Reviews: Vivaldi and the Number 3


‘This collection is an extraordinary read. It is extraordinary in its concept, extraordinary in its delivery, extraordinary in the emotions it manages to evoke. . . wry, satirical and deeply moving . . .heart-stoppingly beautiful . . .[Butlin] is a master.’
The New Review

‘brilliantly conceived . . . Playing with biography (though never fast and loose) Butlin nips seamlessly in and out of anachronisms, conflating history like a squeezed piano accordion . . .[he] can take an idea and fly with it to the far reaches of his imagination, developing oblique studies not only of the composers themselves but of their music.’
The Herald

‘ . . . jovial enough to infect the ill-informed . . . Erudite if fleeting fun; an invigorating jig.’
The Scotsman

‘these stories are hymns to the artistic temperament’
The Times

‘Wickedly funny . . . witty and contemporary.’
Classic FM Magazine

‘You can’t help but enjoy it’
Record Collector

‘Richly surreal stories . . . an unalloyed triumph . . . light and yet learned. Gloriously anachronistic . . .playful, funny and accessible’
Sunday Herald

‘delicious flight of fancy’
Scottish Book Collector

‘funny, eloquent, quirky and desperately sad . . . Everything is mingled in Butlin’s world – past and present, dream and waking, with daring and deftness . . . a bubble of lightness (that) somehow carries up with it a heavy stone of sorrow.’ [Five***** stars]
The Independent On Sunday

‘Butlin’s caprices achieve a metaphorical resonance’

‘Wit polish, humanity and daring . . . A brilliant and surreal collection of sketches’
Sunday Herald

‘None of the stories in Ron Butlin’s new collection is altogether divorced from documentary reality, but it is precisely their juxtaposition of this with the wildest, most extravagant flourishes of “just suppose” which gives each one its singular piquancy.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘a deft balance between the comic and the moving . . . there’s a passionate humanity in the stories . . . compelling . . .powerful . . . expressed with a breathtaking clarity and precision . . . It is full of hard truth, darkness and light.’
The Sandstone Review

‘off-the-wall writing . . .!’
Opera News

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