Novel about musical genius hits a bum note

Fiction: Us Conductors

15th August, 2015
Sean Michaels promises a fascinating life story, but crushes his protagonist between shifting genres Graham Hughes

Bloomsbury, €22.60

‘I was Léon Termen before I was Dr Theremin, and before I was Léon, I was Lev Sergeyevich.” The opening line of Us Conductors, Canadian author Sean Michaels’s debut novel, lists the multiple identities of its protagonist.

It is a fitting opener for a complex character, based on the life of the Russian scientist Lev Sergeyevich Termen. Best known as the inventor of...

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