Finished reading: Instrumental: A memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music by James Rhodes

I’ll confess I’d never heard of James Rhodes prior to picking this book up at the library. Turns out he’s about my age, and a British classical pianist who has had some amount of popular culture impact in Britain trying to make classical music less culturally stuffy and more accessible to the masses.

Instrumental isn’t nearly so much about music as it is about a man trying to come to grips with the effects of some horrifying abuse he underwent as a young boy in primary school. I’ve never read an account that so directly describes the horror and brokenness that an abuse victim can feel. One of Rhodes’ escapes is music, but he vividly describes others that are much less beautiful and much more self-destructive.

Rhodes does mention a couple handfuls of favorite classical pieces through the book, which someone has already arranged into a convenient Spotify playlist.

Instrumental is a worthwhile read but not for the faint of heart.

Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music

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