great to have a list of all the music mentioned or even a Spotify playlist! I started looking up some of the characters about halfway through to see I felt this started off slow but once Max starts to tell his story I was hooked. Aww, poor Max, I was so desperate to find out what happened to him and his lovely friends and family. Pre war Prague seemed like a lovely place to be. I am not a massive classical music fan but it was lovely how music seemed to bond everyone together. It would have been great to have a list of all the music mentioned or even a Spotify playlist! I started looking up some of the characters about halfway through to see if they were real. I was thrilled to find out that some of them were, but it unfortunately meant that I found out their fate. I learnt a lot from this book and became very attached to the characters, a box of tissues might be a good idea throughout the book, especially the last quarter or so. I can't rate this book highly enough and will be recommending to everyone I know! Thanks to Netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    A WW II epic that is different than many others both in its scope and in its core subject matter, that's what you get with this book. At a time when there seems to be a plethora of WW II historical fiction, this one stands out. Starting in 1939 in Prague when tensions are high but war is not yet fully realized and continuing through to the end of WW II, this book focuses on the life of Max Mueller who is the young son of the famous German conductor Viktor Mueller. Max is himself a musician and s A WW II epic that is different than many others both in its scope and in its core subject matter, that's what you get with this book. At a time when there seems to be a plethora of WW II historical fiction, this one stands out. Starting in 1939 in Prague when tensions are high but war is not yet fully realized and continuing through to the end of WW II, this book focuses on the life of Max Mueller who is the young son of the famous German conductor Viktor Mueller. Max is himself a musician and sees music as a vital part of life, but as Prague slowly becomes a different place from the city he grew up in and his friends are divided by politics and war, Max must figure out what is happening to his world and where his place is in its ever changing landscape. With the help of his best friend, Max learns to become a journalist and to seek the truth however difficult that might be. But will truth and music be enough to sustain Max and his friends through the long years of the war, and how will they reconcile they're duties and their beliefs, and in the end, what will Max's life look like when the war is finally over? Although some of the characters in this book are fictionalized, many are based on real people and many actual events feature prominently. You'll find yourself fact checking throughout to see which parts are historically accurate and which are the author's imagination. You'll find that this book was very well researched and the historical information contained in it is presented not only within the context of the story but also in excerpts from authentic news articles and other resources. Max Mueller is an intriguing character and the rest of the cast is well-balanced between children and adults, Germans and Jews, Famous and not-so-famous, and all sorts of other people on all sides of the war. You'll find yourself journeying along with Max to try to figure out how things went from bad to worse and what he could or should do about it. You'll root for him to find ways to help his friends and to keep everyone together despite the extreme circumstances in which they find themselves, and though you probably are familiar with the horrors of WW II, you'll find yourself hoping that Max and the people he loves can find a way to keep moving forward in a time of such adversity. I loved how the author blended music and truth as two of the major themes in this book. Maybe they are more similar than I thought; maybe they can both be used to bond people together when nothing else will do. This book did start out rather slowly for me, but once it got going, the story kept me intrigued and wanting to know what would happen next. In addition, I'm not sure about Max's age. He is only a young adolescent at the outset, but some of the things he does seem like they wouldn't necessarily be practical or appropriate for someone of his years. However, I do realize that this was a different time and place and my assumptions about this detail could be completely off-base. Bottom line: If you like WW II historical fiction or if you'd like to have another very unique perspective on this time period, You should check this one out. It spans the entire war years and takes readers from Prague to London, to Berlin and lots of places in between.