The Vexations

The Vexations

A "marvelous" (Wall Street Journal), "enthralling" (New York Times Book Review) debut novel about love, family, genius, and the madness of art, circling the life of eccentric composer Erik Satie and La Belle Époque Paris Erik Satie begins life with every possible advantage. But after the dual blows of his mother's early death and his father's breakdown upend his childhood A "marvelous" (Wall Street Journal), "enthralling" (New York Times Book Review) debut novel about love, family, genius...

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Title:The Vexations
Author:Caitlin Horrocks
Rating:
Genres:Historical
ISBN:The Vexations
ISBN
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:464 pages pages

The Vexations Reviews

  • Pamela
    Jun 16, 2019
    I'm totally under this book's spell. The Vexations is as funny as it is beautiful. It's about making art in the big city, but it's also about the absurdity of playing the role of a Great Artist. It's about family and how deep those ties can cut, but it's also about the leeway we give o...
  • Amanda
    Sep 11, 2019
    Disclaimer: I went to college with Caitlin, so am predisposed to like this and praise it. That said, this is well worth the read for anyone interested in Paris during the late 1880s and into the 1910s, artistic culture in Montmarte, classical music, and the idea of genius and what toll...
  • Melissa
    Jul 21, 2019
    Book 4 finished for July 24in48. This is a very intimate novel about the life of Erik Satie and his sister, brother, and two friends who new him well. The writing is beautiful, particularly in those chapters from Satie?s perspective talking about ?touch? or music, and Horrock...
  • Matt
    Aug 26, 2019
    This is a really enjoyable book, a historical reconstruction of the life of composer Erik Satie from the POV of multiple people, including Satie himself but also his sister, some friends, etc. So it's one of those books with multiple narrators by chapter; narrators will wonder about Er...
  • Keith Taylor
    Sep 04, 2019
    Very hard for me to believe that everyone can't love this as much as I do! Maybe it's because I'm such a francophile, or because I like stories about superbly strange artists. But I did love this book. Below is the written text of a short review I did on Michigan radio: The Vexa...
  • Vicki
    Sep 11, 2019
    Full blown trip to turn of the century France, uncovering the life of Erik Satie. Historical fiction at it's finest, following a true path with the author's voice connecting the dots. Many piano students will remember having to play something by Satie back in the day. The title 'Vexati...
  • Carol
    Sep 12, 2019
    Silly people, foolish choices. ...
  • Julie
    Aug 05, 2019
    3.5 Fictionalized story of the difficult life of Erik Satie, told through the eyes of Satie himself, his brother and sister, and a collection of friends. I loved the setting and the musical allusions, but I thought it dragged in places. Certainly worth reading if you love his music or ...
  • Lorri Steinbacher
    Sep 03, 2019
    Enjoyable biographical fiction. I would have read a book about Satie's sister, Louise, as a standalone. Recommended for classical music fans and readers who like fictionalized biographies. ...
  • Onceinabluemoon
    Aug 29, 2019
    I had no idea what this book was about when I checked it out, just liked the cover, shortly in I started googling, ruining the story for me since I did so much research! It's amazing to me all that rests at our fingertips, information, photos, videos, sound, which of course enhances on...
  • Marissa Landrigan
    Sep 11, 2019
    In awe of this book: it's ambitious in scope, a fascinating deep dive into an historic period I knew little about, and incredibly well-written. The characters are whole, complex people, which is even more impressive when you consider the research that must've gone into this project. It...
  • Maureen Crothall
    Aug 31, 2019
    Where to begin! I love classical music, I love Satie's work, I loved this book. Getting it alone was an adventure, I could only find it available in Canada, at this time, as an Audio, so I got my daughter to drive me over the border into the States so I could buy the hardback book. Ove...
  • Gina Whitlock
    Sep 05, 2019
    This was a good book about Erik Satie, his family, and some close friends. However, I felt it was missing something - I'm not sure what. So I rated it four stars instead of five. ...
