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Culture Watch: 'The Metropolis Case' by Matthew Gallaway

February 15, 2011 |  2:45 pm

Metropolis "The Metropolis Case" by Matthew Gallaway (Crown). This ambitious first novel uses Richard Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" as a thematic centerpiece to tell four intersecting stories of individuals whose lives are profoundly affected by the 19th century operatic masterpiece.

The novel owes a sizable debt to Michael Cunningham's "The Hours" in terms of its time and geography-hopping structure as well as its use of a classic text as a unifying talisman. But Gallaway is a perceptive and graceful author in his own right whose moving story will appeal to  Wagnerian experts and neophytes alike.

-- David Ng

Image credit: Crown