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    This novel reminded me of “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak in that the story was seen through a young person’s eyes as they are trying to fit into a new family situation, survive and figure out what is happening in the changing world around them. What makes this novel different from the “Book Thief” is its backdrop. This is set in the world of music and is shown through the Great Victor Mueller’s son’s eyes, who tries to make sense of what his father is doing and why. The German’s are giving the This novel reminded me of “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak in that the story was seen through a young person’s eyes as they are trying to fit into a new family situation, survive and figure out what is happening in the changing world around them. What makes this novel different from the “Book Thief” is its backdrop. This is set in the world of music and is shown through the Great Victor Mueller’s son’s eyes, who tries to make sense of what his father is doing and why. The German’s are giving the appearance that life is good, even “normal” as they perform all over with composer Victor Mueller’s music. Here’s a quote from the book that will give you a peek into this spell binding novel Max says,…”My world revolves around music almost as much as yours does. I think we need all kinds of music- from when we were born to the moment we die. After all, we all live with the rhythm of our own heartbeats, and Poppy says, “Music reminds us of the mysterious beauty that is in each of us and connects everyone to everyone else,” But he reminds me so often that it’s not easy, “You must work to master it, and you may never master it, but you will improve, you will learn to understand it, and to express yourself, but you must practice,” The holocaust is a horrific part of history and most times tough to read as in this book. This story is told through 12-year-old Max Mueller’s eyes as the world spins out of control. Max is a musician, who tunes pianos yet has a “news” sense of the world. He and everyone he knows is trying to piece together and understand the bigger picture of world events. He seeks the help of two-good friends, one who is Jewish, and another who has a nose for news and from his loving father. There are lovely, tender moments sprinkled throughout the Nazi Germany invasions and the systematic extinction of people. Max is sent to Tezzeni which he’s told is a supposed gift from Hitler to the Jewish people. But things are not what they appear. This isn’t a gift at all. This book is the authors debut novel. I look forward to what he’ll write next. This novel is a remarkable, compelling, thought-provoking read as the author shows a deep understanding of human capabilities, flaws, and potential during times of war. I highly recommend this for your next book club pick. It’s a novel you won’t soon forget. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Kudos to Nathaniel Lande, author of "While The Music Played" for writing such a poignant, unforgettable, heartbreaking, and emotional book. The genre for this novel is Historical Fiction, and this is " A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WWII."(cover) The timeline for this story is just before World War Two in 1939 Praque, and then during the war. This is a coming of age book during a tragic and devastating time in history.  The author describes many of his characters as courageous, Kudos to Nathaniel Lande, author of "While The Music Played" for writing such a poignant, unforgettable, heartbreaking, and emotional book. The genre for this novel is Historical Fiction, and this is " A Remarkable Story of Courage and Friendship in WWII."(cover) The timeline for this story is just before World War Two in 1939 Praque, and then during the war. This is a coming of age book during a tragic and devastating time in history.  The author describes many of his characters as courageous, brave, and talented. There are characters that are also very evil. Some of the described settings are in Concentration Camps.  I appreciate that Nathaniel Lande vividly describes his characters and events, and the influence of music and art during this time. The music and art live long after the characters are gone, but not forgotten. The Arts provide historical documentation of sorts. There is clearly a tremendous amount of research that has been done in preparation for this book. Max Mueller is almost a teenager,  has a distinct ear for piano tuning, and has a desire to be a newspaper reporter. His father Viktor Mueller is a renowned conductor. Many of Max's friends are Jewish. As Nazism spreads, and Max's father is sent into the German Army, Max becomes conflicted and confused. His father's friend, Hans Krasa, a famous Czech composer and influences some of what Max is thinking. Max doesn't understand the discrimination, antisemitism, and hatred that surrounds him. Music is one thing that seems to keep Max grounded. As the German Nazi's take over, Max has to deal with deceit, destruction, damage, and grief. I would recommend this heartbreaking novel to those readers who read Historical Fiction and appreciate a thought-provoking book. Be sure to have some Kleenex on hand.

