Love Is Blind by William Boyd review – a rapturous return to form

This post is by Alexander Larman from Books | The Guardian

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This audaciously unpredictable tale of passion and pianos in 1880s France and Russia is worthy of adulation

In his latest novel, Love Is Blind – his 15th – William Boyd has pulled off an audaciously cunning trick, a literary bait and switch that both delights and surprises. At first glance, this historical travelogue-cum-romance follows in the vein of Boyd’s earlier successes such as Any Human Heart and Waiting for Sunrise, being a beautifully written and deeply humane account of its protagonist’s journey through a specific historical period: in this case, fin-de-siècle Scotland, France and Russia. Yet there is also a sense of mischief and playfulness imbued into its narrative that takes the form of several elaborate homages to other books and stories. If one never noticed, this would still be a thoroughly enjoyable read. Yet much of the pleasure here is in the gleeful way that Boyd dares the ...