  • Mark
    May 24, 2019
    Strong historical romance centered around the eccentric composer Erik Satie and his family. Beautiful characterization and period detail. A few quibbles, like the inconsistent and unhistoric use of first names between adult men, and the need to invent a fictional character ("Philippe")...
  • Karen
    Apr 29, 2019
    I always admired the works of Erik Satie and enjoyed learning more about his life and the many people of his era that played a part in it. This is a work of fiction. Off to listen to some Satie.... ...
  • Lindsey
    Jun 07, 2019
    Review to come. ...
  • Julie
    Aug 14, 2019
    I loved it! Really interesting story, very well written. A wonderful piece of historical fiction! ...
  • Kristina
    Sep 14, 2019
    A sweeping novel spanning years and exploring not only the life of eccentric composer Erik Satie, but also the lives of those closest to him and the effect he has on them. I enjoyed this novel and if anything, would have loved to hear even more from Louise, Satie?s sister. I also rea...
  • Maureen Henderson
    Sep 05, 2019
    This is the first I've read of Caitlin Horrocks' work, but after The Vexations I will be on the lookout for all she writes. This is historical fiction done very well. Horrocks never writes a lazy sentence, for one thing, so I was constantly going back to read over the subtlety of a per...
  • Doreen Ashbrook
    May 01, 2019
    While this is a well written account of the life of Erik Satie ( sad, but compelling compositions), I found it to be somewhat ponderous. I did enjoy learning more about a composer whose life I really knew nothing about. ...
  • Suzanne
    Jul 16, 2019
    I read 115 pages of this novel and still didn't care about any of the characters. I would return to the book each night before bed having forgotten what it was about. I picked up another book on my list, read 15 pages and was hooked. So....the writing maybe? The subject matter? The pac...
  • Cherise Wolas
    Aug 14, 2019
    I knew the name Erik Satie, but nothing else about him and if I have heard his music, then it was without having any idea, and so I found this a very interesting historical fiction novel. France, in the Belle Epoque, comes alive, a very dirty place filled with the haves and the have-no...
  • Gayle Slagle
    Jul 16, 2019
    The Vexations by Caitlin Horrocks is a fascinating novel that revolves around the life of Eric Satie, a French composer; to be honest, I had never heard of Satie even though I consider myself a lover of music. However, after reading this debut novel I can say that i have been given gre...
  • Gay Rowe
    Sep 14, 2019
    I read over 50% of this book and finally gave up. I found the writing dull. ...
  • Nancy
    Jul 02, 2019
    On February 18, 2018, we attended the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's French Festival to hear Claude Debussy's orchestration of Erik Satie's Gymnopédies Nos.1 & 3 along with music by Dukas, Saint-Saens, and Offenbach. I had not realized previously how much I loved French music! I ...
  • Pat
    Apr 28, 2019
    I received a free copy of "The Vexations" by Caitlin Horrocks through the "Good Reads First Reads Giveaway. This is a talented author, dealing with difficult subjects. She writes about a flawed family, but also includes interesting and unusual characters. The eccentric composer Eri...
  • Winthrop Smith
    Sep 06, 2019
    If only they were, but they are, heard here. My bias, because I have been writing about the portraits of an artist whom I never met, so spend my days- have spent years- imagining 'duets' between the artist and his sitters, inhabiting Erik Satie, his brother, his sister, his family m...
  • Leona Sweet
    Jun 20, 2019
    This novel seems to bounce around from person to the other. The parts about the sister and brothers are more interesting than the others. ...
  • Lizenbyl
    Jun 24, 2019
    I received this book as a part of the Good Reads give-away program. This book is about a dysfunctional family centered around the arts and musical life in Paris. The book seemed very disjointed and did not connect real well between chapters. ...
  • Patricia
    Jul 16, 2019
    Thanks to a Goodreads giveaway, I enjoyed an advance copy of THE VEXATIONS. French composer and pianist Erik Satie lived from 1866 to 1925 and was part of a memorable era of artistic change in Paris. Friends and acquaintances such as Claude Debussy, Picasso, Cocteau, Man Ray, and h...