  13. 5 out of 5

    TJ

    I have read many WWII novels, either based upon true stories or historical fiction, if you have not read very many WWII stories, then this book may be for you. If you have, such as my case, then this was a rather redundant tale of many events that I had previously read before and for the main character this is a complete historical fiction. Other than that, it does include many true facts and mentions real people who were involved in the holocaust but they are redundant of other books I’d read. I I have read many WWII novels, either based upon true stories or historical fiction, if you have not read very many WWII stories, then this book may be for you. If you have, such as my case, then this was a rather redundant tale of many events that I had previously read before and for the main character this is a complete historical fiction. Other than that, it does include many true facts and mentions real people who were involved in the holocaust but they are redundant of other books I’d read. I also had several major cons with this one. The first con is Max Mueller, he is the main narrator of this story and his language, responses, and advanced musical abilities do not match the age of 13 when the story begins. Sometimes his telling of his actions and feelings are almost childish but then other times he tries to sound far more advanced than he should be, there seemed to be no consistency. My second con is many of the events were unbelievable or to convenient, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but for me, they ruined the authenticity of the story. The pro, I liked the ending when it gave an overview of some of the characters and recounted the differences between fact and fiction. All and all this was an OK read, but I did not find it remarkable nor memorable, I just truly never warmed up to Max, maybe if he would have been several years older to match his abilities and feelings, it may have worked better. I was allowed an ARC from Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for my honest unbiased review. This one earns 3 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susanne

    Thank you to the author, Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is a well-researched WWII story, with a combination of historical figures and fiction. I did find it started very slowly, and took a long time to really get going - and since I have read many WWII histories, based on both true stories and historical fiction, much of this was a bit long-winded and well-known for me. Intriguing was the way the story was told, from differing viewpoints and Thank you to the author, Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is a well-researched WWII story, with a combination of historical figures and fiction. I did find it started very slowly, and took a long time to really get going - and since I have read many WWII histories, based on both true stories and historical fiction, much of this was a bit long-winded and well-known for me. Intriguing was the way the story was told, from differing viewpoints and geographical standpoints (e.g. Prague and London), the way historical figures are woven into the narrative, and the overarching theme of music being healing in the midst of chaos and horror. My problem arose with the main character, Max Mueller: His responses, language and actions do not match the age he is when the story starts - they jump back and forth between being childlishly naive and much older than he should be, and I found the inconsistencies jarring. The second issue I had was that I felt the book was much too long, and needed more stringent editing. There were a lot of loose threads, and it took much too long for a lot of them to start coming together. I did very much like the ending, where an overview of some of the characters is given, and the differences between fact and fiction.

  15. 4 out of 5

    wellreadtraveler

    What a well written WWII novel. A few times I was so deeply invested in the story that I had to remind myself this is a work of fiction. Such a terrible time in our history it’s interesting to think about the power of music, and how it shaped the lives of people in their darkest time. Max Mueller works as a piano tuner as well as a journalist. Max is a young boy when he starts exchanging letters abroad. The two share a love for writing and music and Max feels a close connection for a girl he has What a well written WWII novel. A few times I was so deeply invested in the story that I had to remind myself this is a work of fiction. Such a terrible time in our history it’s interesting to think about the power of music, and how it shaped the lives of people in their darkest time. Max Mueller works as a piano tuner as well as a journalist. Max is a young boy when he starts exchanging letters abroad. The two share a love for writing and music and Max feels a close connection for a girl he has yet to meet. The Nazis are starting to invade and life as Max knows it is starting to change. People very close to Max are starting to join the Nazi army and this is compromising his relationship with those close to him. Feeling very alone and helpless Max must decide who he wants to be, what does he believe in, and how can he go on with the threat right at his doorstep. I loved this story and reading about the opera and how music really had an important role in this time period. The book has many characters and spans many locations which kept the story fresh and constantly evolving.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jane Pettitt

    I loved this story, A heartfelt story of coming of age for Max who is sensitive and trying to understand the events around him, The nazi regime is spewing hate and taking people who are Jews. Max’s father is enlisted in to the German army, which isolated Max even more , His live of music binds him and soothes him. Bring your Kleenex , story vividly displays the capitals, the opera house the love of his friends and the example of horrors, thank you to #SuzyApprovedBookTouur for the chance to read I loved this story, A heartfelt story of coming of age for Max who is sensitive and trying to understand the events around him, The nazi regime is spewing hate and taking people who are Jews. Max’s father is enlisted in to the German army, which isolated Max even more , His live of music binds him and soothes him. Bring your Kleenex , story vividly displays the capitals, the opera house the love of his friends and the example of horrors, thank you to #SuzyApprovedBookTouur for the chance to read all thoughts are my own. A well researched book, you completely enjoy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Golbitz

