Wednesday August 12, 2020

How bravery finds a way to break free

The Society of Timid Souls Or, How to be Brave by Polly Morland. Profile Books, €18.90. Reviewed by Brendan Daly.

3rd August, 2013
Alain Robert, the French climber known as Spiderman, scales Qatar's tallest building without safety equipment. Photo: wenn

The Society of Timid Souls Or, How to be Brave


In a soundproofed room of his Manhattan apartment, Bernard Gabriel convened the inaugural meeting of an eccentric fraternity. As the Second World War raged, Gabriel promised to heal four nervous pianists of their private terror: stage fright. As each performed, Gabriel intimidated them by orchestrating the banging of doors, flinging a telephone directory to the floor, and hammering at a competing piano. Incredibly, the musicians...

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