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Summary

Effervescent as champagne, Jilly Cooper's novel brings back old favourites like Rupert and Taggie Campbell-Black.

Abigail Rosen, nicknamed Appassionata, was the sexiest, most flamboyant violinist in classical music, but she was also the loneliest and the most exploited girl in the world. 

When a dramatic suicide attempt destroyed her violin career, she set her sights on the male-dominated heights of the conductor's rostrum. Given the chance to take over the Rutminster Symphony Orchestra, Abby is ecstatic, not realising the RSO is composed of the wildest bunch of musicians ever to blow a horn or caress a fiddle. 

Abby finds it increasingly difficult to control her undisciplined rabble and pretend she is not madly attracted to the fatally glamorous horn player Viking O'Neill. And then Rannaldini, arch fiend and international maestro, rolls up with Machiavellian plans of his own.

©1996 Jilly Cooper (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Delicious: light as a souffle and with divine flashes of wit. I could not put the...thing down." (Sunday Express)

 "Triumphant...a boisterous tale of sex and Chopin amongst Rutshire folk." (Tatler

"Appassionata - the divine Jilly Cooper's latest and greatest novel." (The Sunday Times)

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What listeners say about Appassionata

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

disappointed

loved polo, riders, mounted but this story was like wading through mud. better to stick to horse themes

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Awful Sexist Misogynist Bilge

Never having read any JC I was “challenged” to try the Rutshire series just to see what I’d been missing! Missing revolting writing - pathetic simpering female characters - the male characters worse - one kiss and its “marry me” nonsense - awful irish and American accents. I can’t imagine these books being relevant to anyone other than simpering fools back in the 89’s and 90’s let alone now

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Audio narration oddly stilted

The audio narration on this is oddly stilted. It almost sounds like a computer reading it. I read the book on kindle and bought the audio file to go with it. I had to stop listening and read it instead. I'm sorry to be negative but the narration really didn't do the book justice.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really enjoyed this one

I have enjoyed several of the books in this series and wasn't disappointed with this one. Really good characters and some old faces.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Struggled!

Just couldn’t get into this, I’ve listened to about a third of it and have given up. Waste of a credit!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favourite JC novel

It's a wonderful book, but the Scottish accents are truly awful. I cringed hearing them, can you guess I am scottish. Nevertheless i enjoyed this audible translation because of my love of the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars

The one where we all learn to love Marcus...

The Rutshire Chronicles continue with one of the most memorable books. For those who have been reading about Rupert Campbell Black, Taggie and all the other inhabitants of Cooper-world for years, this is the one where Marcus finally comes into his own. The rather overlooked, wimpy son of the earlier books (and with a mother like the self obsessed Helen who can blame him?) finally establishes his own character, and his relationship with his father. Yes, it's fascinating for the picture of how giant orchestras work (or sometimes don't). Yes, it's great to see Rannaldini grow in villainy so we can mentally get to boo and hiss, to meet another self obsessed but undoubtedly gifted character, Abby, and to all fall a little in love with Viking. Nice to see Flora get a happy ending as well. But - for me, it's Marcus's book, and I love it. Sherry Baines had grown into the narrators role pretty well. I still find her habit of breaking sentences and phrases can be annoying but as the books progress, we get used to that. Compared to the earlier, withdrawn, recordings she's wonderful! I can't imagine how long the poor girl must have spent in the studio this year to record all the series, but I'm grateful she did.

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  • Lu
  • 25-08-18

Totally Fatuous!

Not the best Jilly Cooper but easy listening. Usual childish behaviour with too much money/ not enough money/ I hate you/ I must have you/ I can't bear it/ Don't be fatuous... Unfortunately most of the characters are so self-absorbed hideous that it's difficult to care what happens to them. There is a feeling of Ms Cooper stopped caring and just wanted the thing to end too.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Love classical music or pass on this

This book is about classicall music and orchestras so it's not going to have universal appeal and especially to readers with no interest in either. However it is also about Marcus Campbell Black, now adult, and a classical musician. Therefore in this latest Chronicle there was the chance (but sadly missed and wasted) for Marcus to be shown in a really positive light as an adult, as well as a classical professional one. Instead Marcus, always a sickly child is written now as a pathetic and emotionally weak doormat as well as a sickly adult and he didn't need to be. So too as a doormat is Taggie as Ruperts 2nd young wife. Why? Helen as the ex wife of Rupert and mother of Marcus has also now been made into an obsessive, selfish whining harpie. She was not like that in Riders or Rivals so why now? Why make characters who could have real strength and backbone into people you just want to slap and tell them to stand up and be counted? No-one in this book is truly likable in any real way. Abbie the new main character we are to believe can slash her wrists in a suicide attempt yet still play professionally and conduct an orchestra. Abbie is just as unlikable as a woman can be and as a reincarnation of the awful Cameron Cook from Rivals just does not deserve it. Bad behaviour, drunkenness and obsessively pathetic women litter this book. It makes me angry to see women almost being encouraged to be the same. I only read this book once years ago and could not remember why it had not been a book I re-read as most of mine are. Now I can remember why. Give it a big miss.