    Courtesy of NetGalley, I received an ARC of While The Music Played by Nathaniel Lande. This novel looks at the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party through the eyes of twelve year old Max Mueller, living in Prague. The portrayal of the rich musical heritage of Czechoslovakia sets this lyrical novel apart from other WWII fiction. Focusing on various historical figures, the story of Hans Krasa, the talented composer of the childrens opera Brundibar, was especially moving.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Nathaniel Lande’s While the Music Played skillfully blends historical figures and fictional characters. Like several recent popular World War II novels, it introduces elements of the underground resistance. However, while important, those elements remain secondary. Instead, Lande dramatizes how the arts, especially music, helped created moments of hope during a time of despair. Although the central plot involves music—the children’s opera Brundibár, the author also alludes to classical pieces an Nathaniel Lande’s While the Music Played skillfully blends historical figures and fictional characters. Like several recent popular World War II novels, it introduces elements of the underground resistance. However, while important, those elements remain secondary. Instead, Lande dramatizes how the arts, especially music, helped created moments of hope during a time of despair. Although the central plot involves music—the children’s opera Brundibár, the author also alludes to classical pieces and popular songs, works in several apropos lyrics, and employs artful music imagery. The story comes to us through several points of view, including a British female reporter, a German-Czech orchestra conductor, and his young son, who is twelve when Germany annexes Austria and Czechoslovakia. Early in the novel, readers first encounter Max, now an adult, listening to a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem during the tenth anniversary commemoration of the war’s end. Overwhelmed by his memories, Max flees the sanctuary, haunted by thoughts of childhood friends David and Sophie. He recalls how three had vowed to save one another and how the others had changed his life. “This is how it was. This is how it all began,” he explains as he begins telling about his idyllic boyhood in Prague as son of “The Great Viktor Mueller,” his flamboyant hero who could turn any moment into a celebration. We meet Max’s talented friends David and Sophie, his father’s former conservatory classmate named Hans Krása, and a visiting British reporter named Anna Kingsley. We spend time sitting in concert halls, marching through the streets with Viktor, Max, and Max’s classmates, each playing an instrument, watching Max’s budding interest in the news, which leads to his job delivering papers for Sam Raggle, who runs the newsstand, and listening to Viktor regaling Max with tales of “The Distant and Mysterious Man,” Armand Duval, whose mission it was to travel the world collecting emeralds to give to the poor.” Little did Max know that he would soon need to discover his own life’s mission. When Conductor Mueller becomes Major Mueller, cultural program director for the Reich, Max’s world is turned upside down. Max, David, Sophie, composer Hans Krása, artist/architect Norbert Troller, film maker Kurt Gerron, and Rabbi Leo Baeck find themselves in a darker reality at Terezín (Theresienstadt), doing their best to bring moments of light through their music, art, and teaching. Having already mentioned Lande’s music allusions and imagery, I cannot fail to mention the literary allusions and quotations, ranging from Tennyson to Twain, also scattered throughout the novel. Much as music influences the characters’ lives, so do the words of a few of our greatest writers. The author’s notes and photos at the end of the novel provide a useful, valuable supplement. Thanks to NetGalley, Blackstone Publishing, and Nathaniel Lande for providing me with an Advance Reader Copy of this highly recommended contribution to Holocaust fiction.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Haley Guepet

    I really enjoyed the story of Max Mueller as he navigates his tweenage years in Nazi Europe! A compelling read about Nazi Europe in the late 1930s. The characters are very well written and I couldn’t put it down!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anna Warkentin

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Mwangi

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lily Nur

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Meeker

  28. 4 out of 5

    serge steinlauf

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  31. 4 out of 5

    Martina Primerano

  32. 5 out of 5

    Carole

  33. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  34. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  35. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  36. 5 out of 5

    Nissa

  37. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  38. 4 out of 5

    Natarez

  39. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Fitzgerald

  40. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Bianchi

  41. 4 out of 5

    Natasa

  42. 4 out of 5

    Israa Ahmed

  43. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

  44. 4 out of 5

    Steffi

  45. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  46. 5 out of 5

    Richelle

  47. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  48. 4 out of 5

    Ilene Harris

  49. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  50. 4 out of 5

    Ashton

  51. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Davis

  52. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hill

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.